When you open Windows Explorer, the Favorite Links area may be completely empty (as shown in the figure below), even though the %userprofile%\Links folder contains the actual shortcuts. Normally, the Favorite Links area displays the list of shortcuts present in the %userprofile%\Links folder. Where %userprofile% represents your user profile home folder, which is typically C:\Users\{username}


This happens if the IsShortcut registry value for .lnk files (Shortcuts) is deleted in an attempt to hide the overlay icon in shortcuts. To resolve the problem, re-create the IsShortcut registry value.

Method 1

Download and apply the .lnk file association fix from the following link:

File association fixes for Windows Vista

Method 2

  • Click Start, type regedit.exe and press ENTER
  • Navigate to the following key:


  • In the right-pane, create a String value (REG_SZ) named IsShortcut
  • Close Registry Editor and restart Windows.

More information

To remove the shortcut arrow in Windows Vista, see article How to remove or modify the Shortcut overlay in Windows Vista