Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

When some programs are installed, they create shortcuts in the start menu and possibly on the desktop, on which you can't edit the target, can't change the icon for, nor can you open the target file's location (Vista and 7) through the properties window. This is a little frustrating since you will have to manually browse for the executable if you need to append some command-line arguments.

What is the motivation behind this?

Examples include shortcuts to Office programs and Gears of War for PC.

share|improve this question
because they don't WANT you changing them. – Phoshi Nov 24 '09 at 12:09
Is this supposed to be an answer? Why did you then post as a comment? And it's hardly a motivation: It's sometimes necessary to modify the shortcuts, and non-power-user users hardly know how to do it anyway. – Cecil Has a Name Nov 24 '09 at 12:21
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Those are called Advertised Shortcuts and are created by MSI packages. Their benefit is that they can self-repair if they find the application is damaged or missing files.

share|improve this answer
Thanks, finally a valid explanation. Sorry for the late accept, though, been away from the Internet too long ;-) – Cecil Has a Name Nov 26 '09 at 13:16

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.