From several platforms (Steam, Epic) I have a few shortcuts on my desktop to start the games. Just yesterday I installed a new game with a new shortcut, which I will take as example.

So I installed "Remnant From the Ashes" from the Epic Games Store. The installation worked fine without any errors. Now I look on my desktop and see this:

enter image description here

The icon is missing and the file ending is shown, which shouldn't happen. Additionally, nothing happens when I click on the file. I do remember that a windows update broke most of these shortcuts, but not all. Sadly I don't remember which update it was.

How can I fix these .url files to work correctly again?

  • If you right-click the shortcut and select its General properties, what Type of file: does Windows say it is? Aug 22, 2020 at 2:09
  • @Anaksunaman the filetype is URL-File (.url) Aug 24, 2020 at 6:05

1 Answer 1


Had a similar issue on a new PC after Windows installed updates (before I got around to turning that off and managing updates myself, thanks very much, Windows). In my case, steam URLs, Uplay URLs, and Epic Games URLs were all showing as blank icons and the links weren't working.

Turns out, the Windows update managed to break the file association for .url files.

This fixed it for me:

  1. Go to Settings and search for "Choose default applications by file type".
  2. Scroll down (since this page doesn't have a search option) all the way to ".URL - Internet Shortcut" and change it from "Choose a default" to "Internet Browser". enter image description here
  3. This will let Windows know that URLs should be handled by your default browser (doh!), and the icons should now be shown as intended. Also, the links (e.g. steam://rungameid/123456 or similar) should now go back to working.

Credit: Found this solution on a reddit post by TehJumpingJawa.

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