File extension lnk is used for files that represent Windows shortcut to a program installed on computer. Every time you create a shortcut a new lnk file is created that acts as the actual link, that can be further customized with various settings as launch parameters, icon etc. Most lnk files are located on user's desktop.

There are 3 other file types using
the LNK file extension!

empty icon.lnk - Linker response

empty icon.lnk - Advanced Revelation database

empty icon.lnk - Playlist

Detailed description

Software that open lnk file

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LNK file extension - Windows Shortcut

What is lnk file? How to open lnk files?

File extension lnk is used for Windows Shortcuts - links to a program, file or directory in Microsoft Windows operating systems.

A .lnk file is basically a link to a program or application located in different folder. For example you can create a link for your document on the desktop, while the file remains in the document folder.

Although the concept of links to files (or applications) exists on the Mac OS, the use of the lnk files is typical for Windows, which is also the operating system that can open them.

The lnk files also contain settings for the linked application such as security settings, compatibility settings, hot key settings, icon settings etc. To change this settings press the right mouse button on a link file and select Properties option.

MIME types:

Updated: November 7, 2023

The default software associated to open lnk file:

Microsoft Windows icon

Microsoft Corporation logoMicrosoft Windows  Microsoft Windows software

Company or developer:
Microsoft Corporation

A family of operating systems developed by the Microsoft Corp. The first Windows was released in 1985 as a GUI add-on to MS-DOS. MS-DOS based Windows versions were developed to 2000, when was released the last version called Windows ME. Windows based on NT core started in 1993. Windows NT family are developed to these days, the latest version is called Microsoft Windows 11.

Microsoft Windows 10 icon

Microsoft Corporation logoMicrosoft Windows 10  Microsoft Windows software

Company or developer:
Microsoft Corporation

Microsoft Windows 10 is operating system for desktop, laptop and tablet computers. Windows 10 is familiar and easy to use, with lots of similarities to Windows 7 including the Start menu.

Windows 10 comes with great built-in apps like Edge, Maps, Photos, Mail & Calendar, Music, Movies & TV. And these apps use OneDrive to back up your information and sync seamlessly across your Windows 10 devices.

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Help how to open:

Double tap on the *.lnk file to open it. Or you can right click on it in Windows to open popup menu and select open or configure shortcut.

How to convert:

You can create a link to your files by right clicking on your folder on file to open the popup menu and select create shortcut. Now copy the new shortcut file to your new desired location, or you can just drag it to desktop.

List of software applications associated to the .lnk file extension

Recommended software programs are sorted by OS platform (Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android etc.)
and possible program actions that can be done with the file: like open lnk file, edit lnk file, convert lnk file, view lnk file, play lnk file etc. (if exist software for corresponding action in's database).

Click on the tab below to simply browse between the application actions, to quickly get a list of recommended software, which is able to perform the specified software action, such as opening, editing or converting lnk files.

Software that open lnk file - Windows Shortcut

Programs supporting the exension lnk on the main platforms Windows, Mac, Linux or mobile. Click on the link to get more information about listed programs for open lnk file action.

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