The item that this shortcut refers to has been changed or moved in Windows 11

When you try to launch a program or game like Chrome.exe, Steam.exe, WINWORD.EXE, Excel.exe etc. by clicking on the shortcut on the Windows 11 desktop, you may encounter an error when working with the shortcut like the below message:

Problem with Shortcut
The item that this shortcut refers to has been changed or moved, so this shortcut will no longer work properly
Do you want to delete this shortcut?

problem with shortcut

How to Fix the Problem with Shortcut error in Windows 11?

You should understand that the shortcut is like a launcher for the “exe” executable file, which may be located elsewhere. Right-click on the shortcut that is throwing the error and select Properties. In the ” Object ” column, look at the path and navigate to it manually. Suppose it is E: \ STEAM \ steam.exe. Next, find the executable file “steam.exe” and right-click on it, then “Send Desktop to create shortcut”.

If you did not have the executable file when you followed the path manually, it has been deleted or moved to another location. In this case, the best solution would be to use search. Open ” Explorer “, and in the left column, select ” This PC ” with one click so that the search was on the entire disk. Next, in the upper right corner, write the name of the file “steam.exe” and press Enter, then wait until the process ends (green bar). If the file is found, right-click on it and select “File Location”. See if the path is the one indicated in the broken label. If not, right-click and create a new shortcut.

Sometimes the executable file can be mistakenly deleted by the user in the trash, and if so, it can be restored. Open the trash can and see if there is a file that generates an error when launching a shortcut. If there is, then right-click on it and “Restore”.

If you copied the shortcuts from the desktop to a USB flash drive and opened these files on another PC, an error will appear that the shortcut has been moved or deleted. These are incorrect actions, and in Windows, it does not work that way since you need to copy the executable file to the USB flash drive and not the shortcut itself.

It is also worth checking if the drive letter has changed. If so, the shortcuts will not work since they were previously written on a different drive letter. In this case, if you have executable files on a separate drive, create new shortcuts, or replace the path of the drive letter with the old ones.

Check the quarantine of the built-in Windows antivirus or a third-party one, as the antivirus may have blocked this executable file, which will lead to a non-working shortcut.

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