Shortcuts limit discovered in Windows 10

Call it the case of the missing shortcut.  Although I discovered the issue because of App-V, the culprit really turns out to be the OS itself.

As some of you know I am busy working on a new App-V tool.  As part of the testing, I built a number of test applications (or pulled out oldies-but-goodies that I already had) to take the tool through it’s paces.  The tool is an external App-V package editor and I need to verify that it locates issues and fixes the packages without breaking them.  One test package had a set of seven shortcuts.  But only 6 showed up when I deployed the edited package.

At first, I though I found a bug in my new tool. After all, that is why I am testing.  But after investigation I determined that it wasn’t my toll that was the problem.   After verifying the xml in the package by hand, I looked closer at the deployment by the App-V client to determine if it was seeing all seven.  Sure enough, App-V could be seen laying down all seven lnk files, but only six appeared in the start menu. So maybe this was an App-V bug and not in my new tool?

All seven shortcuts were being placed under the same folder.  I should note that I was testing on Windows 10 (1709). I searched online to see if anyone knew of a limit, but came up blank.  Testing on Windows 7 showed that indeed this appears to be an undocumented limit in Windows 10. And nothing to do with App-V or my new tool.

To work around it, you’ll need to either trim down the number of shortcuts or use multiple folders.  Now you know and you won’t waste a sunny Saturday afternoon because of it.

By Tim Mangan

Tim is a Microsoft MVP, and a Citrix CTP Fellow. He is an expert in App-V and MSIX.