Fix: Shortcut Tab missing in Properties window in Windows

The error Shortcut Tab missing in the Properties window in Windows OS manifests itself when users try to access or modify the Properties of a shortcut or link file (.lnk). The absence of the said tab deters users from editing the relevant configurations associated with shortcuts like modifying the target location or the working directory, etc. In this article, we look at the possible causes that contribute to the said miss and the possible corrective measures that can be undertaken to resolve the same to the users’ satisfaction.

Possible causes of Shortcut Tab missing in Properties window in Windows

A wide array of factors can contribute to the possible causes of the error, as enumerated below:

  1. Damaged Shortcut File: One of the prevalent reasons for the missing Shortcut tab can possibly be attributed to a damaged or corrupt shortcut link. Link files denoted in Windows with the lnk extension may not function as expected, as the possible corruption may disrupt the rendering of the shortcut settings.
  2. Software Malfunctions: Malfunctioning Third-Party software might cause compatibility issues and interfere with the functioning of the shortcut, leading to the said error. Specific applications might interfere with the Windows Shell, which can also affect the display of the shortcut properties.
  3. Registry or Group Policy changes: Changes in the Windows Registry settings or Group Policies can also lead to the disappearance of the Shortcut Tab. Misconfigured settings can also contribute to the cause leading to the said situation.
  4. Corrupt System Files: Issues arising from corrupted system files can also contribute to the issue, especially those handling the shortcut properties or their related settings. Damaged files may not load properly, which can, in turn, result in the miss.

Fix: Shortcut Tab missing in Properties window in Windows

The following corrective measures might be undertaken in pursuit of resolving the said disappearance:

1] Shortcut Integrity Checks

Among the primary corrective measures that can be undertaken to resolve the said issue involves checking the integrity of the shortcut file. If the file is corrupted or damaged, a new shortcut to the same target file can be created and then checked for the appearance of the Shortcut Tab in the Properties window.

2] System file evaluation

The System File Checker utility in Windows can help in repairing any damages sustained by the system files that might have led to the disappearance of the Shortcut Tab. Follow the linked post to review the steps for running the System File Checker.

3] System Restore

If the issue at hand is a result of any possible system setting changes that have been recently made, restoring the system back to its previous stable setting can be a possible workaround. Follow the steps to check for the System Restore Process

4] Group Policy reset

The disappearance of the Shortcut can also be linked to changes made in the Group Policy on the local system. Hence, resetting the same back to default can also help resolve the issue. The below-mentioned steps can be adapted to reset the Group Policy:

  • Type CMD on the Search bar of the Desktop and right-click on the search result to select Run as Administrator.

command prompt admin

  • Once the Windows Terminal opens, type the below-mentioned command to reset all Group Policy Settings:

RD /S /Q “%WinDir%\System32\GroupPolicyUsers” && RD /S /Q “%WinDir%\System32\GroupPolicy”

gpolicy changes windows terminal

  • Upon execution of the above step, please enter the below-mentioned command on the Terminal prompt to update the Group Policy settings of the changes made in the above step:

  gpupdate /force

gpupdate force windows

  • Restart the system for the changes to take effect and check if the Shortcut Tab is appearing on the Properties

5] Windows Repair

If all the above-mentioned steps fail to resolve the issue, a repair installation of the OS can be attempted through a Windows Installation media. The repair would help preserve the data and reinitialize the settings to their default ones.


The above-mentioned steps cover all possible angles that can lead to the error in question and resolve it to the users’ satisfaction. However, before attempting the Group Policy editing, it is recommended to take a backup of the data in the system to avoid any potential data loss.

Sandip Basu
Sandip has worked as an IT solutions consultant for the last 15 years and specializes in troubleshooting software and hardware.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here