Modifying Windows shortcuts is Powershell

PowerShell_5.0_iconI once faced a rather tedious task that involved recursively modifying a number of shortcut paths stored across a convoluted folder structure. There was approximately 100 shortcuts which needed part of their path modifying.

The answer: Create a PowerShell script.

The following code utilises regex to check for the existence of a string and modify with the define replacement. It is easily possible to use Read-Host to make this a little bit more interactive, but the purposes of my use-case it was just as simple to modify these variables before running the script.

$oldPrefix = “\\OLDPLACE”
#$oldPrefix = “\\NEWPLACE”

$newPrefix = “\\NEWPLACE”
#$newPrefix = “\\OLDPLACE”

$searchPath = $PSScriptRoot
$totalchanges = 0

$dryRun = $TRUE

$shell = new-object -com

Write-Host “Welcome to the script”

$dryRuninput = Read-Host “Type True for dry run, type False for real run: ”

if ($dryRuninput -match “[true]{4}”) {
$dryRun = $TRUE
} elseif ($dryRuninput -match “[false]{5}”) {
$dryRun = $FALSE
} else {
Write-Host “No Valid input detected”

if ( $dryRun ) {

write-host “Executing dry run” -foregroundcolor green -backgroundcolor black

} else {

write-host “Executing real run” -foregroundcolor red -backgroundcolor black


dir $searchPath -filter *.lnk -recurse | foreach {
$totalchanges ++
$lnk = $shell.createShortcut( $_.fullname )

$oldPath= $lnk.targetPath

$lnkRegex = [regex]::escape( $oldPrefix )

if ( $oldPath -match $lnkRegex ) {

$newPath = $oldPath -replace $lnkRegex, $newPrefix

write-host “Found: ” + $_.fullname -foregroundcolor yellow -backgroundcolor black

write-host ” Replace: ” + $oldPath

write-host ” With: ” + $newPath

if ( !$dryRun ) {

$lnk.targetPath = $newPath




write-host “Total Number of links found: ” $totalchanges