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Help File Help: Nuking a Windows Nag?

Yet again, I'm turning to the collective brain of this blog's readership in the hope that you all can point me to a solution to a problem I want to address in Help File.

This time around, the issue is the way Windows reminds you -- constantly and perpetually -- that deleting a desktop shortcut to a program only removes the shortcut and does not remove the program. You've probably memorized this warning long ago, but if not, it goes like this:

Confirm Shortcut Delete

Deleting the shortcut to Microsoft Zune only removes the icon. It does not uninstall the program.

If you want to uninstall the program, use Add or Remove Programs in the Control Panel.

[Delete Shortcut] [Cancel]

I appreciate Windows' effort to remind me how hard it is to get rid of programs. But I've only been seeing this warning since Windows 95 -- or, in plainer English, since the last millennium. And yet after a dozen years, Windows still assumes that nobody's ever seen a desktop shortcut before and will be utterly baffled when trashing that icon doesn't erase the program itself.

I just want to dispatch these useless shortcuts -- almost all installed without my consent -- to their deserved fate without interruption. But I've yet to come across any way to make Windows shut up about this, not even with Microsoft's normally all-powerful TweakUI utility.

That doesn't make sense to me. For all of Windows' other issues, it's generally pretty open to users modifiying such surface elements as dialog boxes. So what have I been missing here?

By Rob Pegoraro  |  December 3, 2007; 10:35 AM ET
Categories:  Tips  
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