What is .lnk File and How to Open .lnk Files on Mac.
Some Mac customers who additionally work with Windows, or who’ve drives, network shares, or different volumes which can be from the Windows world, might sometimes come throughout LNK recordsdata with a .lnk file extension.
If you’re questioning what these recordsdata are and how one can open them on the Mac, it’s best to proceed studying so that you just higher perceive what an LNK file is, and it’s relevance to the Mac.
What is an LNK File?
An LNK or .lnk file is a Windows Shortcut file. A shortcut serves as a pointer to a different software, file, folder, or location within the Windows ecosystem.
LNK recordsdata are a binary file format, and within the Windows world, they’ll function a shortcut. There are additionally some malicious makes use of of LNK recordsdata and shortcuts that may be discovered within the Windows world, and LNK malware is a factor that Windows customers need to be cautious of. Outside of the Windows world, an LNK file has no actual function or perform, as a result of it’s one thing utilized by Windows, and is relative to the Windows listing construction and site of knowledge.
If you’re a longtime Mac consumer, you may consider an .lnk or LNK file as just like an alias. It merely factors to a different file, app, folder, or location. Imagine when you took an alias on a Mac to the Windows world… it received’t work, nor would it not have any utility, as a result of not solely is the file sort not acknowledged, however the relative paths to directories and constructions are completely different too. That’s mainly like bringing a Windows LNK file to the Mac.
If you’re a Linux or UNIX consumer, you may consider an .lnk or LNK file sort of like a gentle hyperlink, in that it’s a reference from one place to a different. Similarly, a gentle hyperlink created in Unix goes to be largely irrelevant within the Windows world.
How can I open an LNK file on Mac?
In the Mac realm, an LNK or .lnk file is ineffective as a result of MacOS just isn’t Windows, and regardless of the LNK file is linking to is not going to be related on the Mac or the Mac file system.
With that mentioned, you may forcibly open a .lnk file on a Mac by dragging the .lnk file right into a textual content editor, like TextEdit, or BBEdit, or by opening with one thing like vim or nano from the command line.
You will see nearly all gibberish, however you could possibly determine an Windows listing path someplace amongst the gibberish as nicely, which is what the Windows shortcut LNK file is pointing to on regardless of the supply laptop was.
What occurs when you I attempt to open an LNK or .lnk file on Mac?
If you come throughout a .lnk or LNK file on a Mac and also you try to open it, you’ll get a message that claims one thing like the next:
There is not any software set to open the doc “Explorer.lnk”. Search the App Store for an software that may open this doc, or select an present software in your laptop.
If you try to look the App Store for an app to open an LNK file, nothing of serious goes to be discovered, as a result of, now that we perceive what LNK recordsdata are, we perceive they’re of no use on the Mac.
What ought to I do if somebody sends me an .lnk or LNK file and I’m on a Mac?
If somebody you belief has despatched you an LNK file or .lnk file to you and also you’re on a Mac, it’s best to ask that particular person to ship you the precise supply file (or listing), moderately than the shortcut to that file or listing.
It is feasible that somebody despatched you the lnk file in error, or that you’ve got come throughout a disk or storage drive that has a bunch of .lnk recordsdata on it as nicely, through which case you won’t be able to utilize these lnk recordsdata if you’re on a Mac.
Can I convert LNK recordsdata to be Mac appropriate?
Not precisely. Because Windows Shortcuts are usually not usable on a Mac, and since the listing construction of Windows is completely different from macOS (as is your entire working system, basically), you cannot immediately convert an LNK file to a Mac alias.
The closest factor to changing a LNK file to a Mac alias could be in a scenario for an exterior drive, or network quantity, the place you could possibly create an alias on the Mac to a vacation spot.
For instance, if you already know you have got a Windows LNK shortcut file that factors to path on an exterior drive named “ExternalStorage” on the following location on a Windows PC:
If you connect that very same exterior storage drive to the Mac, the equal drive path and listing path could be as follows:
Therefore, you could possibly create an alias to the ExternalStorage volumes Photos listing on the Mac, and it might carry out the identical perform because the LNK shortcut file when that very same drive is linked to the Windows PC.
Can I delete LNK or .lnk recordsdata that I discover when using my Mac?
If you encounter .lnk recordsdata when using an exterior drive in your Mac, or when using a network drive out of your Mac, it’s most likely best to go away them alone. Chances are that whoever used the identical drive or quantity in Windows created these lnk shortcut recordsdata for his or her functions, and they also might not be helpful to you, however they could be utilized by them.
Technically, you could possibly delete the lnk recordsdata, however once more, you could be inflicting a difficulty or inconveniencing the Windows PC consumer who generated these recordsdata, in the event that they plan on using the shortcuts once more in Windows.
Do you ever encounter .lnk or LNK recordsdata from Windows throughout your Mac computing? What do you sometimes do with them? Let us know what your ideas and experiences are with lnk recordsdata on the Mac.