Blender 2.80 open file dialog, cannot open shortcuts

Hi, maybe it’s me, but when I click File -> Open, I can’t open the shortcut link to a folder, Blender leaves the Open File Dialog, gets back in the interface and prints an Error Message (that it couldn’t open the .lnk file).
Windows uses shortcuts, Blender should have no problems with them (as far as I know, there were no problems in previous versions).

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It might worth creating a new post for this feature on

Thank you, to be honest I don’t think this “feature” has to be requested, being the capacity of navigating folders in a file system one of the basic tasks for every software.

I posted your suggestion:

Why not? It isn’t really a “folder in a file system”. It is a proprietary Microsoft-only file that contains information about another file or folder. As such it is pretty optional. If you really want to make a real shortcut to a file or folder that works without any work then make symlink.

Otherwise some volunteer has to write the code that interprets what is in the file. Here is the 48-page specification of that file:

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sorry but I can’t agree
The .lnk extension exists since quite some years and, most important, previous versions of Blender had no problem managing .lnk files, so why should we ask for this?
I mean: I wouldn’t ask for a driver to let keyboard and mouse communicate with Blender. Should the software that I download not being able to manage a keyboard or a mouse, I wouls assume there must be a bug.

LOL. good luck with that.

You have to tell what and where the lnk extension worked in Blender. I’m using it since 2.4x series on windows and AFAIK Blender never supported lnk files at all. What Blender support are symbolic links since windows 7, because Windows supports them transparently.

You are right: older versions of Blender couldn’t open .lnk shortcuts too (at least 2.78 which I use to use). I made the mistake because I had my bookmarks organized in the Open File Dialog and could reach the very same folders wich have Desktop Shortcuts in a click by those links.
Though, I hope that you will agree that it would be time to make Blender able to manage this basic task.
Back in 2006 Blender was aimed more to a niche of users, but the present path is oriented to a more mainstream audience, so in my opinion this kind of limitation was more acceptable ten years ago than today.


There’s two reasons for that:

#1: Opens a lot of security issues. In the past (in the windows 9x/2000 era) there were software that allowed using lnk files like the real files. Until microsoft themselves closed the hole since allowed viruses to run on systems. Known was the case of autocad lisp viruses. They spreaded using the lnk technique to distribute from infected machines to others using network and cd-r at the time.

#2: Since microsoft closed that hole, Blender could parse the lnk file and teorically go to the file and open it… windows only solution, more code to mantain and to check in case somebody wants to do damage using that door. There are better ways to use developer time, IMHO.

And there’s ZERO advantages to that. You have the link, move the file and that’s it. you end with more garbage in your disk.

Do you want a better solution?? Microsoft supports junction points. use this utility:

Since microsoft in it’s allmighty wisdom doesn’t expose a UI to use them.

I find that handling the file system, of whatever OS it is running on, is a basic requirement for any software.
lnk files are nothing new. I sometimes also create them to point to files that are stored elsewhere for a reason (ie: on network drives, in folders with special permissions, etc.).
If there is a concern to directly open a file in Blender, it could at least jump to the folder containing the file.

That said, not having this ability has never really bothered me. I just attribute it to those quirks or paper cuts that Blender has, and work around it.

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The fact i put shortcuts to folders on my desktop is, obviously, to have things clean in my disks whilst keeping a chance to browse those folders with one mouse click. I think it is a good way of working. Eg: for the time I am working on a project, I have shortcuts to its most used folders on the Desktop. I remove those shortcuts when the work is finished, having every material of that project cleanly organized since the first day.
I can, yes, save bookmarks in the Blender Open File dialog, and I do it, though every other software, as far as I know, is able to browse shortcuts to folders without causing any issue.
Honestly, I don’t see how it can be a Blender problem to prevent users from opening potentially dangerous files (it installs add-ons directly from .zip archives… This can be dangerous, can’t it?).
Last but not least: thanks for the suggestion, but I try to stay as far as I can from Microsoft. No MS account, no MS office software, nothing. What’s in my pc by MS is the bare minimum to have it working as fast as it can. And shortcuts do just that: they make my work faster and cleaner.

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There’s no software to install. Just make a symlink. You can make a shortcut to a folder that behaves exactly as that folder, because it is a simultaneous duplicate of it, not a propriety file that points to it.


Old topic, but help might be on the way…