Links showing .url extension

Posted on 2009-06-29
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-08
Okay, I know about going into Windows Explorer | Tools | View and selecting the option to hide extensions for known file types. I usually leave it unchecked, which means, in Windows explorer, mysong will display as mysong.mp3. No problem there.

However, about a month ago, I made the stupid mistake of upgrading Internet Explorer V7 to V8. I should have left well enough alone with IE7 and Chrome, but IE8 gave me so many problems I uninstalled it and rolled back to IE7. Now, all my links, on the Links bar, in my Favorites folders ans subfolders are showing the extension of .URL for every address. Needless to say, besides being irratating, it takes up space on the links bar.

Thje only way I seem to be able to disable it is to follow the stpes abpve and select to not show extensions of known filetypes, but them I don't see them in Windows Explorer. Is there some was to disable .url from showing? It never did before installing and removing IE8.
Question by:dbbishop
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Expert Comment

ID: 24742461
This is something to try but I'm not guaranteeing it will work.  Copy your Favorites folder elsewhere (to provide a recovery copy).  Export your Favorites from IE.  This creates a bookmarks.htm file.  Delete all shortcuts (and subfolders with them) under your Favorites folder (so you don't get duplicate shortcuts in a later step).  That would include the Links subfolder (where the Links toolbar's shortcuts are stored) under your Favorites folder.  Open the bookmark.htm file in Notepad.  Use the File -> Save As menu and be sure to select ANSI for the file format (IE8 exports to UTF-8 format but IE7 expects ANSI format when importing).  Then import the bookmarks.htm file.  Check if the ".URL" extension is still shown.

If importing the ANSI bookmarks.htm file still results in the ".URL" in the name of the shortcut, perhaps you need to edit the .html file (which is XML structured) to remove that substring.  I'm guessing the ".URL" is in the name of the shortcut and not really showing you the .url extension for the shortcut itself (so there's another possible clue in that maybe you need to rename all those shortcuts).
LVL 15

Author Comment

ID: 24800661
Sorry I have not replied. I have been swamped like super crazy at work with 12+ hour days and getting on my home computer has not been a priority. How do I export my Favorites from IE?

Expert Comment

ID: 24801134
In IE, hit the F1 key and search help on "export favorites".  You start under the "File -> Import and Export" menu.  You're only interested in exporting your Favorites (which you will import later).

Have you tried right-clicking on a Favorite to rename it?  It might be that ".url" is in the *name* of the shortcut and that its display isn't really showing the .url filetype.  Alas, if that's the problem, you would have to rename all your Favorites (to remove the .url substring).  Remember that I'm talking about the NAME of the shortcut, not the file to which it points.
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LVL 15

Author Comment

ID: 24801251
SH_T! They still have the url extension. It is a physical extension and not part of the shortcut name. If I try to remove it, I get the message that MS cannot accosiate the file with an application. Every link on my Links bar and every link in my Favorites folder has linkname.url

Expert Comment

ID: 24802636
The physical file that is the shortcut is supposed to be a .url filetype.  If you open a DOS shell (Start -> Run: cmd.exe) and navigate to the "%userprofile%\Favorites" folder and run a 'dir' command under there (or under its subfolders), all the files there wll have a .url extension.  Just like .jpg is the extension for image files and .exe is the extension for executable files, .url is the extension for URL type of shortcuts shortcuts.  The other filetype for shortcuts is .lnk, like for those under your Start->Programs menu.

The *name* for a shortcut is not the same as the filetype used to store that shortcut.  Names can be anything you want.  For the shortcut in your Start->Programs->Accessories menu that runs notepad.exe, its name is "Notepad" but the shortcut itself is a .lnk file.  It should be the names of the shortcuts that you see in the Favorites list, not the filetypes for the shortcuts themselves.  When you right-click on a Favorites shortcut and select Rename from the context menu, does the name of that shortcut contain the ".url" substring at the end?

Since you said "still have" then presumably you tried the export, save (as ANSI file format), and import but still the *names* of all the shortcuts have ".url" at the end of them.

Okay, so open the exported bookmark.htm file in Notepad.  It should be a text file that uses XML structuring to define the hierarchy of the items inside this file.  After exporting the Favorites which creates the bookmark.htm file, right-click on the bookmark.htm file and select Edit.  Assuming that you configured Notepad as the HTML editor under Internet Options -> Programs tab, you will see the text contents of that file.  Each shortcut described herein should be an anchor tag (what is used to define URL links) of the format:

<A href="{url}" {attributes}>{name}</A>

{url} is the URL to point at the web page.  {attributes} show datestamps.  {name} is the descriptive but independent name you gave to the shortcut.  The URLs themselves should be like "http://host.domain.tld" or "http://host.domain.tld/path?parms".  They won't have ".url" anywhere in that string since those are the actual URLs that point to the web page.  This text file describes the shortcuts (i.e., what were their definitions) so ".url" is not needed anywhere in their descriptions.  I suspect you will find the names of the shortcuts is where the ".url" substring is found.  You will probably see something like:

<A href="http://host.domain.tld/" ...>descriptive name of site.url</A>

Since you want to get rid of all the ".url" substrings, use Notepad's Edit->Replace menu to replace ALL occurrences of ".url" with "" (i.e., replace it with a blank string).  That will remove ".url" from the ends of all the names for the URLs.  Exit Notepad and import the modified bookmark.htm file into IE (if you don't empty out the Favorites folder before the import, you'll see duplicated shortcuts where one has the .url at the end and the other doesn't).

Exporting the shortcuts to a file and editing them all at once there and then importing that modified list back into IE is easier when you have lots of Favorites than having to right-click each shortcut individually in the Favorites list and select Rename from the context menu to rename them one at a time.

If you did not see ".url" at the end of the names for the URL shortcuts when you were editing the exported bookmark.htm file or when you renamed them individually then something else is broke.  First let's see if it is just the names of each shortcut where ".url" got added.
LVL 15

Accepted Solution

dbbishop earned 0 total points
ID: 24820349
Okay, .url is not showing up in the favorites.htm file that I created. If I try to rename without the .url on the links toolbar or in the favorites folder, as I initially sstaed, I an renaming the actual filename, not the link. It is aggrevating because IE did not behave this way (inherit the View settings from Explorer) until I installed and uninstalled IE8. I'm just going to check the option to hode extensions of known filetypes in Explorer.

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