How to fix internet shortcuts and email links not working after uninstalling Chrome. In our computer repair business we see a lot of people who have installed the web browser Google Chrome – often being seduced by the Chrome adverts that appear at the top of Google’s homepage or having unwittingly installed it as a sneaky pre-ticked addon to another program.
However, many of them then don’t use it and stick with Internet Explorer as their web browser. As long as they leave Chrome installed they have no problems but if they uninstall Chrome they often find that internet shortcuts (to websites, typically stored on the desktop) and hyperlinks (website links) in email programs stop working.
The problem was reported 2 years ago in Google Chrome’s support forum but, from the comments in the forum last week, it is still an issue and I encountered it myself just yesterday – 2 years later.
What Causes The Problem? Chrome appears to change keys in the Windows registry (an important database with settings that Windows relies on to function correctly) on installation but it does not repair or correct them when Chrome is uninstalled – leaving no web browser as the default which causes the above problems. Uninstalling other web browsers like Firefox does not cause such problems so it appears to be a Chrome specific problem with their uninstallation software.
How To Fix It? Follow the steps in Option 1 of the original forum post here.
If Option 1 does not work for you then follow Option 2 – you need to restart your computer after completing Option 2 before the fix will work!
Note: After step 6 of Option 2 the instructions say “Repeat steps 1-6 for .htm and .shtml keys if they exist”. What this means is that you should repeat steps 1-6 but in step 2 you would locate the following subkey: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\.htm the first time you repeat and the following subkey: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\.shtml the second time you repeat.