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"Links" on one machine "Favorites Bar" on another RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have two Win8.1 x64 IE11 machines. (Not the same kind of machine, but the presently installed system software environments are very similar.) They are syncing my IE favorites via Microsoft Account. One calls the users\me\favorites folder where it stores Favorites Bar shortcuts "Favorites Bar". The other machine calls the exact same functional thing "Links". I've even tried deleting both folders with IE not running on either machine. Restart IE on one or the other, enable Favorite Bar toolbar and the disparately named folders come right back on both machines.

    Any idea why this would be and how I get them to agree what to call it? I'm suspecting some reg key somewhere.

    (I first notice this because I made the grave mistake of trying iCloud Sync. This *really* sent iCloud Sync into a ditch. What a hash that made of virtually everything it touched in IE, Outlook, Chrome, the stuff on my Mac, you name it. Turned that off and cleaned up the mess and am now leaving it off. The folks at Apple who wrote that obviously only ever had one PC and only ever ran one browser on it and didn't teach the Mac about their Google accounts or run Chrome.)

    <rant>It's stuff like this, and the frequent runaway scripts/crashed windows/"problem with web page"/problems rendering and interacting with way too many sites that have me just about to change my default browser to Chrome. It just works. IE used to. Not any more. It's become a satire of itself almost as though it finally had to live all the way down to the formerly unwarranted bad rap a lot of people have been giving it. And I've been loyal to IE since v. 1. Little wonder they are scrapping it and looking for new branding besides. Scary that this is easier than just fixing the code. What a furball that code must be at this point.</rant>

    Wednesday, March 18, 2015 7:43 AM

Answers

  • When both the special folders are deleted on two machines syncing, one gets recreated called "C:\Users\myuser\Favorites\Links" and the other one on the other machine gets recreated called "C:\Users\myuser\Favorites\Favorites Bar" Both have the object name "C:\Users\myuser\Favorites\Links". Despite one of them showing up as ...\Favorites Bar. Why wouldn't they get created with the same file system name?

    In the test I *just* did, I renamed the "Links" version to "Favorites Bar". It promptly created a "Links" folder again. On the other machine, it now also has both an empty "...\Links" folder and a "...\Favorites Bar" folder with the synced shortcuts. But the IE on both now shows an empty Favorites Bar toolbar. Sigh.

    So what I tried, and what seemed to work, is turning Sync off for the One Drive|Other Settings|Web Browser on both machines, then deleting all the Favorites Bar and Links folders on both with no IE instances running. Start IE on both machines. Each creates a "...\Favorites Bar" folder, not hidden, not System, but Object Name "...\Links". Turn back on syncing and all appears to work and now they agree on the file system name.

    Conclusions/data points:

    1) If IE creates the Links special folder it names it "...\Favorites Bar" even though it's a Links special folder, if Sync creates the Links special folder it names it "...\Links".
    2) IE can use either file system name for the same purpose, presumably because under the covers they are both the Links special objects.
    3) Don't count on this folder being set System or hidden. Maybe it's supposed to be, but that's not how IE created them just now.
    4) While syncing, setting one to hidden and all its object to hidden not only results in an empty Favorites Bar, it results in the other machine having an empty Links special folder file system named ..\Links. I haven't tried setting one to System. Too much fun for one night.

    Thursday, March 19, 2015 8:32 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    the favorites folder and its sub-folders are 'special' folders...

    on early versions of windows the 'links' folder was a built-in sub folder of the 'favorites' folder...

    in IE this mapped to the Links toolbar.

    The IE Favorites Bar was introduced in IE7 and actually maps to the old 'Favorites>Links' folder.

    If you delete your 'Favorites bar' folder (favorites>links).. the next time IE starts it will recreate the 'links' folder and map that folder to the favorites bar toolbar.

    shell:favorites\links

    shell:favorites

    Questions regarding Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10 and Internet Explorer 11 for the IT Pro Audience. Topics covered are: Installation, Deployment, Configuration, Security, Group Policy, Management questions. If you are a consumer looking for answers or to raise a question, it's highly recommended you head on over to http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us

    I am not sure where the rants forum is?


    Rob^_^

    Thursday, March 19, 2015 4:06 AM
  • Hi Dick,

    Yes, like IECustomizer said, in fact they point to the same folder "Links". Right click "Favorites bar" folder, click security tab, you would see as below:

    And you could change the folder option to appear the system protected file, a file named "desktop.ini" would appear as below:

    Delete it the "Favorites bar" would back to "Links" automatically.

    Alternative, you could rename folders to make them identical manually and then sync. Based on my test, it would not revert.


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help, and unmark the answers if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Thursday, March 19, 2015 5:50 AM
    Moderator
  • When both the special folders are deleted on two machines syncing, one gets recreated called "C:\Users\myuser\Favorites\Links" and the other one on the other machine gets recreated called "C:\Users\myuser\Favorites\Favorites Bar" Both have the object name "C:\Users\myuser\Favorites\Links". Despite one of them showing up as ...\Favorites Bar. Why wouldn't they get created with the same file system name?

    In the test I *just* did, I renamed the "Links" version to "Favorites Bar". It promptly created a "Links" folder again. On the other machine, it now also has both an empty "...\Links" folder and a "...\Favorites Bar" folder with the synced shortcuts. But the IE on both now shows an empty Favorites Bar toolbar. Sigh.

    So what I tried, and what seemed to work, is turning Sync off for the One Drive|Other Settings|Web Browser on both machines, then deleting all the Favorites Bar and Links folders on both with no IE instances running. Start IE on both machines. Each creates a "...\Favorites Bar" folder, not hidden, not System, but Object Name "...\Links". Turn back on syncing and all appears to work and now they agree on the file system name.

    Conclusions/data points:

    1) If IE creates the Links special folder it names it "...\Favorites Bar" even though it's a Links special folder, if Sync creates the Links special folder it names it "...\Links".
    2) IE can use either file system name for the same purpose, presumably because under the covers they are both the Links special objects.
    3) Don't count on this folder being set System or hidden. Maybe it's supposed to be, but that's not how IE created them just now.
    4) While syncing, setting one to hidden and all its object to hidden not only results in an empty Favorites Bar, it results in the other machine having an empty Links special folder file system named ..\Links. I haven't tried setting one to System. Too much fun for one night.

    Thursday, March 19, 2015 8:32 AM
  • On my Win10 Creators Update [Version 10.0.15063] 64-bit machine the same folder has both names, sort of. It has one name in some contexts, and the other name in other contexts.

    If you go to a command prompt (or Powershell) and do a "dir" command it is called "Links".

    But Windows File Explorer lies and calls it "Favorites Bar".

    I really, really hate that.

    Within Windows File Explorer, if I right-click Favorites Bar and then pick:
    Properties -> Security
    it shows the "Object name" to be "C:\Users\..\Links".

    Likewise, if you look at something within that folder in Windows File Explorer, its location is c:\Users\...\Favorites\Links

    At the command prompt, the "Favorites Bar" alias is unavailable:

    c:\Users\...\Favorites>dir "Favorites Bar\*"
    The system cannot find the file specified.

    If I make a copy of the Favorites folder with Windows File Explorer then the copy also contains a dual-name folder with that same weird behavior.

    What are they doing?? The obvious way to fake up an alternate folder name would be to use a symlink or hard link / junction, but if it's doing that then it is well-hidden. Mark Russinovich's Junction v1.06 says "No reparse points found."

    It seems plausible that Microsoft might have put that mapping / alias info in the registry somewhere, or maybe in extended attributes somewhere, but I can't find it.

    If it's in extended attributes, Windows File Explorer is hiding that fact.

    I used regedit and searched the registry for "Favorites Bar" and didn't find anything that looked like it. All I found were several entries which looked like this:

    ...Classes\Local Settings\MuiCache\32\52C64B7E]
    "@C:\\WINDOWS\\System32\\ieframe.dll,-12385"="Favorites Bar"

    Does anyone know what they're doing???



    • Edited by BurtonSys Thursday, September 21, 2017 10:51 PM
    Thursday, September 21, 2017 10:51 PM
  • Does anyone know what they're doing???

    Both Favorites and Favorites\Links are "special folders".  Hence they both have (hidden) desktop.ini files in them which provide some kind of specification of how they may be presented.


    Robert Aldwinckle
    ---

    Sunday, September 24, 2017 2:45 AM
    Answerer