I ran into an unexpected situation yesterday where a user had inadvertently associated his Windows desktop shortcut files with an application. This led to the application trying unsuccessfully to open the shortcut file instead of launching the target file as well as changing all the icons to a document icon for the associated application.
Thankfully, this nuisance doesn’t have to be hard to fix. Ramesh Srinivasan offers a handy GUI to clear out file associations. You freely can download his utility. He has some directions for its use on the same page as the download. In the particular case I describe, the file type that needs to be unassociated is “.lnk”.
While you’re busy giving your computer amnesia about its file associations, you can listen to Amnesia by Portion Control.