When you create shortcuts for any file or install an application, then Windows makes a small arrow under the icon to identify that application It can be helpful to easily recognize between shortcuts and basic files, but this is not the most aesthetically pleasing way to show your app icons. Thankfully, you can remove the shortcut arrow from your desktop application icon by making a small change to your Windows registry. Here’s how to do it.
It is important to note that this tip involves making changes to the Windows registry, which is an important database of low-level system settings. Therefore, make sure to avoid changing or deleting any registry entries referenced here, and you would like to consider backing up your registry and PC data before changing registry.
Remove Shortcut Arrows from Desktop Icons in Windows
To get started, open Registry Editor by hitting the Start menu and typing “Regedit”. Press Enter to open Registry Editor and allow it to make changes to your PC.
In Registry Editor, use the left sidebar to navigate to the following key:
Right-click on Explorer and select New> Key to create a new registry key inside Explorer. You will see a new key at the end of the list (“New Key # 1”). Rename it to the Shell icon and press Enter on your keyboard to save the change.
Then, with the new Shell icon key selected, right-click on the right side of the window and select New> String Value. A new entry will appear (“new value # 1”). Rename it as 29
Now, you are going to modify that value Double-click the new 29 value and type in the following “Value Data” box to remove the arrow from the shortcut icon:
Click OK to save the change and close the “Edit String” window. This string effectively removes the Windows shortcut arrow by making it transparent, but for the change to take effect, you have to reboot or log out of your Windows account.
If you are so interested to do more changes, then you have another option too. You can replace regular arrows with super big, vista-style arrows. They are very big and unattractive, but there will be no mistake which icons were shortcuts. Simply use this string for the value of the 29 key you created:
Then, once again, close Registry Editor and reboot or log out of your computer to see the changes.
Download Our One-Click Registry Hack
If you do not feel like diving in the registry itself, then we have used some downloadable registry hacks that you can use. one is to remove arrows, one to changes them with a big arrow, and one restores them in the default style. All three are included in the following zip file. Simply double-click the one you want to use, click through the prompts, and then, as usual, restart your computer or log off and turn back on.
Download: One-Click Registry Hack
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