Updated on 4 October 2018: In our earlier posts, we’ve shared hacking a Windows PC via pen drive and adding a warning message on the Windows login screen for the ethical hackers. And, today in this post, we are sharing another tutorial on how to remove shortcut arrow from the Windows desktop icons.
According to the latest tech rumors, this trick to remove shortcut arrow in Windows operating system no longer works for the earlier version of Windows 10 that includes the Microsoft Fall Creators Update. The update begins rolling out last year on October 17, 2017. However, we have tested this computer trick on a Windows 10 Enterprise OS, build 17763.1 with the latest Windows update version: 1809 (October 2018 update). And, the method to remove shortcut arrow from the Windows desktop icon is working fine without any problem.
Whenever you install software or create a shortcut to an application or folder, the system’s application installer automatically places a shortcut arrow icon in the lower-left corner. The apps shortcut arrow icons are helpful to easily identifying between the shortcuts and the original files.
But, for some users, it is not the most decorative way to showcase your application icons. So, here is a quick guide to get rid of the shortcut arrow icons by making a small change to your Windows Registry.
Easily Remove Shortcut Arrow Icons from the Desktop Applications & Files in Windows 10 and Earlier Versions of Windows
Here’s the first most important fact to note that playing with the Windows operating system registry can occur the system crash. Therefore, make sure you do not make any changes (don’t remove any registry entry) to any other registry keys and its values apart what we are asking you to change here.
For a safer side, you can consider taking a backup of your Windows Registry, computer data, and other personal files so that you can attempt the Windows restore and recover data in the future if something goes wrong.
Now, without wasting much of your time, here is the way to remove the shortcut arrow from the desktop icons.
So, let’s see how to remove shortcut arrow icons –
1. Press Windows key + R together to launch the Run dialog box. Then, type regedit and hit enter. You can also directly type the Regedit in the search box available in the taskbar.
2. When the Registry Editor launched, navigate to the following path:
KEY_LOCAL_MACHINE => SOFTWARE => Microsoft => Windows => CurrentVersion => Explorer => Shell Icons
By default, the Shell Icons key is not available in the registry. Hence, you need to create it manually.
3. To create a Registry key, right-click on the Explorer in the left-side panel and choose – New => Key. The newly created registry key will appear in the left-side panel with the default name – “New Key #1”. Just rename it with Shell Icons (case-sensitive).
4. Select that (Shell Icons) key. Now, right-click anywhere on the right-panel white area and choose New => String Value. Here, you need to rename this String Value from “New Value #1” to 29.
5. Double-click the new 29 value to open the Edit String popup that will let you define the value of its property.
Now, copy the following Value and paste it in the 29 value’s property (Value Data).
6. Finally, click OK to save the changes and close the Registry Editor.
It will ultimately make the arrow icons transparent in each shortcut available on the desktop. But, you will need to reboot your machine or log out of your Windows account.
Once you back into your Windows account, you will see the shortcut arrows are no longer present on your Windows desktop icons and files.
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In case you want to roll back the things and make the shortcut arrow back, follow the steps above (step 1 to 4) and delete the 29 string value you’ve created. You can leave the Shell Icons key present in the Registry. It will be helpful to remove shortcut arrow icons again in the future.
Is there still a way to Identify the Shortcuts even after disabling Shortcut Arrows?
Probably, now your desktop may be looking neat and clean after turning off shortcut arrow icons, but still, you can easily differentiate between the original files and shortcut links.
Well, to check a shortcut whether it is an original app or just a shortcut link, you solely need to right-click on that particular icon you want to check and go to its property.
In the General tab of the file’s property, the system will disclose what type of file it is. Check the above illustrating picture (the app has correctly identified as a shortcut).
Get Rid of App Shortcut Arrows in Windows using Third-party software
If you’re not much familiar with the technical knowledge, you should consider using any third-party utility. But, if you are good enough in Information Technology and think yourself a geek, you can try the above steps to remove the shortcut arrows without any issue.
There are plenty of third-party apps available on the internet for several Windows tweaks. Windows utility apps are specially designed to make changes to the Windows core files so use them wisely.
Ultimate Windows Tweaker
The ultimate Windows tweaker app is a freeware application from The Windows Club. Ultimate Windows tweaker 4 is compatible with the Windows 10 OS.
Thankfully, the app features the ability to quickly create a Restore point. It gets yourself out of any trouble while making changes to your Windows. You can try this utility to easily remove shortcut arrow icons from the desktop apps, folder, and files.
Windows Shortcut Arrow Editor
The Windows shortcut arrow editor is a tiny program you can download here. You can also try this app to delete shortcut arrows from all version (32-bit/64-bit) of Windows.
Apart from removing the shortcut arrows, you can also set a custom image replacing the arrow icons. It works smoothly in Windows XP, Win 7, Windows 8.
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