Remove Shortcut Arrows from Desktop Icons in Windows

In all versions of Windows, whenever you place a shortcut on the desktop, it will overlay an arrow in the bottom left-hand corner as a visual sign that it’s a shortcut. If you don’t care to have that arrow, you can remove it in a couple of different ways. In this article, I’ll talk about a registry hack and also about a freeware utility that gets the job done.

Registry hack is the quickest and easiest way to get rid of the arrows without having to install any third-party programs. It works on Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 without any issue. You do have to be a little comfortable using the registry, but it’s really straightforward.

Click on Start and type in regedit in the search box. On Windows 8, go to the Start Screen and starting typing regedit.


Now navigate to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE – SOFTWARE – Microsoft – Windows – CurrentVersion – Explorer – Shell Icons

Note that you may not have the Shell Icons key under Explorer by default. If it’s not there, right-click on Explorer in the left-hand pane and choose NewKey.key-registry-key

A new key will appear in the left-hand menu and you’ll have to give it a name. Now type in Shell Icons with the capitalization shown in the screenshot above. Then click on Shell Icons in the left pane and you’ll see just a key named Default in the right-hand pane. Right-click on any white area in the right-pane and choose NewString Value.


Change the name to the number 29 and press Enter. Then double-click on the entry to bring up the key editor. In theValue Data field, go ahead and copy and paste the following:



Click OK and close out the registry editor. Now just log off and log back in or restart your computer and the arrows should be gone from your desktop icons if done correctly. This will also work on 32 or 64-bit versions of Windows.

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