How to remove shortcut arrows in windows 10


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Regedit32

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Hi Maxfan,

I can only assume you made a mistake while modifying your Registry or the string you entered for the Data value altered from %windir%\System32\shell32.dll,-50 to C:\Windows\System32\shell32.dll,-50 which would have changed the hex coding for this key and thus resulted in the shortcut arrows now appearing as black boxes.

Rather than literally go into the Registry Editor to modify it, do the following:
  • Press Windows key + S to give focus to your Search/Cortana field
  • In the Search/Cortana field, type command
  • Now in the search results right-click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator
  • When the User Account Control prompts you, click yes
  • In the Administrator: Command Prompt console type or copy & paste the following:
Code:
REG ADD "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Icons" /v 29 /t REG_SZ /d 25,77,69,6e,64,69,72,25,5c,53,79,73,74,65,6d,33,32,5c,73,68,65,6c,6c,33,32,2e,64,6c,6c,2c,2d,35,30 /f
Press Enter key to execute

Sample image

sample.png
  • Now type exit then press Enter key to close the Administrator: Command Prompt console.
  • Next, right-click on your Taskbar and select Task Manager
  • Scroll to bottom of the Task Manager window and right-click on Windows Explorer and select Restart
The screen will momentarily darken/flash and the Taskbar will temporarily darken too. This is normal.
  • Close the Task Manager
Done! Your shortcut icons will now display without that arrow overlay.

Note: If later you prefer to have the overlay arrows display again, which personally I think is a better idea as it makes it clear the icon is in fact a shortcut to an application, then in an Administrator: Command Prompt console type or copy & paste the following command to reset the Registry key to its default status:

Code:
REG DELETE "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Icons"
Press Enter key then type exit and press Enter key to close the console.

Now to reflect the change, right-click on Taskbar and select Task Manager and then right-click on Windows Explorer and select Restart.


Regards,


Regedit32
 
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Hi Regedit.
I did as you instructed and the arrows are deleted, but only to be replaced with a "rectangular box with a folded top left corner" on the loser left hand side of the icon. It is about 1/3 of the size of a Word, Excel or PDF icon.
Before Windows 10 upgraded me last night, I had removed the arrows by modifying the Registry and it worked fine. This morning I cut and pasted the identical string as you noted above. No black boxes, they were the same the same as before I made the Registry change.

Thanks again for your assistance here.

Regards,

Maxfan
 

Regedit32

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Hi Maxfan,

It's not uncommon after installing a Cumulative update for modifications made to the Registry independently by the User to be adversely affected. Thus, at times you have to make the modification again, after installing an update, or in some cases resign yourself to accepting the tweak is now deprecated and no longer will work.

The black boxes are an indication the hex code used to store the binary information for the Data value is corrupted. As I said previously, the hex code is different for %windir%\system32\shell32.dll,-50 versus c:\windows\system32\shell32.dll,-50 as each character in the string is represented by a numeric and/or alphanumeric character.

I think I've read your response correctly; and if I have then it sounds like you finally have your Shortcut icons appearing now without the overlaid arrow, or a black box. I hope that is the case for you.

The instructions I gave earlier were tested on a Windows 10 Home edition 64-bit OS, and worked fine. Manually editing the Registry via the Registry Editor as was suggested in the article you posted a link to, also worked fine on the same test machine.

If your issue is now resolved then mark your thread as resolved. If it is still not working as you want, then let me know, and I'll see if I can work out a different way for you to resolve the issue.

Regards,

Regedit32
 

Regedit32

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Ahh I just read your post on my profile page and see you are now seeing a small box with a dog ear on one corner as opposed to a black box which I suggested could happen.

Can you let me know what exact version of Windows 10 you are using?
  • Right-click on Start and select Run
  • In the run dialog type winver and click OK or press Enter key
  • Let me know your Windows 10 version and the OS Build
(for example: Windows 10 Home 64-bit, Version 1703 (OS Build 15063.332)​

Also, could you let me know whether you have manually moved a shell32.dll file into your C:\Windows\System32 directory at all.
 
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Hi Regedit,

Sorry for the late response, I'm traveling today.
I use WIndows 10 Pro
ZVersion 1703
OS Build 15063.332

Thanks again for your help.

Maxfan
 

Regedit32

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Hi again,

I'm not exactly certain why it is you are getting such anomalies when you modify the Registry as prescribed.

There may be some issue with the shell32.dll file itself.

Another way of achieving what you want is to make use of a blank ICO file.

Attached is a file named empty.zip
  • Download the file
  • Do a scan with your security software to ensure its safe
  • Right-click on the download and select Extract all then in the pop-up window click the Extract button
  • You'll now see the file: empty.ico
  • Copy the empty.ico file and paste into C:\Windows\System32 directory. You may be prompted to confirm this, so if that happens just click Continue
  • Now in an Administrator: Command Prompt console type or copy & paste the following command:
Code:
REG ADD "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Icons" /v 29 /t REG_SZ /d %windir%\system32\empty.ico /f
Press Enter key

Type exit and press Enter key

Right-click on taskbar and select Task Manager

Scroll to bottom and right-click on Windows Explorer and select Restart

Close the Task Manager window

Your shortcut icons now ought to appear without the arrow overlay and hopefully no dog eared box icons either :)

Sample image to demonstrate result:

sample.png


Regards,

Regedit32
 

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Hi Regedit.
I downloaded/saved the empty.zip file. When I opened it appears there are no files in it to unzip.
 

Regedit32

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I downloaded/saved the empty.zip file. When I opened it appears there are no files in it to unzip.
There is a single file in the folder named empty.ico

Either something went wrong while downloading the zipped folder, or once downloaded software you use to protect your computer quarantined it - which should not have happened as it is a perfectly safe file.
 
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Hi, this Is happening to me also and I followed the instructions on here and it worked using both methods for 3 minutes and then the arrow overlay comes back... my version is:Wndows 10 Pro, 1803, OS build 17134.228
I hate the shortcut overlays and I really want to get rid of them. I know this is an older post so I am not sure if things have changed and we are stuck with those dumb arrows.
 
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Hi, this Is happening to me also and I followed the instructions on here and it worked using both methods for 3 minutes and then the arrow overlay comes back... my version is:Wndows 10 Pro, 1803, OS build 17134.228
I hate the shortcut overlays and I really want to get rid of them. I know this is an older post so I am not sure if things have changed and we are stuck with those dumb arrows.
To give the other side of the coin, I prefer the arrow as it helps distinguish between a shortcut to the program's actual executable file and the file itself, can save one from deleting the wrong file making the program useless. And it seldom takes up extra space on the screen.
 
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Download Ultimate Windows Tweaker. Click on Customization, File Explorer, Remove Shortcut arrows.
I hate the arrows and see no reason for them the way I use them.
 
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The thread was started over two years ago. As Far as I can read, the problem was solved but with certain reservations. Looks like the op, Maxfan, left us without marking it as soved!
 
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