In all versions of Windows, whenever you create a shortcut and place it on the desktop, Windows overlay an arrow on its icon. The purpose of this arrow is for differentiating between an original item and a shortcut. Even these arrows are smaller; they are not so attractive, especially on the desktop. If you also think so, then fortunately you can remove these arrows in a couple of different ways.
In this post I will show you how to remove shortcut arrow or replace it with a custom image.
1) Windows Shortcut Arrow Editor:
The easiest way to remove or customize shortcut arrows is to use a third party tool. For this purpose there are many tools available, but one of the best is Windows Shortcut Arrow Editor.
Windows Shortcut Arrow Editor allows you to remove the shortcut arrow in Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Vista or set it to the nice custom icon. It works properly in both x86 and x64 editions of Windows and does not require to be installed.
- Just download the zip file from below link and unzip the files.
- Run WinaeroTweaker.exe.
- Now a Winaero Tweaker window will open.
- From the left pane, under Appearance click on “Shortcut Arrow” option.
- From right side, choose one of the four options from the list and click “Change shortcut arrow” button.
2) Edit the Registry Manually:
If you are familiar with registry, then you can edit the registry yourself without downloading or running any extra tool for this.
Since we are about to make changes to the Registry, it is always recommended that you take the backup of your registry first. Read the post for learning how to take backup of Registry- What you should know about Windows Registry?
- Click on Start and type in regedit in the search box
- Now a Registry Editor window will open, here from left sidebar navigate to the following key-
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE --> SOFTWARE --> Microsoft --> Windows --> CurrentVersion --> Explorer --> Shell Icons
Note: If you don’t find Shell Icons key, then you have to create it manually. If it is not there, right-click on Explorer in the left-hand pane and choose New – Key and give name to it as a “Shell Icons”
- In the right pane of Shell Icons, right click on an empty area, and click on New --> String Value, and change it’s name to the number 29 and press Enter.
- Then double-click on the 29 number entry and copy and paste the following into the “Value data” box to remove arrows from shortcut icons
- Lat click on OK and close out the registry editor.
You will need to log off and log on again or restart your computer to see the changes.
If you want to bring the arrows back, just delete the 29 value you created.
Although it's possible to remove the arrow, my recommendation is that you do not do this. The arrows serve an important function--providing quick visual identification of a shortcut. If you remove the arrows, you run the substantial risk that sooner or later you will delete something you wanted to keep, thinking that you were just deleting a shortcut to it. I would leave the arrows as they are.