Remove shortcut arrow overlay in Windows 10

Shortcuts in Windows have an arrow overlaid on top of the icon to indicate that they are links. If you find the default Windows 10 shortcut icon too large, or you wish to change the shortcut arrow from the default blue arrow overlay to a smaller one, then you can do that easily. You can even disable the shortcut arrow completely. In this article, we will see how it can be done. There are two ways available to do this.


If you are not happy to see the shortcut overlay icon, here is how you can disable it.

  1. Download the ZIP archive which contains an empty icon. It will be used instead of the blue arrow overlay icon.

    Download empty icon

    In the archive, you will also find ready-to-use Registry files so you can avoid manual Registry editing and save your time.

  2. Extract and put the blank.ico file to any folder you want. If you use the ready-to-use Registry files or for the sake of explaining with an example, let's use the following path:
    C:\Windows\blank.ico
  3. Open Registry Editor.
  4. Go to the following path:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer

    Tip: See how to jump to the desired Registry key with one click.

  5. Create a new subkey here named Shell Icons.
  6. Under the Shell Icons subkey, create a new string value and name it 29. Set its value data to the full path of the "blank.ico" file. In this example (and in the ready-to-use Registry files), I have to set it to
    C:\Windows\blank.ico

    Windows 10 disable shortcut arrow icon

  7. Sign out from your Windows session or restart the Explorer shell.

You are done. Instead of the blank icon, you can use any other icon you like. It will be overlaid on top of the program's icon. So, in this way you can set a custom shortcut icon.

Alternatively, you can use Winaero Tweaker. Run it and go to Appearance -> Shortcut Arrow.winaero tweaker shortcut arrow

There, you can apply of the following options:

  • remove the shortcut arrow with a single click; No arrows
  • set classic (XP-like) shortcut arrow with a single click; Classic Arrow
  • set ANY icon as the shortcut overlay; Custom Shortcut Overlay
  • and of course, reset the shortcut arrow to its default icon. Defautl Arrow

That's it. This trick should work in every Windows version starting from Windows XP.

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