Disable blue arrows icon on folders and files in Windows 10

In Windows 10, you might notice a blue arrows overlay icon for some folders and files. It looks like a pair of blue arrows pointing at each other. You might be curious what this overlay icon indicates and how to disable it. You will find the answer in this article.


If you are a regular Winaero reader, you might be already knowing about CompactOS, the new compression mechanism introduced in Windows 10. It is intended to save some notable amount of disk space for SSD owners and mobile device users.

compressed file overlay icon

The blue arrows overlay icon on a folder or a file indicates that it is compressed using NTFS file system compression to save disk space. The addition of the overlay icon itself is new to Windows 10 File Explorer.

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

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

    Download empty icon

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

  2. Extract and put the blank.ico file to any folder you want. For example, let's use the following path:
  3. Open Registry Editor.
  4. Go to the following path:

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

  5. Create a new subkey named Shell Icons.
  6. Under the Shell Icons subkeym, create a new string value and name it 179. Set its value to the full path the "blank.ico" file. In my case I have to set it to

    windows 10 disable blue arrows overlay

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

You are done. Before:windows 10 blue arrows
After:windows 10 disable blue arrows

To undo this change, you need to delete the mentioned "179" value.

The same can be done with Winaero Tweaker:

Tweaker blue arrows compressed overlayGet the app here: Download Winaero Tweaker.

That's it.


8 thoughts on “Disable blue arrows icon on folders and files in Windows 10

  1. Jason

    This does not work for Windows 10 (1607).

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Registry editing or the app?

  2. Pichu0102

    Doesn’t work as of latest stable Windows 10 version partially: Open dialogs still display the arrows.

  3. Random Helpfull Guy

    Try to rebuild Explorer iconcache to fix corrupted icon after using this fix

  4. My1

    nice thing but according to others this doesnt work anymore, also is there a way to get the blue text color for NTFS compression back?

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      1. the trick works.
      2. the blue color wasn’t removed by Microsoft.

      1. Jim in FL

        To stop the blue text for compressed file names in Windows 10, follow these steps.

        Cortana search: File Explorer Options [or Folder Options] > View > uncheck “Show encrypted or compressed NTFS files in color” > Apply > Okay (file names on compressed files will now be black).


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