Remove Shortcut Arrow Windows 8

Remove Shortcut Arrow Windows 8

If the shortcut arrows are irritating you, then have faith, there is a way to remove that little square overlay from all your programs’ shortcut icons.


Registry Method to Remove a Windows 8 Shortcut ArrowWindows 8 Remove Shortcut Arrow

If you don’t like arrows on your desktop shortcuts, then this is a registry tweak for you.  A word of warning, while this registry tweak is not difficult to achieve, success depends on you absorbing two principles, which I will explain.

The crucial point is that you need a special clear icon file; however, you don’t have to make the overlay from scratch, just download my noArrows.ico file.  Once you have the physical file then it’s just a matter of ‘wiring-up’ its path to a specific key in the registry called ‘Shell Icons’.

Preliminary Instructions

  1. Make a note of the full path where you extracted the file, for example:
    C:\ Guy\noarrows.ico
  2. Just to see the effect of the .reg file, create a shortcut on your Windows 8 desktop; a suitable target program is regedit itself, or you could use your browser (IE or Mozilla).

Registry Instructions to Delete a Windows 8 Shortcut ArrowDelete Roaming Profile Cache

  1. Launch Regedit. (Launch Regedit. (See more details on starting regedit)
  2. Navigate to this path:
  3. Create a new key called Shell Icons
  4. In Shell Icons, right-click and create a new REG_SZ called 29. (See screenshot)
  5. Set the path to your .ico file.  In my case this was C: \Guy\noarrows.ico

Removing Shortcut Arrow Windows 8

  1. Windows 8 Remove Shortcut ArrowOnce you have edited the registry, and copied the noArrows.ico file, you need to logoff and log back on again.
  2. You should now see the desktop shortcuts, but with no annoying arrow, see screenshot to the right.

Windows 8 .Reg File Example – Remove Shortcut Arrow

There are several reasons why you may wish to create a .reg file in order to get rid of those arrows on a Windows 8 shortcut.  For instance, you may want to apply this registry hack to lots of machines, you may wish to document the change, and once you have the .reg file it’s easy to amend and reverse the change.

Let me start with an example .reg file.  Let me follow up with a word of caution:- Path.  This Windows 8 .reg file won’t work unless you have a physical file.  In my example, that icon file is called noarrows.ico, furthermore the path is C: \\ Guy\noarrows.ico.  I can help you with a suitable .ico file, but you must make the necessary connection to its path on your computer.  Here is the file: noArrows.ico.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Icons]

; Created by Guy Thomas. Windows 8 Remove Shortcut Arrows.

Detailed Instructions

  1. Open Notepad.exe
  2. Copy the contents of the above blue box.
  3. Paste in to Notepad.Windows 8 Remove Shortcut Arrow
  4. Save as RemoveShortcut, but remember the .reg file extension.
  5. Right-click RemoveShortcut.reg, select ‘Merge’ from the short-cut menu.
  6. Logoff.  After you logon again check the desktop shortcuts; the .reg file should have eliminated those annoying arrows.

Note: 3 if you see a change in the icons, but instead of shortcut arrow you now get a phantom white blob, it probably means there is something wrong with path statement in the .reg file. 

Note: 4: See also how to create a shortcut for Windows 8 App on the desktop.

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Windows 8 .Reg File – Restore Shortcut Arrow

Here is surprise.  This Windows 8 .reg file below RESTORES the shortcut!  If you bear with me, my thinking is to show you something extra, namely to demonstrate how you can remove a registry key using a .reg file and a minus sign.

Important: If you wanted this file to delete the arrows, then remove that tiny ‘-‘ in front of HKEY.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Icons]

; Created by Guy Thomas. Purpose to delete registry key with a .reg file.

Note 5: I would like to draw your attention to the position of the minus sign in .reg files that delete keys, it must be INSIDE the square brackets and BEFORE the path, thus:

Note 6: Strictly speaking you don’t need the REG_SZ called ’29’ in a .reg file to delete the key; I left it here so that you could more easily create the .reg file example that gets rid of the annoying arrow (just remove the -). 

HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\System    See more .reg file examples.

Summary of Creating Windows 8 Remove Shortcut Arrows

If you don’t like arrows on your desktop shortcuts, then this registry tweak is for you.  Beware; while this registry tweak is not difficult to achieve you do need to absorb two principles.

The crucial point is that you need a special clear icon file; but don’t worry, just download noarrows.ico.  Once you have the physical file then it’s just a matter of ‘wiring-up’ a key in the registry called ‘Shell Icons’ to the location you saved the noarrows.ico file.

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Microsoft Windows 8 Registry Topics

Windows 8 Overview  • Activate Windows 8 Administrator  • Windows 8 Remove Shortcut Arrow

Win 8 Registry Cleaner Review  • Windows 7 Style Start Menu  • Windows 8 Administrative Shares

Win 8 Registry  • Windows 8 Shortcut Desktop App  • Windows 8 .Reg File  • Windows 8 AutoRun