Registry Home > Windows > File System > Files and Shortcuts

Remove or Change the Shortcut Arrow (All Windows) Popular

Would you prefer to display your shortcuts without the arrow in the bottom left hand corner? This tip will show you how to change the arrow icon or remove it completely.

This tweak can be easily applied using WinGuides Tweak Manager.
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To Remove the Icon:
Open your registry and delete the value named 'IsShortCut' from the keys [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\lnkfile], [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\piffile] and [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\InternetShortcut].

Windows 98 Update
An updated shell32.dll file was included in the March 7, 2000 Security Update that stopped the standard method from working correctly. The method to remove them in this version has changed slightly:

Open the key [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{63B51F81-C868-11D0-999C-00C04FD655E1}\InProcServer32] and delete the current value of "(Default)". To restore set the value of "(Default)" back to "C:\\WINDOWS\\SYSTEM\\SHELL32.DLL" where WINDOWS is your Windows directory. More information can be found in this discussion.

To Change the Icon:
Open the key [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\
Explorer\Shell Icons] and create a new string value, or modify the existing value, called '29'. Set it to equal the filename, including path, for the icon you want to use for the shortcut arrow. By setting this to a blank icon it has a similar effect to the removal method above, without the side effects.

Restart Windows for the changes to take effect.

Note: This tweak effectively changes the properties of shortcuts so they are no longer considered to be shortcuts by Windows, this may have some slight side effects, such as hot keys not working as before.

Registry Editor Example
|NameTypeData|
|(Default)REG_SZ(value not set)|
|29REG_SZ"c:\windows\system\shell32.dll,21"|
-
|HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion...|
-
Registry Settings
System Key: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\
Shell Icons]
Value Name: 29
Data Type: REG_SZ (String Value)
Value Data: Icon Filename

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Disclaimer: Modifying the registry can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. We cannot guarantee that problems resulting from modifications to the registry can be solved. Use the information provided at your own risk.

Last modified: June 8, 2005