How to Remove or Modify the Shortcut Overlay in Windows

This article describes how to remove or modify the overlay (arrow icon) shown for Shortcuts in Windows.

Method 1

Download FxVisor (Shortcut Overlay Remover for Windows Vista and 7) by frameworkx. FxVisor allows you to either way to modify or remove the shortcut overlay arrow in Windows 7 and Vista.

Method 2 (All versions of Windows, including Windows 10)

Removing the shortcut arrow: Download and extract the file blank.ico to a folder of your choice. In this example, we use C:\Icons\blank.ico as the path to the icon file you downloaded. And then follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, type regedit.exe and press ENTER
  2. Navigate to the following branch:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\Shell Icons
  1. In the right pane, create a new String value (REG_SZ) named 29
  2. Double-click 29 and set its Value data as C:\Icons\blank.ico
  3. Close Regedit.exe and restart Windows

Note: If the Shell Icons branch does not exist already, you’ll need to create it.

Credits: The overlay icon above (blank.ico) was created using the freeware IcoFX utility.

Setting Light arrow overlay: If you wish to use a light arrow for Shortcuts, you may do so by downloading (includes lightarrow.ico). Copy lightarrow.ico to your Icons folder, and set the Value data for 29 accordingly (see Step 4 above). If you’ve copied lightarrow.ico to your C:\Icons folder, the Value data would be C:\Icons\lightarrow.ico

(Fig) Shortcut overlay – Light arrow

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.