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Green Tick or Blue Arrows Icon Overlay Displayed for Files and Folders

If you’re wondering why Explorer shows certain files or folders with some icon sign in the corners, such as a white tick mark in a green box, or chevron in a blue box, or any other symbol such as a white tick in round green background regardless of the file type, then you’ll find this post helpful.

These are known as icon overlays, added by programs to provide additional information about the files or folders marked with the overlay symbol. For example, a backup program that you use may place an icon overlay for files and folders that are backed up, and a different symbol for files that aren’t included in the backup.

While icon overlays provide great visual clues, certain icon overlays can be distracting too. Here are some screenshots of Icon Overlays in Windows.

(Fig 1: Overlay added by Microsoft OneDrive, previously SkyDrive)

The following is a screenshot of the overlay added by Norton 360.

Related article: Are you using Windows 10 and seeing the blue double arrow icon for files and folders in Windows 10? See article Mysterious Blue Double Arrow Icon on Files and Folders.

Mozy Backup adds the overlay that looks like below:

How to Find and Disable the Overlay Icons

Option 1: Using ShellExView

ShellExView from Nirsoft has always been very useful in troubleshooting problems in the shell environment all these years, and has proved it time and again. This tool can be used to disable shell extensions, including the Icon Overlay handers.

Sort the entries by Type column, check the Icon Overlay Handler entries, select the appropriate item. You can disable them via the right-click menu or toolbar.

If you’re not able to disable the entries, check the registry permissions for the corresponding keys.

Option 2: Using Autoruns for Windows

Download Autoruns from Microsoft Sysinternals. Right-click the Autoruns executable and choose Run as Administrator.

For some reason, the OneDrive extensions aren’t listed by Autoruns (v13.100), although I have the Hide Microsoft Entries and Hide Windows Entries options unchecked in the Options menu.

You can disable or delete the entries from there.

Inspecting the Icon Overlay Handlers Manually

The Icon Overlay Handlers are registered under the ShellIconOverlayIdentifiers registry key at:


It shows the list of registered Overlay GUIDs.

Export the branch to a REG file to back it up, and then delete the unwanted icon overlay entry.

OneDrive GUIDs:

OneDrive adds 7 subkeys, and they are mentioned below along with the corresponding data (a GUID):

  • OneDrive1 → {BBACC218-34EA-4666-9D7A-C78F2274A524}
  • OneDrive2 → {5AB7172C-9C11-405C-8DD5-AF20F3606282}
  • OneDrive3 → {A78ED123-AB77-406B-9962-2A5D9D2F7F30}
  • OneDrive4 → {F241C880-6982-4CE5-8CF7-7085BA96DA5A}
  • OneDrive5 → {A0396A93-DC06-4AEF-BEE9-95FFCCAEF20E}
  • OneDrive6 → {9AA2F32D-362A-42D9-9328-24A483E2CCC3}
  • OneDrive7 → {C5FF006E-2AE9-408C-B85B-2DFDD5449D9C}

Norton 360 GUIDs:

  • OverlayExcluded  → {4433A54A-1AC8-432F-90FC-85F045CF383C}
  • OverlayPending   → {F17C0B1E-EF8E-4AD4-8E1B-7D7E8CB23225}
  • OverlayProtected → {476D0EA3-80F9-48B5-B70B-05E677C9C148}

Norton 360 v2 adds a feature called “Backup Status Indicators” which clearly identifies which files have been backed up, which files are pending backup and which are excluded from backup. This feature is responsible for the Tick mark (green box) and double arrow (blue box) overlay icons.

Quoting PCMag:

A check in a green box means the file’s backup is current, while a chevron (») character in a blue box indicates a file that’s been changed since its last backup. Files excluded from the backup set display a slash in a gray box.

If you don’t need the backup indicators feature, you can turn it off by clicking Settings in the Norton 360 dashboard.

The option you need to disable is “Backup Status Indicators.”

Norton 360 Main window

Another program that adds a green checkmark to files, other than OneDrive, is the MozyHome Backup program. It adds a green checkmark overlay icon for files that are included in your backup list. To disable the overlay, select the following checkbox in Mozy Options:

Disable icon overlays in Windows Explorer

Enabling this option hides the icon displayed next to files and folders in Explorer when a file is included in your backup list.

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