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.

Remove or Modify the Shortcut Overlay

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 Windows versions, including Windows 10 and 11)

Option 1: 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. Launch the Registry Editor (regedit.exe)
  2. Navigate to the following branch:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\Shell Icons

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

  3. In the right pane, create a new String value (REG_SZ) named 29
  4. Double-click 29 and set its data as C:\Icons\blank.ico
  5. Close Regedit.exe.
  6. Restart the Explorer shell, or log off and log back into your account.

Option 2: Setting Light arrow overlay

 Shortcut overlay – Light arrow
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

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded in 2005.