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How do you remove the symlink/alias arrow icons from aliases on the desktop or from a specific alias?

I found this article that shows how to remove them from all aliases.

However, I'd like to be able to distinguish symlinks and aliases from normal directories when in Finder windows. I think of the desktop as a launchpad and it is incidental whether some of the items are symlinks and others aren't, plus they look ugly.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

You can open and edit the icns file in Preview. It contains multiple image sizes that can be edited independently. Finder automatically uses the smallest image size that is as large or larger than the current icon size (e.g. the 128x128 image for 80x80 icons).

If your desktop icons are rather large (e.g. icon view) and you otherwise use smaller icons (list view, column view), you can delete arrow from the larger image sizes in the file, so that an "empty" overlay icon is used on the desktop, and the arrow overlay otherwise.

Just select the lower left part of the larger image sizes in the AliasBadgeIcon.icns and press Delete to remove them, leaving a completely transparent image. Save to the appropriate location like described in the article, and you're done.

Small icon in Finder windows:


Larger icon on Desktop:


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This worked like a charm, thanks! – Jason Keene Jul 11 '12 at 16:12

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