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Over some of my program shortcuts and install files, there is an uac icon overlay (blue-yellow shield) and I find them really ugly. Is there any way to get rid of them please?


I closed UAC to see if overlays go away or not. Now it's open. But maybe there is a way to remove them without closing the UAC like removing shortcut arrows in this question: Remove shortcut icon overlay from shortcuts on Windows 7

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10 Answers 10

Ok, there is a solution, though it's not exactly elegant. You can find more about it here, but the basic answer is:

Modify imageres.dll. Just clear UAC icon, make it transparent (and Shortcut overlay at one shot). A side effect is that admin icon is missing in context menu, where Run as Administrator command is. Personally I can live with it!

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UAC icon has index 78 in imageres.dll, if it helps. It would have been better if there was a link to it in the Registry, so it could be changed without modifying imageres.dll, but I couldn't find one. – Snark Nov 10 '09 at 12:02
Personally, I wouldn't change the icon. But the method above is rather easy and it does not involve stopping UAC... – alex Nov 10 '09 at 12:53

I had this problem on my Firefox icon after running as administrator.

In order to fix it, I dissabled UAC and restarted PC. The shield icon had now dissapeared and then I reactivated UAC.

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There is another way - create a transparent icon, run TuneUp Utilities and replace the User Account icon with the transparent one, that solves the problem and the shield icon remains in the context menu, but doesn't ruin your icons anymore. TuneUp can also remove the shortcut arrows with just one click and replace basically any icon.

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Alright people, after days of trying various methods, I believe I've found the ultimate solution to remove that annoying shield icon. It's not difficult, and it works perfectly for me.

The following procedure removes the shield overlay only from icons and Start Menu items, which means that the shield overlay will not be removed from Control Panel applets and context menus. Here's how to do it, once and for all:

  1. Make sure UAC (User Account Control) is disabled by moving its slider to the lowest position.

  2. Open the Command Prompt. You'll find it somewhere in the Start Menu.

  3. Type the following commands, pressing Enter after each line:

    taskkill /IM explorer.exe /F
    CD /d %userprofile%\AppData\Local
    DEL IconCache.db /a
    shutdown /r

NOTE: The last command will restart your computer, so make sure you save your work BEFORE executing those 4 lines above!

If you ever experience the shield icon again (I believe that's impossible now), just repeat the third step. Good luck!

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I was able to remove the blue & yellow UAC shield icon from in front of one of my desktop icons by right clicking on the icon, scrolling down, selecting properties, selecting shortcut, then change icon, then you should see your original icon in that window, double click the icon and hit OK. Now it should return back to the original Desktop icon without the UAC icon in front. I hope this has helped...

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Why go through all that trouble?

  1. Set on the option "View hidden files and folders".
  2. Go to C:\Users\"username"\App Data\Local\ where IconCache.db file is.
  3. Rename it (for example: IconCache1.db) or create a new folder there and put it inside.
  4. Hide system files and folders again. Done.

And the file will be there just in case you need it again.

You don't want IconCache.db at all? Just delete it.

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I have three drives on my machine (two SSD and one 'normal') This shield only appears on some programs that are on my C drive. By moving the programs to either of the other drives, the shield dissapears. Of course this fact is only useful if you ave two drives !!

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The other possible solution is to use free nircmd.exe command-line utility to call the target application. Get nircmd.exe from and copy it into your C:\Windows folder. Open property dialog for the shortcut you want to get rid of shield symbol. Click 'Change icon..' and confirm with 'OK' without any changes (just do this step!)

Add 'nircmd elevate ' at begin of the target application path.

For example: nircmd elevate "C:\Program Files (x86)\Photoshop CS6\photoshop.exe"

Confirm with 'OK'. The shield symbol is gone. The admin rights will remain for the target application due to 'nircmd elevate' command.

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I had same problem with the shield on some icons but I found a way around it without using any other software or registry editing. The way to do it is simple.

Say you have ms word with shield on it on desktop. What you do is:

  • Delete it from desktop.
  • Goto where ms word folder is and open it. (ms office)
  • Right click on ms word and create a short cut in the same folder.
  • Right click on the new short cut and send to desktop.
  • Done
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Can you please stop shouting? Not gonna edit this so that you learn it. – Ray Koopa Nov 2 '14 at 9:51

I believe I have solved this problem of the ugly blue and yellow shield.

I don't really understand why Windows 7 has two program files folders in the c: drive, but I thought I would go ahead and install the Firefox onto the regular Program Files folder and not the Program Files(x86) folder. After choosing custom install and changing the install location from the "Program Files(x86)" folder to the "Program Files" folder, all of the icons were normal and did not have a shield over them. This worked great for me and I'm really really happy the ugly shield is gone. I hope it works for you too!

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You have two program files folders because you are running a 64 bit version of Windows 7. The program files(x86) is for 32 bit applications and the regular program files directory is for 64 bit apps, it's just a method for organization between apps. – Sandeep Bansal Oct 4 '10 at 19:19

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