How can I remove those overlays that are put on every shortcut? They are a bit annoying, especially on my desktop because most of the icons are shortcuts.

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2 Answers 2


Two quick things I found:

Remove or modify the Shortcut overlay

Method 1

Download Vista Shortcut Overlay Remover (FxVisor) from frameworkx. FxVisor allows you to either way to modify or remove the shortcut overlay arrow in Windows 7 and Vista. Here is the screenshot of that utility:

alt text

Method 2

Removing the shortcut arrow: Download blank_icon.zip 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:

  • Click Start, type regedit.exe and press ENTER
  • Navigate to the following branch:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ explorer \ Shell Icons

  • In the right pane, create a new String value (REG_SZ) named 29

  • Double-click 29 and set its Value data as C:\Icons\blank.ico
  • Close Regedit.exe and restart Windows

Method 3

Download this Reg file and follow readme instruction included within zip file to remove shortcut arrow icon. (Beware: I didn't write this reg file!)

To also removes the - Shortcut part:

  1. Click on Start and Type regedit in search bar and press enter (select yes if seen UAC prompt)
  2. Navigate to following registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
  3. Locate “Link” in right pan of registry editor

    alt text

  4. Double click or right click-> modify to modify registry key
  5. Now change the value from 18 00 00 00 to 00 00 00 00 Press ok and exit regedit

Now try to create shortcut on your desktop and it should not show shortcut extension.


I've used the Ultimate Windows Tweaker from the The Windows Club.

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