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I'm organizing a bunch of documents. These documents can be categorized into one or more categories, and each "category" will be a "folder" in Windows 10. So what I'm doing is to put all the docs in one single folder, and simply add shortcuts in the respective category folders. The thing is: I don't want to see the shortcut icon on all of these docs.

I understand that changing the icon does not do much to the fact that they are, in fact, shortcuts -- but I just want to be tricked into believing that they're the actual files.

How do I change the default shortcut icon to remove the "arrow" in a shortcut file like how it's here: https://laptoping.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/How-to-Create-Shortcut-Icons-on-Desktop-Windows-10-Tutorial.jpg

I only want this to happen in one particular folder. i.e., I want the shortcuts in other places (such as my desktop) to retain their arrows.

Is there any way to do this?

  • The overlay is system wide I believe. It can be changed but it cannot be changed for an individual folder. – Appleoddity Sep 11 '18 at 18:37
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Two steps are needed.

  • Remove the arrow on all shortcuts:

    • In Regedit, open HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
    • Create a new key, Shell Icons.
    • Under that key, create a new string value, 29.
    • Set the value for that new value to %windir%\System32\shell32.dll,-50.
    • Reboot to see the shortcut icons without overlay.

This Registry hack to remove the arrow works only temporarily in Windows 10 ver. 1803. An alternative is to substitute a plain background icon, which can be downloaded from Winaero.com, and set its location in the the REG_SZ 29 as above... or use the Winaero Tweaker.

  • Change the icon for each folder and icon. Change icon

    • Right click on the folder or icon.
    • Select Properties.
    • For a shortcut, on the Shortcut tab, or for a folder, on the Customize tab, select Change icon....
    • Select the icon if shown, or browse to a file such as %SystemRoot%\System32\SHELL32.dll to select another icon. Note that a shortcut to a customized shortcut or folder inherits the new icon, but the new shortcut can in turn be customized to yet another icon.

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