I have being doing some research on Google but I cannot find what is the windows registry to manage Enable pointer shadow. I need to find it to do a global update for my citrix gold image.

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2 Answers 2


Take a look:

This is done by creating a user-based GPO that sets the following registry key:

Key: HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VisualEffects
Value Name: VisualFXSetting
Value Type: dword
Value data: 3

The accepted answer is only partially correct.

The VisualFXSetting value controls only how the settings are determined, as indicated on the System Properties\Advanced system settings\Advanced tab\Performance Options dialog:

0 = Let Windows choose what's best for my computer
1 = Adjust for best appearance
2 = Adjust for best performance
3 = Custom

In our case, of course, we want to use 3.

Once we've selected 3, our job gets harder. The data controlling the settings themselves is a little more complex, involving hexadecimal entries (bytes) set at this registry value:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\UserPreferencesMask

For our purposes here we're interested only in the first three bytes, i.e.:

9E 3E 07

The bytes are determined by conversion from these binary sets:

10011110 00111110 00000111

(We can use Windows Calculator for the conversions; we'll press Alt+3 for the Programmer view and choose Word as our word size.)

The binary sets are calculated from these templates:

    ^^^    ^ ^^        ^
1001ABC0 00D1EF10 00000G11

The letters represent entries from this list:

A - Smooth-scroll list boxes
B - Slide open combo boxes
C - Fade or slide menus into view 
D - Show shadows under mouse pointer 
E - Fade or slide ToolTips into view 
F - Fade out menu items after clicking 
G - Show shadows under windows

So, for example, if we wanted to turn off everything except Smooth-scroll list boxes we'd set the 5th bit (bit 4 on a zero-based list) of the 1st set to 1:

10011000 00010010 00000011

And then use Windows Calculator to convert it to hexadecimal:

98 12 03

Everything on:

10011110 00111110 00000111 = 9E 3E 07

Everything off:

10010000 00010010 00000011 = 90 12 03

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