Windows: How To Remove the ‘Shortcut Arrow’

KB ID 0000178 


Whenever I build a new machine, one of the first things I do, is open Regedit > Go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT > lnkfile and remove the “IsShortcut” Value, and voila! the annoying shortcut arrows are gone.


If you do, you will notice that you can no longer add shortcuts to the “Windows Explorer Favorites” (well you can but you can’t see them), also it disables (Grays Out) the Expand option for Favorites. It took me ages to find out that my registry hacking had caused the problem. so I put the registry key back again (restore it with this).

I even tried to use FxVisor to remove the shortcut arrows, and that didn’t work either.


1. Download this ZIP File.

2. Extract contents of the ZIP file to C:Icons

3. Navigate to C:Icons and run the RemoveArrow.reg file.

4. Accept the Warning.

5. Click OK.

Merge Registry Key

6. Reboot – Arrows are gone.

Update 08/03/12 (Received Email form Steve Stroud)

Hi Pete,

Tried your method to remove the Shortcut Arrow from the desktop icons in Windows 8, using RemoveArrow.reg but how have a blank white document image on top of each icon, which look worse an the arrow! How do I change them Back. Looking forward to your reply. Regards Steve.

– Well I dont’t want to be the guy who breaks stuff! So I tested the procedure again an a fresh Windows 8 Box.

Remove Shortcut Arrows

And it still worked fine, (that’s not helping Steve though), so to revert back simply run the following command (thats one line if it wraps), and reboot;

reg delete “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerShell Icons”

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Author: Migrated

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