All shortcut icons in Windows operating system, including Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7, has a small arrow overlay on the icons. The arrow is used to different between a shortcut from an actual physical file itself. The shortcut arrow is presented on all desktop icons, and icons in Windows Explorer, and it can be easily remove or hide.

Shortcut Arror on Desktop IconIcon with No Shortcut Arrow

How to Hide and Remove Shortcut Arrow from Desktop Icons and Other Icons

  1. Run Registry Editor (RegEdit).
  2. Navigate to the following registry key:


  3. Delete the IsShortcut registry value in the right pane.

    Tip: It’s also workable to just rename the IsShortcut registry entry to another name, such as IsNotShortcut.

  4. Some other type of documents and files may be shortcut arrow on their icons too. To remove the shortcut arrow overlay image on these icons, navigate to each of the following registry keys, and then repeat step 2 and step 3 above to deactivate the shortcut arrow:


  5. Exit from Registry Editor.
  6. Logout and login again or restart Explorer for the change to take effect.

Note that removing the shortcut arrow with hack

Note : Please note that in some cases deactivating the arrow for *.LNK files might lead to duplicate items in the Explorer context menu, as in essence, removing the “IsShortcut” effectively forces Windows to treat the shortcut as real hard file. In Windows 7, it may also cause error such as unable to pin shortcut to Taskbar or Start Menu. To avoid these issue, use another workaround to remove shortcut arrow.