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Removing the shortcut arrow from icons on the desktop

Removing the shortcut arrow from icons on the desktop
One thing that I always hate about Windows is the shortcut arrow. Sure, it is good to be able to tell if a shortcut is actually a shortcut, but I think I know that the applications that I put on my desktop are already shortcuts. This feature can be annoying as well as problematic. One example of this is when you use the large icons. Any icon that is a shortcut has a stretched version of the arrow in the lower-left corner of the icon, making the icon look pixelated.

A number of different solutions to the shortcut arrow problem are available. You can replace the big white square with a smaller semi-transparent arrow, use your own icon file, or you can disable it completely. The best way to change the shortcut arrow setting is to use the most popular Microsoft PowerToy,Tweak UI. You should already have a copy of Tweak UI installed on your computer, if you followed my suggestions and instructions from Chapter 2. But just in case you don’t, you can get a copy of it from the PowerToys Web page, located at Follow these steps to change the shortcut arrow settings:

1. Click the Start Menu and expand All Programs, PowerToys for Windows XP, and then select Tweak UI to start it up.

2. Once Tweak UI is started, expand the Explorer entry and select Shortcut.

3. You will now see four different icon Shortcut Overlay options. I recommend you try using the light arrow options first. Then if you still don’t like it, click None, to remove the shortcut arrows.

4. Once you have made up your mind and selected the Overlay option, click OK to saveyour changes.

You may now close Tweak UI. Your changes will show up after you reboot.

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