Trick To Get Rid Of Shortcut Arrow Appearing On Various Icons In Windows

In most Windows Operating Systems including Windows Vista, Windows XP and Windows 7, you will notice that all shortcut icons have a small arrow overlaid on them. This arrow basically differentiates between a real physical file and its shortcut. All shortcut icons on the desktop as well as in the Windows Explorer display this arrow.

However, you may follow a simple procedure in order to hide or remove this arrow from all such icons present on the desktop and inside the Windows Explorer.

  • Go to the Start Menu and select the option “Run”. Type in “regedit” and press the “Enter” key to open the “Registry Editor”.
  • Locate the registry key mentioned below: 


  • Check in the right window pane and delete the registry entry “IsShortcut”. 

Alternatively, you may also rename the registry entry “IsShortcut” to some other name like “IsNotShortcut”.

  • The icons of other types of files and documents might also have the arrow. To remove this arrow overlay image from these icons, you need to locate the below mentioned registry keys and repeat step no. 3 so that the shortcut arrow is deactivated. 






  • Close the Registry Editor.
  • To make the changes effective, log out and login again. You may alternatively restart the Explorer. 

You need to note that sometimes duplicate items might be displayed within context menu of the Explorer if you deactivate the arrow on the icons of *.LNK files. This happen due to the fact that once you remove “IsShortcut”, Windows treats a shortcut as a real physical file.

Windows 7 might show an error saying that pinning the shortcut to the Start Menu or Taskbar is not possible. However, you need to use a different workaround to resolve this issue.