How to Remove or Customize Shortcut Arrow Icon in Windows?

In Windows, whenever you create a new shortcut or a program creates a new shortcut, a small arrow is shown on the shortcut icon to easily distinguish it from others. This small arrow is also known as shortcut overlay. Although its a useful feature of Windows but many people don't like the arrow.

There are many ways to remove this shortcut arrow icon such as editing Windows Registry, modifying system files to replace the icon resource, etc. But sometimes these methods might create other problems.

Today in this article, we are going to share a freeware "Vista Shortcut Overlay Manager" which allows you to:

  • Remove or hide shortcut arrow icon
  • Replace default shortcut arrow icon with a small and light icon
  • Customize shortcut arrow icon


It works in Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Using the freeware is very simple. There are 4 radio buttons provided: Arrow, Light Arrow, Custom Arrow and No Arrow. Click on the desired radio button and it'll immediately apply the changes.

UPDATE: It seems the official download page is no longer available so we have uploaded the utility at our server for your convenience. You can download it using following link:

Download Link

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Posted in: Software

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  • FIRST!!! this is awesome

  • Not that I don't trust the program, but is there a registry hack to remove the arrow without having to istall something?

  • Here's a registry tweak for you guys, created by me:


    Both x86 and x64 are available, just merge it and restart your computer, done =)

  • Nice work dude!

  • Simpler and more efficient without installing anything!

  • Now this is what I'm talking about, Not only is it made for x86 OR x64, but it comes with Options, Customization's of arrows. Awesome Job Guys, You Rock...
    Thank You,
    M Barker Sr.
    A+ Technician
    AskVG Fanatic

  • Attempting to run your shortcut arrow utility in Windows 7 64bit,
    I got this message window:

    "Unhandled exception has occurred in your application.
    If you click Continue, the application will ignore this
    error and attempt to continue. If you click Quit, the
    application will close immediately."

    After that I cannot click Quit or do anything else.
    Everything is locked up. Nothing on the PC works now,
    except the mouse cursor still moves on the screen.

    Shut the PC (HP 7900) off then restart.
    This time it didn't lock up, but still got the same error message.
    Clicked Quit and it quit this time.

  • Does not change or hide shortcut arrow under Win8.1.

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