1. Home
  2. Windows

How to remove the two blue arrows from a file or folder icon on Windows 10

You might notice that some icons on Windows 10 have two blue arrows on them. These arrows are not part of the standard icon for any file or folder. The two blue arrows indicate that the file or folder in question has been compressed to save disk space. This is a Windows feature and it doesn’t have any negative impact on the file or folder it’s applied to however, if it bothers you, you can disable compression and remove the two blue arrows from an icon.

The compression doesn’t have to be removed for all files and folders. You can disable compression for select files and folders.

File and folder compression

Navigate to the file or folder that you want to disable compression for. Right-click it and select ‘Properties’ from the context menu. On the General tab, click the Advanced button at the bottom. On the Advanced Attributes window, uncheck the ‘Compress contents to save disk space’ option and click OK. Click Apply on the Properties window and the arrows will be gone.

This will probably increase the size of the file or folder on disk since it’s no longer compressed.

Hide blue arrow icon

File or folder compression isn’t a bad feature. If you’re disabling it only because the two blue arrow icon bothers you then you can just hide the icon from a file or folder icon and still keep compression enabled. To hide the icon, you have to edit the Windows registry.

Open the registry editor and go to the following location;

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer

Right-click the Explorer key, and select New>Key from the context menu. Name the key Shell Icons. Inside the Shell Icons key, right-click again and select New>String Value. Name it 179, and set its value to the following;

empty.ico,0

Next, create an empty icon. It’s easy to do.Use Paint.net to create an empty 16×16 image and save it as PNG. Convert it to ICO via an online app that can convert the file. They’re easy to find and are free. Name the icon file empty and copy it to the following location;

C:\Windows\System32

You will need admin rights to paste the file here. Once you’ve pasted the file, you need to restart File Explorer. Open Command Prompt with admin rights and enter the following command to kill File Explorer.

taskkill /f /im explorer.exe

Run this command to start Explorer again.

start explorer.exe

The two blue arrow icon ought to be gone. Any time you want to undo this, you can delete the registry key and you should also remove the icon file.

Leave a comment