How to Remove Shadow or Drop Shadow Desktop Icons on Windows 10

This issue will display a drop shadow below the text of the icons on your desktop. This might make that same text unreadable, and you will have a hard time differentiating letters from one another. The shadows by themselves are one of the many visual customization options that come with Windows, but this is a problem that means that no matter what you change in the settings, the shadows are there.

Fortunately, however, there are a couple of solutions you can try, and provided you follow the instructions carefully, you will get rid of the shadows and you can read the text again.

Method 1: Disable drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop

The shadows are enabled by default, and you can easily disable them, due to the fact that they are a customization option of Windows. To do this, follow the steps below.

  1. Right-click My Computer or This PC, and select Properties from the context menu.
  2. Within the System window, click on the Advanced System Settings link in the left pane.
  3. Under the Performance header in the Advanced tab, click on Settings.
  4. In the Visual Effects tab, find Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop, and disable it.
  5. Click Apply to save the settings, and OK twice to close the windows. Reboot your device.


NOTE: If this method doesn’t solve anything, open the Visual Effects again, and uncheck “Animate controls and elements inside windows” as well.

Method 2: Disable the shadows via the Registry Editor

Since the first method requires administrative privileges to open the Advanced System Settings, there is a workaround that disables the same shadows option, but via the Registry Editor. The Registry Editor only requires administrative privileges to write to locations that multiple users share, but you can edit the current user keys without such privileges.

  1. Press the Windows and R keys on your keyboard simultaneously to open the Run
  2. Type regedit and click OK to open the Registry Editor.
  3. Once inside, you will use the left navigation pane to navigate to the following location:


  1. On the right side, click on the ListviewShadow To disable the shadows, set its value to 0. To enable the shadows, set the value to 1.


Method 3: Disable transparent Start, taskbar and action center (Windows 10)

Since disabling Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop does nothing to remove the shadows for some users, there has been a solution that requires one more thing to be disabled.

  1. Press the Windows key on your keyboard, type Settings and open the settings.
  2. Open Personalization, and click Colors in the left side menu.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom and find the Make Start, taskbar and action center transparent Turn it off.
  4. Reboot your device for the changes to take effect, and the shadows should be gone.


Even though the drop shadows are meant to be a simple visual effect for Windows, for certain users they have caused problems with text readability on the desktop. However, all you need to do is follow the instructions in the methods written above, and you will get rid of the shadows in no time.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.