Fix: White Boxes/Squares on Desktop Shortcuts

Some Windows 7 users may be baffled when they turn their computer on one day only to see that all of the shortcut arrows that are usually located on the bottom left of shortcut icons have been replaced with ugly white boxes. This situation looks like the image below:

Having their shortcut arrows replaced by ugly white boxes is more common among Windows 7 users than you would think. This problem, in almost all cases, is caused when a user, or a program that they use, intentionally or unintentionally corrupts or deletes the .ico (icon) file for the shortcut arrow that all Windows users know and love. Fortunately, there is a highly effective and fairly quick fix for this problem – simply remove the shortcut arrows altogether. While removing the shortcut arrows from shortcut icons will mean that you will no longer be able to differentiate between an actual program and a shortcut to that program, it is worth it as doing so will get rid of those ugly white blobs that your beautiful shortcut arrows have been replaced with.

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The following are some of the easiest methods that you can use to remove shortcut arrows from your computer in order to get rid of the ugly white boxes that they have been replaced with:

Method 1: Remove the shortcut arrows using Winaero Tweaker

Download Winaero Tweaker by going here and clicking on Download Winaero Tweaker above the Donate

Install Winaero Tweaker. Open Winaero Tweaker and click on Shortcut Arrow under Appearance in the left pane.

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In the right pane, click on the small circle beside the No arrow option, and then click on Change shortcut arrow.

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Restart your computer and the ugly white boxes where the shortcut arrow used to be will have disappeared.

It should be noted that Winaero Tweaker can also be used to replace the ugly white boxes with a custom shortcut arrow by clicking on Custom in Step 4 and then specifying the path to the .ico file for the custom shortcut arrows. In order to do so, you will also have to download custom shortcut arrows.

Method 2: Remove the shortcut arrows using the Registry Editor

Press the Windows Logo key and R at the same time to open a Run

In the Run dialog, type regedit and click on OK.

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In the Registry Editor, navigate to

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Icons.

If there isn’t a folder named Shell Icons under Explorer, click on Explorer, click on Edit in the toolbar, hover over New and click on Key. Name the new Key Shell Icons and press the Enter. Click on Shell Icons.

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In the right pane, right click on an empty area, hover over New and then click on String Value.

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Name the new String Value 29 and press the Enter

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Double click on the new String Value named 29 to modify it.

Paste %windir%\System32\shell32.dll,-50 into the Value Data bar and click on OK.

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Restart your computer, and once it boots up, those annoying white boxes will have disappeared.

Method 3: Get rid of the shortcut arrows using a .reg file

Using a .reg file is the same thing as Method 2, except this method will save you a lot of time and will also do all the fiddling around with your computer’s registry, something that most people are usually afraid to do.

First, download the .reg file that will edit your computer’s registry to disable short cut arrows altogether by clicking hereOpen the .reg file by double clicking on it.

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If asked whether or not you really want to run a program from an unverified publisher, click on Run.

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When prompted by the Registry Editor, click on Yes.

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Once the .reg file is done working its magic, restart your computer and those ugly white boxes will be gone. The .reg file can be deleted once it has served its purpose.


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.
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Expert Tip

Fix: White Boxes/Squares on Desktop Shortcuts

If the issue is with your Computer or a Laptop you should try using Restoro which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Restoro by clicking the Download button below.

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