What are These 2 Small Blue Arrow Overlays Which Appear on Desktop Icons?

Is there anyone who knows about what are these 2 small blue arrow overlays which appear on desktop icons. I am facing some issues in this while operating windows. Help me.


  0 2 months ago 1 Ans 1115 Views Windows 10
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Open Answer 01 December 2021

You must have seen an overlay icon on various icons of your Windows OS.  The overlay icon can be a padlock icon or shortcut icon, which may mean that there is a private icon located in a non-private directory. If you see two blue arrows in the corner, then it means that the folder or file is compressed. 

Windows OS enables a user to save disc space by compressing folders and files. When you use the file compression function of Windows to compress a file, an algorithm is used to compress the data. After that, the algorithm is written again to so it takes less space. When you open the same file again, the data will get decompressed first, and then only you can access it. When files are compressed, they consume more processing power and time.

Take a look below to know what the compression behavior is like. 

  • When you change the location of a file from an NTFS drive to a compressed folder, then the file gets compressed. 
  • When you take the same file from the drive to a compressed folder location, then its state remains the same and does not get compressed. 
  • The two arrows appear when you compress a file or folder. You can also see these arrows if you move a file into a compressed folder. 

How to remove 2 small arrow overlays?

There are two ways to get rid of icon overlay. The first thing that you are required to do is to decompress the file or folder and stop Windows from displaying the blue arrows even when the folder is compressed. In this case, you will not be able to determine by looking at the icon whether it is compressed or not. 

1) Decompress using properties

If you wish to decompress a folder or file, you must right-click on that file and then select the option of Advanced under the General tab. Now, remove the tick from the option of compress the contents to save the space on your disk. After that, click on Apply. Now, windows will begin to uncompress the contents and then the overlay arrows will disappear. 

2) Registry method

Before you start with the process, you need to create a system restore point. Then, you must remove the overlay icon. After that, you must open the Registry Editor. You can open the Registry by pressing the Windows and R keys simultaneously. Then, you are required to enter Regedit in the Run dialog box on your PC. Now, press enter. This will open the Registry Editor and then go to the following location. 

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

If Shell icons don't exist, then you may have to create them. To do so, you need to select the option of File Explorer. Then, right-click on Explorer and select "Key" from the options appearing before you and then give it the name "Shell Icons".

In case you already have Shell Icons, then string 179 will appear before you in the right panel of your screen. In case you don't see String 179, then you must make a new String value and then give it the name String 179. 

Now, you need to create a blank icon file. You must create a blank icon file or you can download it from the server. After that, you can remove the 2 arrows by changing the string value and then enter the blank.ico file that you wish to use. 

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