Remove Shadow from Desktop Icons in Windows 10

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To remove the shadow effect from desktop icons in Windows 10, here are updated and comprehensive methods

Method 1: Disable Drop Shadows Via Performance Options

This method involves adjusting the visual effects settings in the System Properties.

  1. Press Win + R to open the Run command window.
  2. Type sysdm.cpl in the Run command search field and press Enter. This opens the System Properties window.
  3. In the System Properties dialog box, select the Advanced tab.
    • Under the Performance section, click on the Settings button. This opens the Performance Options dialog box.
  4. Under the Visual Effects tab, look for Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop and uncheck the option.
  5. Press Apply and then Save to apply the changes and exit.
  6. Restart your PC for the changes to take effect.
    • If shadows still appear, repeat steps 1-3 and uncheck Animate controls and elements inside windows.

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Method 2: Disable Shadows Via Registry Editor

For users without administrator rights, the Registry Editor can be used to disable drop shadows.

  1. Right-click on the Start menu and select Run from the context menu.
  2. Type regedit in the Run command search box and press Enter. This opens the Registry Editor window.
  3. Copy and paste HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced into the Registry Editor address bar and press Enter.
    • On the right side of the window, look for the DWORD (32-bit) Value – ListViewShadow and double-click on it.
  4. In the Edit DWORD (32-bit) Value dialog box, set the Value data field to 0 to disable the drop shadow effect.
    • Press OK to save the changes and exit.
  5. To re-enable shadows, change the Value data to 1.
  6. Ensure you create a backup of the registry settings before making changes.

Method 3: Disable Transparent Start, Taskbar, and Action Center

If adjusting icon labels doesn’t remove the shadow effect, try disabling transparency effects in Windows settings.

  1. Press Win + I to open the Settings app.
  2. In the Settings window, click on Personalisation on the left side.
  3. Select Colours on the right side.
  4. Scroll down to Transparency effects and turn it off.
  5. Close the Settings app and restart your PC for the changes to be effective.

Method 4: Via Task Manager

Restarting Windows Explorer through Task Manager can help remove the shadow effect, especially if it’s caused by system glitches.

  1. Right-click on the Start menu and select Task Manager from the context menu.
  2. In the Task Manager window, under the Processes tab, locate Windows Explorer.
    • Right-click on Windows Explorer and select Restart.
  3. This action will reboot Windows Explorer, potentially removing the shadow effect from the desktop icon text.

Method 5: Through the Settings App

Changing the desktop background to a solid color can sometimes resolve issues with shadow effects on desktop icons.

  1. Right-click on the Start menu and select Settings from the context menu.
  2. In the Settings app, click on Personalisation on the left side.
  3. Click on Background on the right side.
  4. In the Background screen, go to the Personalise your background field and select Solid colour from the drop-down menu.
    • Select your preferred color in the Choose your background colour section.
  5. Close the Settings window. The drop shadow effect should now be removed from your desktop icons.


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