How to Remove Blue Arrows on Icons in Windows 10


After installing Windows 10, you may notice that most of your files and folders show up with a double blue arrows icon at the top. These double blue arrows overlay icons that we see if the files and folders are compress (NTFS compression), and there is actually nothing to worry about. In this article, we are going to talk about How to Remove Blue Arrows on Icons in Windows 10. Let’s begin!

When you enable NTFS compression for a file or folder, then the blue double arrows icon overlay appears on the top right corner of the file or folder. This is use to indicate to the user that the folder or file is compressed.

2 small blue overlays on desktop icons

You may have noticed many icons in your Windows operating system which have an overlay icon on it. This could be the most common overlay arrow icon, that indicates that the icon is a shortcut icon; or it could be a padlock icon. That would indicate that you have a private item in a non-private directory actually. Two small blue arrows on the top right corner of the icon actually indicate a compressed file or folder.

blue arrows on icons

If you want to save disk space, the Windows operating system allows you to compress files and folders. When you compress a file, using the Windows File Compression function, then the data is compressed using an algorithm, and re-written to occupy lesser space as well. When you access that file again, then the data has to be again decompressed first before you can access it. Thus reading compressed files needs more time and consumes processing power too. You can see the compression behavior for blue arrows on icons is as follows:

  • If you move a file from a DIFFERENT NTFS drive into a compress folder, then it is also compress.
  • If you move a file from the SAME NTFS drive into a compressed folder, then the file retains its original state, either compressed or uncompressed as well.

The 2-arrows can appear if you compressed the folder or file, or also if you moved the file or folder into a compressed folder.

Remove two blue arrows on desktop icons

You have two ways of removing this icon overlay actually. The first is you can decompress the file or folder and the other to prevent Windows from displaying this overlay icon even when the folder is compressed. In the latter case, you will not know simply by looking at the icon if the item is compressed or not and that could be a disadvantage as well.

Decompress through Properties | blue arrows on icons

In order to decompress a file or a folder, right-click on and the file or folder and under the General tab, select Advanced.

  • Right-click on the file or folder for which you have to disable the compression, and then tap Properties.
  • On the General tab, you have to click the Advanced button.
  • Now, in Advanced Attributes, deselect Compress contents to save disk space
  • Tap OK.
  • Press Apply or OK on the Properties window. The file or folder will be now uncompressed, and the two blue arrow icon overlay will be removed as well.

blue arrows on icons

Registry method | blue arrows on icons

Disabling NTFS compression is not actually a solution especially if you have limited hard disk space. In that case, you may use the following registry edit (cosmetic) in order to simply hide the annoying double blue arrow icon for compressed files and folders.

  • Download and also extract blank.ico to a folder of your choice. In this example, we use C:\Windows\blank.ico as the path to the icon file that you downloaded.
  • Tap Start, type regedit.exe and then click ENTER
  • Then navigate to the following registry key:
  • Also, create a subkey named Shell Icons(if the key does not already exist)
  • In the right pane of the Shell Icons key, you need to create a new String value (REG_SZ) named 179
  • Now double-click 179 and set its data as C:\Windows\blank.ico
  • Then exit the Registry Editor
  • Logoff and then login again. Or also Restart the Explorer shell for the change take effect.


Alright, That was all Folks! I hope you guys like these blue arrows on icons article and also find it helpful to you. Give us your feedback on it. Also if you guys have further queries related to this article. Then let us know in the comments section below. We will get back to you shortly.

Have a Great Day!

Also See: How to Fix Windows Update Pending Install Issue

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