If you have noticed some icons on your desktop or partition drives with two blue arrows on your Windows 10 systems, then you are not alone. The mysterious double blue arrows on icons is not an indication of a virus or malware-infected folder, as many users think.
Let us discuss what this two blue arrows on icons indicate and how to remove them if you find it annoying.
What Does a Windows Folder Icon With Double Blue Arrows Mean?
On Windows 10 operating system, you will find many icons that have overlays on them, for example, the shortcut icon, the padlock icon, and more. One such icon that most people don’t know about is the folder icon with the double blue arrows.
If you are struggling with low disk space on your device, Windows 10 allows you to compress the files and folders so that they consume less space. When you compress files or folders on the Windows 10 system, the Windows File Compression function will use the advanced compression algorithm to re-write the data to occupy less space. When you open the compressed files or folders, the WFC function will decompress it before you can access it. Therefore reading the compressed data on the Windows 10 system would consume more time.
If you find a two blue arrow on a Windows 10 desktop icon, it implies that windows have compressed the folder to save the disk space. To separate the compressed folders and files, the Windows put a double arrow overlay over their icons.
If you find the two blue arrows on icons irritating, you can remove them by decompressing the compressed folder and files. If you want to keep the files and folders compressed without double arrows overlay on the icons, you can do that too.
Let us walk through both methods.
How to remove the blue arrow on desktop icons?
Decompress the Files and Folders to remove two Blue Arrows on Icons
The simplest way to remove the annoying double blue arrows on the icon is to decompress that file or folder from Properties. Here are the steps for that:
Right-click on the file or folder with the double blue arrows and select Properties.
Click on the Advanced button to open the advanced settings.
On the next window, under Compress or Encrypt attributes, uncheck the Compress contents to save disk space option and click OK.
Click Apply and OK.
You will notice the blue arrows overlay will be gone. However, this is not the solution. The arrows are gone because the folder has again become normal and not any more compressed.
Change the Icon of Compressed Folders and Files to remove Double Blue arrows on Icons
If you want to keep your folders and files compressed but do not want the two blue arrows overlay on their icons, you have to replace the icon with the blank.ico. You require the Registry Editor for that. However, you must know that, since the blue arrows are gone, you won’t be able to distinguish between compressed folders or files and uncompressed folders or files. This might be a disadvantage. Follow these steps to remove the blue arrows overlay:
- Download the transparent icons.
- Extract the blank.ico to any folder you prefer. Here we will save it in the following path: C:\Blank Icon
- Open the Run Command Box and type Regedit to launch Registry Editor.
- In the Registry Editor, navigate to the following path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
- Now you have to create a new Key named Shell Icons under Explorer if the key doesn’t already exist.
- Right-click on the Explorer, hover the mouse over New and select Key. Name it Shell Icons.
- Now right-click on Shell Icons and select New-> String Value and name it 179.
- Double-click on the 179 String Value, and under Value data, type the full path of the blank.ico.
- Close the Registry and reboot the PC.
The two blue arrows on icons will be gone from the compressed folder.
Though blue arrows on icons are helpful in identifying the compressed folders, some users might find them irritating. This post will help you to get rid of those double blue arrows overlay.
The double blue arrows on the desktop icons indicate that the file or folder is compressed using the Windows File Compression function.
NO, two blue arrows over the desktop icons do not represent the virus attack. It just means that the file or folder is compressed to occupy less disk space.
Peter is an Electrical Engineer whose primary interest is tinkering with his computer. He is passionate about Windows 10 Platform and enjoys writing tips and tutorials about it.