Windows 11 offers a completely new interface compared to previous versions. However, it carries over some of the annoying stuffs offered in previous Windows 10 versions. One such a problem is the drop shadow showing for desk icon labels. You can notice a shadow below the icon text and comes as a default function. In this article, we will explain how to remove drop shadow from desktop icon labels in Windows 11 to look them cool for your eyes.
Why to Remove the Icon Text Shadow?
In general, it will look good, and you will not find any difference in icons with or without text shadow. However, the shadow effect may disturb in the following situations:
- You have cluttered desktop filled with plenty of icons and need to search for an app to open.
- The desktop theme and icons may not blender smoothly.
- You may have a vision problem or get irritated when looking text with shadows.
- Drop shadow can make the icon text unreadable in some cases and you want to get rid of that.
- It can also affect the system performance especially when you have lot of app icons on the desktop.
With and Without Text Shadow?
Below is how the desktop icons will look with the default drop shadow effect in Windows 11.
And here is how it will look after removing the shadow effect for text labels.
As you can see the text is clearly readable without shadow. The images were taken on high resolution laptop, it could be worser on low resolution monitors.
Accessing System Properties
Fortunately, Windows allows to remove the drop shadow effect from system settings without any tweak. You can use one of the following methods to open system settings.
- Right click on “This PC” icon on your desktop and select “Properties.” If you do not see “Properties” option, you may need to click on “Show more options” to expand the context menu. If you do not find “This PC” icon, check out this article on how to bring it to your desktop. Also, learn how to bring back right click context menu in Windows 11 like Windows 10.
- Press “Win + E” keys to open File Explorer. Right click on “This PC” and select “Properties” menu.
- Finally, instead of going through “This PC”, you can press “Win + I” keys to open Windows Settings app. Go to “System” section and scroll down to bottom on the right pane and click “About” option.
Remove Drop Shadow Settings
When you are in the “System > About” settings page, click on the “Advanced system settings” option showing against “Related links.”
This will open “System Properties” dialog box and go to “Advanced” tab (it should open in “Advanced” tab by default). Click on “Settings” button under “Performance” section.
On the “Performance Options” pop-up that appears, make sure you are on “Visual Effects” tab. By default, Windows will use “Let Windows choose what’s best for my computer” option.
You will see a list of options that affects the visual appearance in Windows 11. Uncheck the last option that says, “Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop.” Now, you will see the settings changed to “Custom:” option automatically.
Click “Apply” button and then click “OK” on all pop-up windows to close them. Note that you need to use administrator access for modifying the performance settings in Windows 11.
Restart and Check Icon Labels
Unfortunately, the changes will not work until you restart your computer. Click on the “Start” icon on your taskbar and then click the power icon. Select “Restart” option to restart your computer.
After restarting your system, you can see the drop shadow effect is disabled on desktop icon labels. Now, you should be able to read the text without struggle.
Remove Drop Shadow Using Registry Editor
Instead of changing the visual effect from system settings page, you can also use Registry Editor to modify the keys.
- Press “Win + R” keys to open Run dialog.
- Enter regedit and press ok to open Registry Editor.
- Paste this path in the box and press enter to navigate to that location:
- You will see lot of REG_DWORD type items and find the ListviewShadow and double click on it.
- On the “Edit DWORD (32-bit) Value” pop-up, change the “Value data” from 1 to 0 and press OK.
- Close Registry Editor and restart your computer for the changes to take effect. You will not see the drop shadow when your computer restarts.
You can either change the default system settings or go through Registry Editor route to disable the shadow effect. Unfortunately, you need to follow this lengthy process for disabling such a simple thing. This is the same problem as adjusting icon spacing on the desktop screen. Though Microsoft claims Windows 11 is more flexible than any other operating systems, you still need to navigate through multiple screens or do the registry hack for simple customizations.