If you are running Windows 10 and have noticed icons with two blue arrows on them, you may be wondering and want to know what this symbol means.
The operating system Windows 10 adds overlays to icons to indicate many things. For example, a single arrow overlay on icons indicates that these are file / folder / program shortcuts. Similarly, the overlay of a blue and yellow shield on the program icons indicates that the programs require administrator privileges to run. Or respectively if it has a yellow padlock then the content is encrypted.
If you see icons with two blue arrows (pointing at each other) appearing in folders and files, it's because these folders and files are compressed.
Most PC users are unaware of the built-in NTFS file compression feature in Windows 10 (and earlier versions) that helps you recover some hard disk space by compressing files, folders, and drives. When a file or folder is compressed, Windows displays two blue arrows (pointing to each other) in the icons of files or folders to indicate that they are compressed. In addition, all files and folders on a drive may display blue arrow icons on them, indicating that the entire drive is compressed.
Also in addition to the arrows on the icons, the compressed files or folders have their names in blue letters and not in black which is the normal color of Explorer.
There are two ways to remove blue arrows from icons. The first method is simply to turn off the compression (!!!). The second method is to configure Windows 10 not to show two blue arrows in compressed files, which you probably do not want to do, but it does not hurt to know how to do it.
First, let's look at how you can compress a file or folder.
Step 1: Open Explorer, navigate to the folder or file or drive that you want to compress, and right-click on it. Then click Properties.
Step 2: If you want to compress a drive, select the box that says "Compress the drive to save disk space". Click the Apply button.
If you want to compress a file or folder (or both), on the General tab, click the Advanced button. Clicking the "Advanced" button will open the Advanced Properties dialog box.
Step 3: Here, in the "Compression or Encryption Features" section, select the "Compress contents to save disk space" box. Click the OK button. Click the Apply button.
Step 4: When the following dialog box appears (only when you compress folders with files and subfolders in it), select "Apply changes to this folder, subfolders and files". Click the OK button.
Depending on the size of the files / folders / disk, Windows 10 may take a few seconds to hours to complete the compression.
The compressed files should now have blue in their names and display two blue arrows in their icons.
Similarly, if you want to unzip the compressed files or folders or drive, do the reverse process. If you still have the two blue arrows after decompression, try clearing the icon cache by deleting the hidden file C: \\ Users \ Your_name_app \ DataData \ Local \ IconCache.db.
Hide the two blue arrows from the icons
In this method, we replace the default overlay icon used for compressed files with a corresponding blank.
Step 1: Open the Registry Editor by typing Regedit.exe in the search field in the Start or taskbar and pressing Enter. When the User Account Control query appears, click Yes.
Step 2: In the Registry Editor window, go to the following key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer
Step 3: Next, expand the Explorer key to see Shell Icons. If not, right-click the Explorer key, click the Create button, click the Key button, and name it Shell Icons.
Step 4: In the left pane, select the recently created Shell Icons folder. On the right side, right-click an empty spot, click Create, click String Value, and then name it 179.
Step 5: Finally, double-click the string value 179 and paste the following path:
C: \ Windows \ system32 \ BlankIcon.ico
In the above path, replace “C” with the drive letter of the installed Windows 10 drive.
Click the OK button.
NOTE: If you want a different icon instead of a blank one, download one from the web and place its path in the Price Data box.
Restart your computer to apply the new icon. If required, clear the icon cache.