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Remove Drop Shadow Effect for Desktop Icon labels

On Windows 11 and 10, you will see a drop shadow effect for the icon labels (file names) on the desktop and File Explorer. It makes the label or file name easier to read. However, under certain circumstances, like when using light backgrounds, the drop shadow can make the label or file name harder to read and make it look ugly. Thankfully, if you don’t like it, you can remove the drop shadow effect for icon labels on the desktop from the Performance Options window or registry. Without ado, let’s learn how to do it.

Remove Drop Shadow using Performance Options

Click on the Windows logo on the taskbar to open the Start menu. Once opened, search for “Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows” and click on the top result. This will open the “Performance Options” window. You can also open this window by navigating to “Settings” (press Windows key + I) > “System” > “About” > “Advanced System Settings” and clicking the “Settings” button under “Performance“.

open performance options from start menu

Under the “Visual Effects” tab, uncheck the “Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop” checkbox. Press “Ok.”

uncheck to remove drop shadow for icon labels on desktop

With this small change, the drop shadow effect is completely removed. If you don’t see the change immediately, reboot your computer by pressing the Start key and selecting “Power button” > “Restart”.

Change ‘ListviewShadow’ Registry Value

As an alternative to using the Advanced Performance Options, you can also create and change a registry value called “ListviewShadow” to remove drop shadows on Windows 11 and 10. Here’s how.

As the first step, we must open Registry Editor. For that, open the Run window (press Windows key + R), type “regedit” and press Enter on your keyboard. You will see a UAC confirmation box, press “Yes” to open the Registry Editor. Next, go to the “HKEY_CURRENT_USER” > “Software” > “Microsoft” > “Windows” > “CurrentVersion” > “Explorer” > “Advanced” folder.

go to advanced folder in registry

Ensure the Advanced folder is selected on the left sidebar, find the “ListviewShadow” value on the right panel, right-click on the value, and choose “Modify.” You can also double-click on it.

modify registry value

Change the ListviewShadow’s Value Data from 1 to “0” and press the Ok button.

change value data to 0

Finally, click on the X icon on the title bar to close the registry editor and reboot your computer. To reboot, press the Start key and click on “Power icon” > “Restart” in the Start menu.

‘Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop’ option doesn’t work

If unchecking the “Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop” checkbox in the Performance Options window or changing the “ListviewShadow” registry value to “0” did not remove the drop shadow for icon labels then you should check if your system has KB5030310 (optional update) installed. If it is installed, a bug in the update is stopping you from removing the drop shadow effect. To fix the problem, you have to uninstall the Windows Update. Here’s how.

Launch the Settings window (press Windows key + I) and go to the “Windows Update” > “Update History” > “Uninstall Updates” page, find the “KB5030310” update, and click on the “Uninstall” option. Follow the on-screen wizard and restart your computer once the Windows update has been uninstalled.

uninstall Windows update

After restarting, follow one of the above two methods to get rid of icon label drop shadows.

I hope this small tutorial helped you.

If you are stuck or need help, send an email, and I will try to help as much as possible.

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