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How to Remove Shadows and Colors on Desktop Icons in Windows XP

Updated on February 1, 2013
Colors and shadows besides desktop icons
Colors and shadows besides desktop icons

Are you in Love with your Desktop Appearance?

It always feels nice to start a computer and you are welcomed by a smart and beautiful desktop. Smart in this case will not just be the way you have arranged the Icons but also by their appearance on the desktop. In some cases we might not be in love with it's appearance even after applying a beautiful desktop background. This is mostly when you find shadows besides the icons as well as their names. The color may not be too appealing and you get to wonder where it came from.

Where did the shadows come from?

These shadows will normally appear as a result of two things.

  1. When there is a web picture applied on the desktop.
  2. Change in the Visual effects on your computer.

How to remove the Shadows

From the two causes we have listed above, we are going to follow the steps in both cases on how to remove the shadows.

In case of the Web picture;

  1. Right-click on an empty area on the desktop and click on properties
  2. This should open up the display properties dialog box. Click on the desktop tab then click on customize desktop.
  3. You are now on the desktop items dialog box. Click on the Web tab.
  4. Make sure the "My Current Home Page" box is not checked, otherwise uncheck it.
  5. Click OK, Apply then OK to see if there is any change.

If no change is realized, we are now going to the other steps for checking the visual effects on our computer. These are normally altered unknowingly and to many are the most probable reasons.

N/B: Most of the changes you make here needs the Administrator privileges. Make sure you are not on a Limited account as this will not allow you to make the changes

  1. Right-click on My Computer and click on properties.
  2. On the System Properties dialog box, click on the Advanced tab.
  3. On the performance section, click on Settings then the Visual Effects tab.
  4. If the settings are set to Custom, select the "Adjust for best appearance" option as trying to change one option at a time can take you a lot of time and at the same time alter some other settings.
  5. Click the Apply, OK buttons and then close the other dialog box by clicking OK.

These steps should now change your desktop and by now you should be smiling to have it's beautiful view back. It's always advisable to be regularly cleaning the desktop by removing any unused icons. A desktop with clustered items is not one of the best to look at and it also wastes one's time trying to locate a single icon amidst the rest.


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