Sometimes, you may see a shadow below the texts of your desktop icons which can make the texts difficult to read. This is called the drop shadow effect and hat’s when you may want to remove this drop shadow effect on your Windows 10/11 PC. This is apparently a bug that has been affecting the users since quite a few years. The drop shadow effect makes it difficult for you to distinguish between the letters in the text below the icons, thus, straining your eyes.
While the shadows are one of the customization options by Windows, but sometimes, even after disabling the effect, it still shows up. Which means, it’s an issue that can be annoying for those who want to get rid of it, but are unable to do so. The good thing is, there are a couple of ways to remove the drop shadow effect in Windows 10/11 PC. Let’s see how..
Method 1: Disable drop shadows Via Performance Options
The shadows are automatically enabled in the Windows 11, however, the visual effects can be disabled from the Performance Options in Control Panel. Let’s see how to disable drop shadows via Performance Options:
Step 1: Press the Win + R keys together on your keyboard to open the Run command window.
Step 2: In the Run command search field, type sysdm.cpl and hit Enter to open the System Properties window.
Step 3: In the System Properties dialogue box, select the Advanced tab.
Here, under the Performance section, click on the Settings button.
Step 4: This will open the Performance Options dialogue box.
Now, under the Visual Effects tab, look for Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop and uncheck the option.
Press Apply and then Save to apply the changes and exit.
Now, restart your PC and the drop shadow effect on your Windows 10/11 should be disabled now. Also, the desktop icons should display normal texts now.
*Note – If the shadows still appear, even after disabling the Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop option, then follow the Steps 1 through 3, then under the Visual effects tab, look for Animate controls and elements inside windows and uncheck this option as well.
Method 2: Disable the shadows via the Registry Editor
The above method requires administrator rights to make any changes to the Visual Effects and hence, those who do not have the admin rights can make change to the registry values to disable the drop shadow effect on your Windows 10/11 PC. The Registry Editor, on the other hand, needs you to have the admin rights only for writing to locations shared by several users. But editing the current user keys do not require you to have without the administrator rights.
Step 1: Right-click on the Start menu and select Run from the context menu.
Step 2: This will open the Run command window.
In the Run command search box, type regedit and hit Enter to open the Registry Editor window.
Step 3: Now, copy and paste the below path in the Registry Editor address bar and hit Enter:
Now, go to the right side of the window, look for the DWORD (32-bit) Value – ListViewShadow and double-click on it.
Step 4: Now, in the Edit DWORD (32-bit) Value dialogue box, set the Value data field to 0 and the drop shadow effect will be disabled.
Press OK to save the changes and exit.
To enable the drop shadow effect again any time later, simply change the Value data field to 1.
*Note – Before you proceed to make any changes to the registry editor data, make sure that you create a backup of the registry settings. This will ensure that you can recover any data easily, in case you lose any during the process.
Method 3: Disable transparent Start, taskbar and action center (Windows 10)
If disabling the Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop makes no difference to the drop shadow effect on the text of the desktop icons, the other way out would be to try this solution. Let’s see how to disable the shadow effect using the Settings app:
Step 1: Press the Win + I keys simultaneously on your keyboard to open the Settings app.
Step 2: In the Settings window, go to the left side of the pane and click on Personalisation.
Step 3: Now, go to the right side and click on Colours.
Step 4: Next, on the right side, scroll down to Transparency effects and turn it off.
Now, close the Settings app and restart your PC for the changes to be effective. You should not see the shadow effect anymore.
Method 4: Via Task Manager
Another very important method would be to restart the Windows Explorer in Task Manager as sometimes, it can get stuck and cause issues, that is, in the removal of the shadow effect. Let’s see how to restart Window Explorer via Task Manager:
Step 1: Right-click on the Start menu and select Task Manager from the context menu.
Step 2: In the Task Manager window, under the Processes tab, locate Windows Explorer.
Now, right-click on it and select Restart.
This will reboot the Windows Explorer and remove the drop shadow effect from the text below the desktop icons on your Windows 11 PC.
Method 5: Through the Settings App
Sometimes, the issue could arise due to the background image on your desktop, which may interfere with the desktop icons. In such a case, it’s recommended to remove the desktop background image and apply a solid colour instead. Follow the below steps to potentially remove the drop shadow and fix the issue:
Step 1: Right-click on the Start menu and select Settings from the context menu.
Step 2: In the Settings app, click on Personalisation on the left side.
Step 3: Now, travel to the right side and click on Background.
Step 4: Next, in the Background screen, go to the Personalise your background field and select Solid colour from the drop-down next to it.
Now, go to the Choose your background colour section and select the color from the available tiles to set as your desktop background colour.
Once that’s done, close the Settings window and now you should have successfully removed the drop shadow effect in Windows 10/11.