{ 236 Intelligent Comments }

Desktop icons all have blue highlight box around text

Icons highlighted in blueAre your icons name’s blue?

In Windows XP your desktop icons text labels used to be transparent but now the icons seem to have a blue background or blue highlight. This seems to have happened the icons for no reason i.e. you did not mess with your appearance settings or display settings.


The icons on your Windows XP desktop have a blue background on the text label or the whole icon.


This usually happens the Windows XP icons for one of three reasons:

  • you have the desktop items locked
  • you have the background set as a web page
  • you have the drop shadow setting enabled

Solution 1 – Uncheck “Lock Web Items on Desktop”

  1. Right click on your Windows Desktop
  2. In the context menu, click Arrange Icons By > Uncheck Lock Web Items on Desktop
  3. Click OK
  4. Check your desktop icons

Solution 2 – Desktop Home Page Problem

  1. Right click on your Windows Desktop
  2. In the context menu, click Properties
  3. Display Properties should appear. Click the Desktop tab
  4. Now click the Customize Desktop… button
  5. The Desktop Items properties page should appear. Click the Web tab
  6. In the top pane where it says ‘My Current Home Page’, delete all entries from that pane except ‘My Current Home Page’
  7. Uncheck My Current Home Page
  8. Uncheck Lock desktop items
  9. Click OK and OK again
  10. Check you icons

Solution 3 – Disable Drop Shadow

  1. Right click on the ‘My Computer’ icon
  2. In the context menu, click Properties
  3. Click Advanced tab > Settings (In the Performance section)
  4. Look down the list and clear the Drop Shadows option
  5. Click OK > OK
  6. Check your icons

Disable drop shadows option to fix blue highlight around desktop icons


Wow, 236 Comments! We've got a conversation going now. Join the discussion below!

  1. Race says:

    Thankk you sooooo much!!!=)..

    1. Amit says:

      Thankyou it works ….

      1. Anonymous says:

        did all of the above and still did not work

        1. Javmiller says:

          Try making your background wallpaper as a .bmp file; it works for me

        2. Javmiller says:

          Try making your background wallpaper as a .bmp or maybe a .jpg file; it works for me

          1. Anonymous says:

            I had the background as a .Png
            Quickly opened it up in paint and saved it as a .jpg and now it works, thanks for solving my problem

            1. sandeep says:

              thank u…

            2. Anonymous says:

              same here

          2. Stephie says:

            Thank you so much. I had no idea .png files were causing this.

        3. amir kips says:

          same here

    2. satya says:


    3. shepster says:

      superstar, thanx so much !!

    4. Anonymous says:


    5. rojareddy says:

      thankyou it is very useful to me

    6. Anonymous says:

      Thank you very much. It worked perfectly.

    7. Armindo Tomo says:

      Thank you so much it worked

    8. abin says:

      it works tanks

      1. Anonymous says:

        thanks for your valuable feedback regarding this problem

        1. Anonymous says:

          not solve my problem

    9. mohammad says:

      thank you so much it works

    10. Ruth says:

      Thank you soooooo much!

    11. Ajkosmo says:

      THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Those were so annoying

    12. Anonymous says:

      no it doesn’t working properly

    13. Anonymous says:


  2. Mel says:

    In my case I had created a PNG image to use as my desktop. I converted that image to JPEG with Gimp and the blue highlight went away.

  3. Govind says:

    Yes, I have succeeded in trying Solution – 2 detailed here.I could get rid of blue highlight box.Thank you very much for the solution.

  4. Lauren says:

    Thanks! Unchecking the Lock Desktop Items box removed my blue highlights, too. Hooray!

  5. ibee says:

    wow., thanks! it’s a great help..^__^

    1. Alma says:

      Thanks a lot… u did really help…

  6. Rosco says:

    Hi ibee,

    Glad you solved your problem!

    Take Care


    1. Alan says:

      Hi Rosco,
      Tried all the things you mentioned and it seemed to work ok but when I restarted the computer it kept going back to the way it was. Help please!

      1. Alan says:

        I’ve solved my own problem. I ended up going to Control Panel > Accessibility Options > Display then chose contrast settings (ensuring the Use High Contrast box was unchecked) and in the drop down box, changed the setting to High Contrast Black (Large). Then when I restarted the computer there was no longer a shaded box under the icons 🙂

  7. Anonymous says:

    awesome! It worked great! 🙂

  8. Eric says:

    Oh, thank you thank you thank you. Finally my desktop looks normal again!!!

  9. Yvan says:

    Solution 3 helps me thx!

  10. lori says:

    all 3 solution did not work still blue.
    Help please

    1. Rosco says:

      Hey lori…Send me a screenshot and I’ll see what’s up…might be a different problem.


  11. Patrick says:

    This has been my problem for weeks, and I didn’t know what to do. I tried googling it and found these solutions. I tried the 2nd solution. It worked!! Thanks a lot!

    1. Rosco says:

      Hi Patrick, That’s good to hear. I’m glad google is sending people my way…good boy google… 🙂

      Take care. Thanks for visiting.


  12. star says:

    thank you soooo much,your solution was complete and helpful.
    you first mentioned the reasons and then explained how to solve this problem,the best way,I’d already fixed it once,but now I was forgetting it,I searched some sites but yours was the most complete,
    thank you all again.

  13. Rosco says:

    Hi there star…glad this worked well for you!


  14. Anonymous says:

    Thank u very much i get rid of this by selecting Sol-2……….thank u very much admin…………….

  15. Baljinder shahi says:

    tanks a lot actually i am a kind of person not like to going something wrong with my machine so you helped me a lot thanks

  16. S S Parikshit says:

    thanks alot your solution #2 solved my problem and also solved my worry once again thanks a ton

  17. ck says:

    Thank YOU..thank you ..thank you. I have been trying to solve this forever. You rock!

  18. mazhar says:

    3 step try but not working way reason this problem ?
    pleas tell me

    1. mazhar says:

      sorry i am try again and job is done
      very very thanks

  19. sharry says:

    thanks so much…..second option worked for me….now i can impress lots of my friends who has the same problem….thanks soooooooo much…

  20. nivethan says:

    Thank u very much…

  21. Nancy says:

    HURRAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!! Finally got the right answers…those highlighted words were bugging me…TYSM!!!!

  22. Hariom says:

    thanx buddy this is really helpful.Finally i got rid-off of those highlighted words

  23. Jenkenz06 says:

    Thanx man..it was really helpful

  24. psteelerfan says:

    Here is another solution:
    Go to the Control Panel and then to Accessibility Options and then the display tab. Next uncheck the box to use high contrast.

  25. Kamz says:

    i tried all three none owrked for me???

    1. Rosco says:

      Hi Kamz, If you remove your desktop background image and just set a plain colour background – does the problem go away?

      If not, perhaps you can email me a screenshot of your desktop?

      rosco at proposedsolution.com

      1. Sho says:

        Rosco I removed the desktop background image and set a plain color
        the problem did go away, but then as soon as i put a pic back
        the highlighting comes back.

        1. Sho says:

          finally did the second one and deleted the active desktop
          page from the web listing. looks so much better now thanks much!

  26. Christy H says:

    Thanks it Worked!!

  27. nick says:

    thanks a great deal!! solution 2 did all the magic.

  28. DEEP says:

    good solution

  29. Thomas says:

    Thanks very much, you solved my problem!!!!!!!

    1. Angie says:

      thank you so much3 without u it will be so frustrating part 2

  30. basha says:

    thanku sir

  31. Anirban says:

    Very Good..working..(Solution 2 – Desktop Home Page Problem)


  32. toha says:


  33. Anonymous says:

    Salamat po

  34. emon says:

    it works!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    thank u

  35. tymi says:

    all worked ….
    the first one is quite magical…………..:)

  36. Rajesh says:

    Great ! I tried from the step 1 to 3.
    It works.. now the blue box is removed below the icon

  37. Android says:

    Thanks sooo much

  38. Ramesh says:

    Thanks a lot

  39. Shivanand says:

    Thanks a lot mate……..

  40. samithashiva says:

    thank u wery much

  41. Nadda says:

    Thanks – Sol 2 worked very well for me.

  42. Nadda says:

    Thanks – Sol 2 worked very well for me. AWESOME

  43. dcle3 says:

    thank you it worked great . I build computers and never had this problem ..I feel stupid now lol

  44. Roosedon says:

    I am having a similar problem, however, none of the solutions work even though I have tried all a number of times. HELP!!!!!

  45. aSh says:

    ur a genius

  46. hema says:

    Dear Sir,
    Out of three , first two didn’t worked out for me while trying the third option I am not getting the option of shadow option , under VISUAL EFFECTS

    plz help

  47. Pradeep says:

    It works, but what if I need to use a webpage as desktop background?

  48. Lucky babbar says:

    It was really helpful for me , …………… please make the ,ore notes on another problem that we are facing regularly……..

  49. missy says:

    Solution #2 worked for me. I’m so thankful you have provided these solutions, I was going crazy trying to figure out how to fix this. I’m happy now 🙂

  50. Dipen says:

    Thank you very much. Solution 2 is work for me

  51. Maureen says:

    I’m afraid none of the above worked for me. I eventually found that by right clicking on My Computer selecting Properties, this shows System Properties window; click on Advanced tab, on here select Performance/ Settings. On the Performance Options window that opens select Visual effects tab and then selecting ‘let Windows choose what’s best for my computer’ then OK

    I guess the method of removal depends on how we each put them there!

    1. Jody says:

      Thanks Maureen – after trying all 3 solutions, yours was the only one that worked for me!

    2. Jeannie says:

      Thank you soooo much, your suggestion worked for me. I’m very happy those ugly blue icon highlights are gone!

    3. Pranil Rathod says:

      What Maureen said worked for me too….
      i do believe that the methods given work differently for each.

  52. prabhakaran says:

    ear Sir,
    Out of three , first didn’t worked but the second one worked.i thank u a lot

  53. dharma says:

    second one worked for me, thanks

  54. Mac says:

    Thanks a Gazillioooonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

  55. ALI says:

    it worked!!!!!!!! i’ve had this problem for years now and the second solution totally did it!! thanks so much you guys!!

  56. piya says:

    thanks a lot!

  57. Hitesh says:

    thanks…. solution 2 worked for me….. \,,/

  58. Rajasekhar.R says:

    Thank You Buddy

  59. yogesh says:

    thanks yaar this is perfect solution give by u U are a very good person thank again….

    1. rs25 says:

      Thanks you very much its worked fine,

      1. dimuthu says:

        thanks it worked than again

    2. Anonymous says:

      Thank you very much. your info was very helpful

  60. Roosedon says:

    Problem solved. Thanks Maureen. None of the 3 posted solutions worked, however, Maureen’s post on August 23, 2011 finally resolved the blue highlights problem.

    Thanks again

    1. Maureen says:

      I’m glad that I was able to help

    2. Rishi says:

      Perfect it worked thanks man

  61. catat says:

    thank you soooooooooooooooooo much for solution no. 3!!!!!!!!!

  62. praveen says:

    thank you very much it solved my problem

  63. abreham says:

    tanx a lot good way to sole the problem and ur way is the way the help ppl. tanx a lot

  64. merlin says:


  65. yogeshk says:

    thanks bro. its really works. Most helpful answers in xp related problems.

  66. bhuvi says:

    nice troubleshoot my problem solved

  67. Thnkx sir for ur kind help.I’m very much glad dt i’ve successfully done my work.

  68. Jetin says:

    Thanks for the solution. It worked

  69. adam says:

    step 3 isperfectly work for me, many thanks

  70. පූසා says:

    thanks a lot. solution 2 worked for me 🙂

  71. azzedine says:

    the solution 2 is helpfull thanks bro.

  72. blueGuy says:

    i tried the 3 solutions and none of them worked!!

    1. Maureen says:

      Maybe the method I used can help – posted Aug 23

  73. Bintang says:

    Thank’s a lot sir..
    Its worked.

  74. ahmad jutt says:

    thankkkkkkkkkk you boss for helped me.

  75. virendra says:

    thanxxxx helpd mw a lot

  76. virendra says:

    thanxxxx helpd me a lot

    1. Anonymous says:

      many many thanks,my solution done by only this site,lotttt of thanx …it is very simple to follow any one…again thankss…

  77. Anonymous says:

    thanks it worked

  78. Hardy says:

    Thanks alot for your support !!!

  79. Bnond says:

    thanks a lot. solution 2 worked for me 🙂

  80. enock says:

    thanks a milion, it works!!

  81. Ammy says:

    thanks it worked

  82. Kim says:

    Brilliant. Thank you so much.

  83. Anonymous says:

    thank you so much! it help a lot!

  84. praveen sharma says:

    thanx sir 3 solution is good for me

  85. mustafa says:

    thank you so much! it help a lot!

  86. Julia says:

    Thanks so much. I’ve just tried it too, and the second option worked perfectly!

  87. Dentin says:

    none of it worked

  88. mayur jain says:

    none of the solutions worked

  89. Maureen says:

    I’ve reposted the method I used, it might help someone

    depends on how we each put them there!

    ( I’m afraid none of the above worked for me. I eventually found that by right clicking on My Computer selecting Properties, this shows System Properties window; click on Advanced tab, on here select Performance/ Settings. On the Performance Options window that opens select Visual effects tab and then selecting ‘let Windows choose what’s best for my computer’ then OK
    I guess the method of depends on how we each put them there! )

    1. Anonymous says:

      It worked for me. The one that uses ‘let the Windows choose what’s best for my computer’. Thanks.

  90. azhar says:

    sir thank you so much for help us

  91. Chiteri says:

    Thanks a lot. After two days of trial and error, have managed to highlighter the icon on desktop.

  92. Mohana says:

    Thanks Solution is working.

  93. ageema says:

    thanks a lotttttttttt ….
    life saver

  94. ageema says:

    thanks a lotttttttttt ….
    life saver

  95. Anonymous says:

    thk u

  96. Jay says:

    In my case, the Drop Shadow setting was reversed: turning it on got rid of the blue and turning it off was making them appear in blue. This was a fresh install of Windows XP with SP3, straight off the disk & then performed all required updates. Nothing else was changed.

  97. Kelly says:

    Thank you so much! Solution 2 fixed me. I have been trying to get this fixed for a month.

  98. Ajay gautam says:

    thanxs ..second one working on my pc..thaxs alot..

  99. dhanesh says:

    thank You solution 2 is worked to my pc thanks a lot

  100. ali hussain says:


  101. Shamir says:

    It works. Thank you very much.

  102. dinesh says:

    thank u man…2nd solution is best in my side..thanks a lot..it works on me

  103. Anonymous says:

    Thank you….Finally!!!!

  104. R.N. Meena says:

    DO THIS “” (1)CLICK ON START (2) RUN AND TYPE sysdm.cpl click OK.
    (3) select Advance (4) performance (5) select ” use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop then ok/ Apply and again ok. remenber select custom & all box select. finally u will see desktop as before . kindly reply if your problem solved

  105. Arif says:

    Excellent !! it worked Thanx

  106. Sandun lalanka says:


  107. Scott says:

    Thank you. It was solution nuber 2 that worked. Scott

  108. whateverr says:


  109. doraemon says:

    thank you so much….=D

  110. duncan says:

    thanks, thanks, thanks!!

    at last!!

  111. AC says:

    None of these have worked so far. Please help totally frustrated !!

  112. Bill Mathews says:

    Still BLUE, have tried everything sggested:(:(

  113. Bill Try the above steps and the issue will be fixed keep me updated if the issue is not fixed.


  114. Solution 2 did it. Thanks. How did the boxes highlight? I was trying to save an image on a word page as a picture on desktop as I have lost the original. Must be a glitch in XP.

  115. arungoud says:

    thanks you very much sir, i get rid of the default settings, keep it up dude………………

  116. vrushabh patil says:

    Nailed it……………..
    thanks buddy

  117. dinu says:

    thanx alot….3rd solution workout for me….

  118. Rajvansh says:

    Thanks A Lot

  119. azej says:


  120. sadhu kokila says:

    Thank you very much its of great help

  121. dossarms says:

    thanku … i was searchin for d answer iii finally i got it … it really works

  122. Andrew says:

    I have drop shadows unchecked, lock desktop items uncheck, My Current Web Page unchecked, and my background is a jpg file. The blue highlights are still there.

    1. Shauna says:

      I’m experiencing the exact same thing. None of solutions suggested have worked. Can anybody help?

      1. Lucky7number7seven7 says:

        If your background is a dark colour or a bright colour (I can’t remember) it will automatically highlight them. There’s no way the change that.

  123. Harvinder says:

    Thank you so much. It was a great help. I went through so many websites but none were helpful.

  124. Prasad says:

    Its working.. Thank u very much..

  125. Ummy says:

    Thanks alot my dear! I hv already tried 1st and 3rd options but they didn’t work… final, the 2nd option helped me to solve that issue… thanks!

  126. tech support newbie says:

    Thanks! it works!! Well done!

  127. Freyzee says:

    great idea..thank you! these highlight make me boared so much…

  128. UMMER says:


  129. Awsum! says:

    It didn’t work for me so i just changed the file to a .JPEG by editing the desktop background and saving it as a .JPEG then just save the file and set it as your desktop background and it fixed it.

  130. Mukesh says:

    Thanks a lot. It is very useful and understandable for a person even if he is not an IT Professional.

  131. farray says:

    doesn;t work for me 🙁

  132. Sandrine says:

    Thank you so much. Worked!

  133. Bala says:

    Super Tips Thanks lot.

  134. santhosh says:

    thanks a lot

  135. abhijeet says:


  136. Nic says:

    Worked a treat. Thanks

  137. arunkumar says:

    second option worked..thank you very much…………

  138. Premji says:

    1000 times thanks for the info…

  139. Anonymous says:

    thank you so much.. it has worked.. I was really indeed too much hesitated from this problem but now as per your guidance it is solved. so many thanks again.. 🙂

  140. Abhijit Debnath says:

    Thanks ! solution 2 is effective

  141. sikandar thakur says:

    lotts of thanks no 2 is working

  142. Lili says:

    Thank you so much! Solution 2 worked for me! 🙂

  143. Lucky7number7seven7 says:

    if your background is a dark colour or a bright colour (I can’t remember) it will automatically highlight them. you cant change that.

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    1. Maureen says:

      That was an unnecessary comment for those that are here to help

  145. Fasahat says:

    thanks a lot

  146. ME says:


  147. hihart says:

    awesome, solution 2 was the answer, thanks so much!!

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  153. pankaj says:

    thank you to solve my problem

  154. saravanan says:

    Thanks very much, it works out for me.

  155. Ruth says:

    Thank you so much!

  156. Dean D. says:

    Thanks a lot for this help. Solution 2 did the trick. How this started I have no idea but you got rid of the annoying blue boxes.

  157. kanimozhi says:

    Thank you so much Yaa

  158. Kavi says:

    Thank you so much… (y)

  159. NAg says:

    Great 2nd Option worked for me 🙂

  160. Sam says:

    Thank you very much it was bothering me a lot thanks

  161. Damir says:

    THANK YOU!!!
    THANK YOU!!!

  162. raju says:


  163. Jeba Raj says:

    Thank you sooo much…. it works…. ha ha ha

  164. Habib says:

    So helpful a bundle of thanks.

  165. Devrim Sinan KARAVELIOGLU says:

    Thank you very much. Before reading your text I tried everything that could not solve the problem. But that really works. I got rid of that annoying problem. Thank you again.

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  168. Tariq says:

    Thankk you sooooo much!!!=)..

  169. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much
    very useful for me.

  170. Pauline says:

    Thank you soooo much, option 3 did the magic. your a genius #God Bless

  171. srikanta says:

    thank you so much…………..

  172. Rock says:

    Thanks its working !!!!
    Worth a Thumbs Up!!

  173. zakaria says:

    tanks alot this best sulotion for me
    very very tank you

  174. xfdf says:

    its works

  175. Nghashi Eka says:

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  179. Anshul says:

    Thanks for your solution
    It actually works.

    Thanks alot…..

  180. Anshul says:

    Thanks for your solution
    It actually works than kyou very much.

    Thanks alot…..

  181. Dean from New York says:

    You know what, people like you make the world a better place. Solution #2 worked great. Thanks a million. I’m about to go to bed and don’t have to wake up with another computer annoyance. A Blizzard is coming in right now, that’s bad enough.

  182. Anonymous says:

    Thank you very much

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  184. yusuf says:

    thanku so much

  185. Great, solution 2 works for me

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