Some of you have seen green check marks on your desktop files, folders, and some icons. These check marks appear at the bottom left side of files, folders, and shortcut icons placed on the desktop. Don’t get confused with the little green arrows that appear on the bottom left side of desktop shortcuts. These check marks are different. In this article, we will see what these green check marks on desktop icons are and how to remove them.
What are green check marks on Desktop icons?
The green check mark icon overlay indicates that it is a synced file or folder. It is seen if you have OneDrive, or Dropbox installed and your cloud sync is enabled for that file or folder. The check marks on files, folders, and icons indicate that these files, folders, and icons are successfully backed up to your cloud storage, and data is locally available on your system.
When you set up OneDrive on your Windows 11/10 computer, it shows you the following three options to manage folder backup:
By default, all these three folders remain selected and OneDrive backs up all the files and folders you place inside these folders. You can stop backup anytime for these three folders in OneDrive settings. Backing up your files and folders to OneDrive cloud storage protects your files from being lost permanently in case your system runs into a problem.Hence, these green check marks are because OneDrive is installed on your computer and not because of a virus or malware infection.
If you do not want your files, folders, and icons placed on your desktop to show these green check mark icon overlays, you can remove them.
- Unlink OneDrive
- Stop backup in OneDrive
- Disable it using AutoRuns or ShellExView
- Tweak the Registry
Let’s see all these fixes in detail.
1] Unlink OneDrive
The green check marks appear because OneDrive keeps running in the background and syncing your data to the cloud. OneDrive has the option to pause sync but the maximum time limit for this is 24 hours. Hence, if you select 24 hours, after 24 hours, you have to pause sync again.
Hence, instead of using the Pause syncing feature, you can unlink OneDrive from your computer. This action will stop syncing your files to the cloud and remove all the Online Only files but the Locally Available files will not be removed. You will be able to access the Locally available files after unlinking OneDrive from your computer.
The steps to Unlink OneDrive from your computer are:
- Click on the cloud icon on the right side of your Taskbar.
- Click on the gear-shaped icon on the top right side and select Settings.
- A new window will appear. Select the Account tab.
- Click Unlink this PC.
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2] Stop backup in OneDrive
If you do not want to unlink OneDrive from your computer, you can stop backup in OneDrive settings. We have explained earlier that OneDrive keeps syncing the data placed inside the following three folders:
You can stop backup for any of these folders. To do so, open OneDrive settings by following the instructions explained in the previous fix and select the Sync and Backup tab. Now, click on the Manage backup button. This action will open the Manage folder backup window. Here you will see the three folders mentioned above. Click on the Stop backup link under Desktop to stop the backup. After performing this action, the files and folders with green check marks will disappear from your desktop.
Now, you can copy those files, folders, and icons on your desktop, and they will no longer show the green check marks. To do so, open the Desktop folder. To open your Desktop folder, type the following command in the Run command box and click OK.
The above command will open your user profile folder that contains Desktop and other folders. Open the Desktop folder and copy all the items inside it to your desktop.
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3] Disable it using AutoRuns or ShellExView
You can also use AutoRuns or ShellExView software to remove green check marks from the desktop icons, files, and folders. AutoRuns is a useful tool developed by Microsoft that helps users know which programs are configured to run during system startup or login and when you run different built-in Windows applications. ShellExView is a third-party software that helps users enable and disable shell extensions installed on their Windows computers. Both AutoRuns and ShellExView are portable software which means you need not install them on your system.
Before you proceed, we suggest you back up your Registry and create a System Restore Point.
Remove green check marks from desktop icons using AutoRuns
You can download AutoRuns from the official website of Microsoft. After downloading it, extract the zip file and open the extracted folder. You will find the exe file of AutoRuns there. Run it as an administrator to enable or disable the shell extensions.
After launching AutoRuns, scroll down and locate OneDrive. You will find multiple OneDrive entries, named from number 1 to number 7. If you do not find OneDrive entries, go to the Everything tab. The green check marks on your desktop icons, files, and folders are due to any one of these OneDrive entries. Now, follow the steps written below:
- Disable any one of the OneDrive entries, say OneDrive1. To do so, uncheck the checkbox.
- Open the task Manager and locate Windows Explorer.
- Right-click on Windows Explorer and select Restart.
Go to your desktop and see if the green check marks have disappeared or not. If not, disable the next OneDrive entry, OneDrive2, then restart Windows Explorer, and see if it helps. Repeat the process till the green check marks disappear. In my case, disabling the OneDrive7 entry fixed the issue.
Do note that, disabling the OneDrive entry by using AutoRuns also deletes that particular key from the Registry, and enabling the same entry restores the deleted key. But you will not be able to restore that key once you exit AutoRuns without enabling that entry. In this case, the only way to restore the deleted key is using the System Restore or Registry backup. That’s why we suggested you create a System Restore Point and a Registry backup.
Read: What are these 2 small blue arrow overlays which appear on desktop icons?
Remove green check marks from desktop icons using ShellExView
You can also use ShellExView to remove the green check marks from your desktop icons, files, and folders. First, download ShellExView from its official website, nirsoft.net. Now, extract the downloaded zip file and open the extracted folder. Double-click on the application file to launch ShellExView and select the following items:
- ErrorOverlayHandler Class
- SharedOverlayHandler Class
- UpToDateCloudOverlayHandler Class
- UpToDatePinnedOverlayHandler Class
- UpToDateUnpinnedOverlayHandler Class
Press and hold the Ctrl button to select multiple items. After selecting the above items, click on the red dot on the top left side to disable the selected items. Alternatively, you can also use the right-click context menu. After disabling the above items, restart Windows Explorer using Task Manager.
Read: How to remove blue and yellow shield from an icon.
4] Tweak the Registry
You can also remove the green check marks from the desktop icons, files, and folders permanently by deleting the required key from the Registry Editor. In the above fix, we have seen that the OneDrive7 key is responsible for green check marks in my case. Hence, I deleted that key from the Registry Editor, and the problem disappeared. In your case, the key may be the same or different. You can use this trick. But before you delete any OneDrive key, we recommend you create a backup of that key so that you can restore it again.
Open the Registry Editor and go to the following path:
To go to the above path, copy and paste it into the address bar of the Registry Editor. After that, hit Enter. Now, expand the ShellIconOverlayIdentifiers key. You will see OneDrive subkeys and other subkeys under that key. To delete a particular OneDrive key, right-click on it and select Delete. But before deleting it, right-click on it and select Export to save it on your computer so that you can restore it later.
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I hope this helps.
Read next: Fix OneDrive error: Sorry there is a problem displaying this folder.
Well, the green check mark on desktop icons means that Microsoft's OneDrive has successfully backed up your files to the cloud. All selected files and folders that have been backed up are marked with a green check mark. If you lose access to your Windows PC, you can find these files or folders in OneDrive.How do I remove the checkmark from icons in Windows 11? ›
- Press Windows key + E to launch File Explorer or open it from the taskbar icon.
- With File Explorer open, click the View button on the top toolbar.
- When the dropdown menu appears, select Show, and click the Item check boxes setting to deselect it.
Well, the green check mark on desktop icons means that Microsoft's OneDrive has successfully backed up your files to the cloud. All selected files and folders that have been backed up are marked with a green check mark. If you lose access to your Windows PC, you can find these files or folders in OneDrive.How do I get rid of the check mark on my icons? ›
Step 1: Open File Explorer or This PC in Windows 11. Step 2: On the menu bar, click View. Step 3: Hover your mouse over Show. Then, uncheck the Item Check boxes option.What does a green circle with a check mark mean? ›
If you see a green outline of a circle with a check mark, then that means that the file was originally only available online, but has been downloaded so you can view it on your device.How do I get rid of green check marks on desktop Dropbox? ›
If you're just browsing files without adding anything, exiting out of Dropbox and refreshing the Dropbox folder page removes the green check marks.What is the green bar on my computer screen? ›
Green bars may appear if you're using the incorrect resolution for your monitor. Different sized monitors have different ideal resolutions, so search for your monitor model online or get its user manual to find out what resolution it likes best.What is the green arrow on my desktop? ›
This arrow indicates that this drive has sharing enabled. - Right-click on the drive and select "Properties". - Select the "Sharing" tab; - Select "Advanced Sharing".What are the dots under the icons on Windows 11? ›
The dots or lines/underscore under the icons on the Taskbar indicate their status, means the program is open but may not be in Focus. A short line mans the program is minimized or in the background, the long line means that program has the Focus. It's a bit different from what's seen in Win10.Why do I have cloud icons on my desktop? ›
A Blue cloud or a cloud with an arrow icon next to your OneDrive files or folders indicates that the file is only available online. Online-only files don't take up space on your computer. You can't open online-only files when your device isn't connected to the Internet.
However, you don't have to worry about it at all. This is a simple indicator to tell you that the file has been compressed, meaning that the file size is smaller and easier to transfer.What does a checkmark icon mean? ›
A check or check mark (American English), checkmark (Philippine English), tickmark (Indian English) or tick (Australian, New Zealand English, and British English) is a mark (✓, ✔, etc.) used, primarily in the English-speaking world, to indicate the concept "yes" (e.g. "yes; this has been verified", "yes; that is the ...Where is the check mark in Microsoft symbols? ›
Go to Insert > Symbol. Select More Symbols. Scroll up or down to find the checkmark you want to insert. Different font sets often have different symbols.How do I get rid of the green screen on Windows? ›
- How to fix Green Screen of Death on Windows 10/11?
- Fix 1: Remove the peripheral devices.
- Fix 2: Update the OS and drivers.
- Fix 3: Repair file system, bad sectors, and errors on the system drive.
- Fix 4: Uninstall third-party antivirus tools.
- Fix 5: Repair your Windows OS.
- Recover the data lost due to GSoD.
In the Ribbon, select File > Options > Formulas > Error Checking. In the Error checking rules section, remove the check mark from Numbers formatted as text or preceded by an apostrophe to stop Excel from checking for this specific error, and then click OK.