xp hacks

Make desktop icons background colour as transparent in windows xp and vista

I have been juggling around for so many days in order to find the correct settings in Windows XP , so as to make the icons appear smooth with each and every desktop wallpaper. ( as shown in the image below ).

Icons With Background Colour


Icons Without Background Colour


Out of the above two which one do you like, your choice is up to you but most people like the second one ( icons without background colour ).

The only problem with the icons with background colour is whenever you set a  new desktop wallpaper you may need to select different background colour for your icons too so that they look better with your new wallpaper.

But there is setting both in windows XP and vista to make the background colour of icons as transparent.

Let’s see how to do it.

For windows XP and Vista

1. Right click on the My Computer, select properties.

2. Click on the Advanced Tab ( as shown in the image below ).


3. Click the on the Settings button, you will see a new window showing numerous number of options related to the GUI of windows. ( as shown in the image below).


4. As highlighted in the image above make sure to check the box which says “Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop“. and click Ok 2 times.

5. That’s it ! Done.

We hope you like this small tweak useful in windows.

19 replies on “Make desktop icons background colour as transparent in windows xp and vista”

Undoubtedly, Second one is better. As in first one you always need to change the background color. Also the icons without background color looks nice on any wallpaper. It gives good looks.

Hey just select “Let windows choose best settings for me” u”ll find it in…. Right Ckick My Computers –>Properties–>Advanced–>Settings–>Let windows choose best settings for me….Hope it woked….!!!

Try this:
“You can’t be displaying a web page as your background. To check this, right-click on the desktop and choose Properties. Select Customize desktop on the Desktop tab, then select the Web tab on the desktop items window and deselect any web pages that are shown.”

I had a jpeg as my desktop background and somehow a web page was still clicked in this menu. gotta love the logic of windows!

dear thanks for solution as i was trying from long time and was not able to get rid of shadows behind icons……….it worked.

I have tried all of the above suggestions and still cannot get the shadows off my desktop. Any other suggestions besides a reburn!

LISA thanks alot for the info .. tried everything to get rid of that background , went to “performance” and everything to no avail … but your info solve it!

I’ve deselect “Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop” and also web pages in desktop properties. I don’t know what to do. I already restart my computer, but without any change. Does anybody else know what can I do, except formatting my notebook? This problem also makes my programs go slowly. I’m sick of it! Help me, please!


Four things are required for transparent icon backgrounds:

1.Control Panel-System-Advanced-Performance Settings.
Check “Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop” on the Visual
Effects tab.

2.Right-click on Desktop – “Arrange Icons by” and ensure Lock Web
items is cleared.

3.Transparency will not work if you have web content on your desktop,
Control Panel – Display Properties – Desktop tab – Customize Desktop –
Web tab. Clear all check boxes or just delete all web content.

4. Ensure the Wallpaper is an image file not HTML.

Thats it.

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