How-To

How To Remove Windows Icon Check boxes (Updated)

Windows allows you to set check boxes to select multiple items, which some users find annoying. If you’re not a fan of the boxes, here’s how to get rid of them.

One of the more annoying things I find when I work on people’s computers is all the checkboxes for selecting icons and other items. I prefer to hold down the Ctrl key and select multiple items. If you’re not a fan of the boxes, here’s how to get rid of them.

Note: This article has been updated to include instructions on removing the checkboxes in Windows 10.

Check Boxes

Open Control Panel and select Folder Options.

Folder Options

When the Folder Options window opens, choose the View tab and scroll down and uncheck “Use check boxes to select items” and click OK.

Folder Options Screen

That’s it. No more boxes. Now you can use Ctrl or Shift and click or hit Ctrl + A to select all items. If you do like checkboxes for some reason, you can always enable them again.

Check Boxes

Disable Check Boxes in Windows 10

If you’ve upgraded to Windows 10, you can remove the checkbox from icons, too. You can still use the steps outlined above, but there is another way to do it as well.

Launch File Explorer and select the View tab on the Ribbon. In the Show/Hide section uncheck Item check boxes.

Uncheck Item Check Boxes

That’s all there is to it.


19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Rolo  

    Thaks it was easy and useful

  2. Raised on Unix  

    Thanks, that checkbox is so annoying!

  3. dapz  

    thanks..

  4. Julia  

    Thank you, really, thank you!

  5. Lou  

    thanks

  6. Hayden C  

    thanks a lot!!

  7. Sandeep Kumar  

    Thank you so much

  8. Rambo  

    thanks a lot!!

  9. Joaquin  

    Thank you!

  10. Carlos Nani  

    Thanks. It was so helpful 🙂

  11. TML  

    Perfect! Thank You.

  12. Teresa L Hoagland  

    Thank you very much! I don’t know when on of my grandchildren change the settings but I was so frustrated I had to Google the answer …. and you came to the rescue.

  13. Zoomwe  

    Thank you 🙂

  14. Bamboo Man  

    Thank you so much!

  15. SUnil Singh  

    Thanks for help

  16. wes  

    GOD BLESS YOU!!!, this has been terrorizing me for weeks now

  17. Lydia  

    Followed all steps and still have the checkmarks on folders, plus now there are “double check” marks on folders.

  18. Joe Horenkamp  

    Win 10

    I tried everything to get rid of the icon overlay characters and nothing worked until I found found this: ShellExView

    Down load it, run it, then sort on ‘type’.

    I highlighted all of the icon over lay entries – about a dozen all together.

    Right clicked and disabled the entries.

    Pay close attention to what lines you are disabling because you are changing the registry and may wish to re-enable the overlays.

    This FINALLY fixed the overlay problem…

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