How to Remove Windows Icon Check Boxes (Updated)

Windows has checkboxes in File Explorer for selecting multiple items. If you find them annoying, 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, which you can find below.

Remove Check Boxes from Folders and Files on Windows 7

Check Boxes

  1. Open Control Panel and select Folder Options.

Folder Options

2. When the Folder Options window opens, choose the View tab, 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 Item Check Boxes in Windows 10

If you’ve upgraded to Windows 10, you can remove the checkbox from icons, too. While you can still do it by opening Folder Options as shown above, now the process is a lot easier.

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

Uncheck Item Check Boxes

That’s all there is to it. Of course, if you want to re-enable them again for any reason, just recheck the “Item check boxes” option on the File Explorer ribbon.



  1. Rolo

    Thaks it was easy and useful

    • Sandra

      I still have the checks

  2. Raised on Unix

    Thanks, that checkbox is so annoying!

  3. dapz


  4. Julia

    Thank you, really, thank you!

  5. Lou


  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…

    • Steve Krause

      That’s great Joe. Thank you for the details on that.

    • AlanMintaka

      That took care of the check marks OK, but those annoying shield overlays still appear for programs set to “Run as Administrator.”

      However, given what ShellExView did to the checkmark overlays, I have a feeling that there’s some other extension(s) shown in ShellExView causing the shield nonsense, just a matter of figuring out which one(s).

      If I can figure it out, I’ll post here. Great catch on ShellExView!!!

      In fact, great catch on anything that can get this CF operating system to work, especially anything that also makes sense. Nice work!

  19. larry

    followed instructions, check marks still there.
    Also have blue check marks on photos

  20. Manuel

    Thank you for your help. Well done! All good now

  21. Dee Drew

    I wish I were among those who have successfully removed those annoying check marks. I follow the instructions closely. In fact the boxes that need to be unchecked have already been unchecked. Nothing changed. I tried again by enable and disable the boxes. Still nothing has changed.

    • eLaReF

      I have similar – boxes all unchcked already
      Used ShellexView as above – same non-result

  22. Dee

    Still there and I even uninstalled One Drive!

  23. Linda

    Ask Leo suggested the check boxes, but they are the greatest annoyance I ever encountered. Thank you so much for making it easy for me to undo the damage.

  24. patti

    I still have all the checkboxes. I tried both methods. Neither box was checked to begin with, but I have all the green checkmarks that clutter up the screen.

  25. Paul

    Thank you for this tip! (How to remove windows icon check boxes)!

  26. SscoootzZ

    Perfect. Thanks ^_^

  27. Kosetta Woodfork

    Now you just need a guide to remove the annoying green google drive checkmarks.

  28. Dave Zimny

    When I went to the File Explorer View tab on my Windows 10, the “Item check boxes” box was unchecked, but I still had those green check marks on my desktop icons. So I tried checking the box and then unchecking it. Sounds crazy, but it worked like a dream! Not sure why it didn’t work for Dee Drew (above). Maybe she could use the Windows 7 method and try checking and unchecking the box the box in the Control Panel. I wish her luck!

  29. Bill Claxton

    I am provisioning a new Asus Zenbook and encountered this issue. I tried all the recommendations I could find and nothing worked. I spent 30 minutes with Asus support and then visited the customer service centre for more than an hour. I was advised to format and reinstall Windows.

    However, I read that sometimes the machine overrides the Windows Explorer settings because it is in tablet mode. So I made one last attempt to Google for the answer, which led me to this simple fix.

    For everyone who uses a 2in1 and uses it as laptop try the following:
    Open Registry Editor
    Go to Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ImmersiveShell
    Set DeviceConvertible to 0
    Sign out and back in to your account

    Although my Zenbook does not flip and does not have a touchscreen, it turns out this flag was set to enable ‘DeviceConvertible’. After setting it to 0 and restarting, the issue was resolved.

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