How-To

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 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 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.


20 Comments

20 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…

    • 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!

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