Make Desktop Icon Text Background Transparent
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In previous versions of Windows the desktop icon texts have a coloured background against the desktop wallpaper. In Windows XP the background is set transparent by default. You can disable this feature or re-enable it in System Properties. This is a new feature in Windows XP; with older versions you need to use a third party icon utility e.g. Microangelo or Iconoid or other programmes which you can find on the internet to do it.
Go to System Properties ([Windows key] + [Break]), Advanced, Performance Settings. In the Performance Options window, Visual Effects, choose Custom and scroll to the bottom of the scroll box and untick (to disable) or tick (to enable) Use drop shadow for icon labels on the desktop. Click Apply and OK (Fig. 1)
Fig. 1. System Properties, Advanced, Performance Options window, Visual Effects tab.
The process of setting the icon text background transparent is more involved than is apparent from using the method above. It uses Windows' listview object and rundll32.exe to make the change. This is reflected in the registry by the following key change. A value of (1) indicates drop shadow in effect and a transparent background and (0) the opposite.
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This is not an official support page for any products mentioned. All the products mentioned are trademarks of their companies. Edit the registry at your own risk and back up first.
Last updated 7 Feb 2004