Three Handy Windows Utilities to Fix Small Annoyances


Windows always has little things that can be annoying. They are not fatal but they can bug you. Although Microsoft often ignores these  lesser things, the developer community does not and there are often small utilities to fix the annoyance. Everybody has their own set of peeves they want fixed but here are free programs that take care of  three from my list.

Tool tips buried under Taskbar

This is primarily a Windows Vista problem but it is very common in that operating system and is a nuisance. Those little information messages called “Tool Tips” seem to get stuck behind the Taskbar. Fix the problem with this download from Neosmart.

Windows 7 does not remember window size and position

Before Windows 7, Windows operating systems would remember the size and location of previously opened windows but this is not necessarily so in Windows 7, especially 32-bit systems.  There is a very long thread about this problem at Microsoft Technet. The problem can be fixed with a little program called “Shell Folder Fix” from Windows SevenForums. One drawback is that you have to register for the forum before you can download.  However,  registration is free  and the forum is a good one for getting answers to Windows problems. 

Remove the arrow from shortcut icons

Personally, this has never bothered me but it seems that many people are annoyed by the arrows that Windows places on shortcut icons. Although Microsoft thinks the arrows are a good idea that keeps the shortcut from being confused with the executable, not everybody agrees and they want the arrows removed. This can be done directly with a Registry edit but there are several programs that will do the edit for you. A good one is called "Windows Shortcut Arrow Editor"This is  a little portable application that works in Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 for 32- and 64-bit systems. It is available at WinAero.

And there you have it – fixes for three of Windows’s little annoyances.

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.

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Thanks Vic for another really helpful article. While I'm one of those who prefers the arrow on my shortcut links, you reminded me that I hate having to remove the word SHORTCUT from the links.

A quick startpage search revealed the following article (sorry, can't remember if I'm allowed to post links or not)

Rgds Chig

You missed FixWin from The Windows Club. It fixes most Windows problems and annoyances.

Thanks to v.laurie for (yet another) cool article.

But still I just don't get it, sorry. I can accept personal tastes and likes and dislikes and such.

But hey, the arrow is an easy way to distinguish between a shortcut and the real thing that the shortcut represents.

What annoys me is MS's IMHO dumb habit of placing the arrow in the shortcut AND adding the text "- Shortcut". Is this a double whammy for dummies?

I'll definitely try above mentioned utilities from the Windows Club.

I totally agree.

The arrow immediately shows me that it is a shortcut and not the actual executable or folder.

He he - in fact if I see any non-shortcuts on my partners desktop eg folders full of photos then I move them to "My Pictures" and create a shortcut to them on the desktop.

She thinks I'm anal but I say it is best practice :-)



A number of tweaks, including removing the arrow and the word "Shortcut" from shortcut links are available in The Windows Club free app, Ultimate Windows Tweak (UWT)[; then go to the TWC Free App tab].I use it to fix a multitude of annoyances that are Microsoft's "answer" to ignoring customer needs for customization.

The Windows Club has several free tweaking apps under their free apps tab. Definitely worth checking them out. [Full disclosure: I have no financial or other interest in The Windows Club or their site. I just like a lot of their free apps and advice; another good place to check for answers to problems.]

Two more desktop-organizing apps that some may find useful are "DesktopOK" (Windows all) -- and "Fences" (XP through Win 8)-- .

Took care of the shortcut arrows on my Win7 Pro x64 machine in an instant -- outstanding! Kudos to the author, who might just get a donation from me for this one -- and big, sloppy raspberries to Microsoft for refusing to provide users with the option and resisting numerous requests for that capability.

Thanks v.laurie. I hate those little shortcut arrows! I've tried to remove them with 'Power Toys for Windows XP' and that never worked. I'll give this a try.