Weird 'mini-icon' on desktop icons

I need help, idk if I should be worried about this or not, because its just really weird.

Out of the blue today, all of my icons on my desktop that are shortcuts to programs, no matter what kind of programs, got a smaller icon in the bottom left corner. It is of 2 of the simply drawn 'people' that windows likes to use a lot. You know, green shirts, black hair, no face.

I didn't change any settings, they just showed up today after I turned on my computer, and weren't there before this. I tried googling this to see if anyone else encountered this, but the closest I could find were people complaining about red Xs, which is not what I got here.

Any help would be appreciated. Also, its windows 8, not windows 8.1, since the download caused problems to my Bandwidth and i wasn't able to obtain it.


Fantastic Member
Sounds like the icons have been changed in the registry.
There are many fixes for this search internet for "how to change the shortcut arrow.


Windows Forum Team
Staff member
Premium Supporter
are you using "Classic Shell" by any chance?


Fantastic Member
Premium Supporter
I think Norway is on to something here. You can use the <windows_logo_key+r> and type in APPWIZ.CPL, this will bring up the installed program list on your computer. If you are using Classic Shell, or you shared your computer with someone and they installed it without your knowledge, it will show up in that list.

If the Classic Shell program isn't there, you should proceed with kemical's link on virus/malware and scan for viruses IN POST #5. If none are found, or some are found and removed, then reboot your computer and retest. Are your icons back to normal?


(1.) Run a SYSTEM RESTORE, and attempt to Rollback your Windows to a time prior to the icons having a problem. Say, 1 week or 1 month ago. (no more than 5 months max are allowed). Retest.
(2.) Perform a Windows10 in-place upgrade repair (you can google for instructions or search this forum). Retest.
(3.) Perform a Windows10 Reset or Windows10 Reinstallation from FACTORY RECOVERY MEDIA (DVD discs or USB stick). Retest.
(4.) Perform a Windows10 Reinstallation from FACTORY RECOVERY PARTITION already on your Hard Drive. Most modern computers made after 2009, when Windows7 was released now have this feature; both Desktop PCs and Laptops/tablets.* Retest.
NOTE: If you have a self-built desktop PC (or custom-rig aka: gamin rig), this Option, Option #4 does not apply!!

In summary then, if you find no viruses/malware, or find some but remove it, find or remove the Classic Shell program and still get no love (the problem persists), one of the above is highly likely to solve your problem.:fdance: And the fact that you couldn't update to Win8.1 indicates a likely problem with your current Windows installation or a undiscovered hardware failure. In fact, if one of the 4 Options above restores your icons to their original factory appearance, the very first thing you should do is to attempt the Win8.1 update again. If that fails again after a Win10 in-place upgrade repair, reset, or reinstallation (Options #2-#4), it's quite likely you have encountered a hardware failure with your computer.:waah: You should then take it immediately to a licensed computer Tech at your local computer repair shop for testing and repair of broken components.

If this is not possible or you live outside the US, repairs can be 3-5 times the cost of repairs here, you may at that point figure you have a broken computer and consider obtaining a replacement.:(

Best of luck to you,:encouragement:

Would be nice to see the icon.
It is of 2 of the simply drawn 'people' that windows likes to use a lot. You know, green shirts, black hair, no face.


Fantastic Member
Premium Supporter
Agreed!! *-)

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