XP: Make the Background of Your Icon Text Transparent on the Desktop

Posted October 21, 2004 by MickeyMouse in Windows

One of the reasons XP’s desktop looks so much better than previous versions is that you can make the background of your icon text transparent.


People frequently ask me what program I use to make my icon text transparent. Most users are accustomed to the pre-XP days when this was not easily possible.

With XP, the ability to make your icon text transparent can now be accomplished in a few simple steps. The feature is just not well- named; therefore, it is not easily identified.

    1. Open the Control Panel.
    2. Click System.
    3. Click the Advanced tab.
    4. Click Settings in the Performance section.
    5. Check the “Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop” check box.
    6. Click OK until you close the windows.

“Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop” is not the best name for the feature. Not knowing what this is, people typically uncheck it to try to increase their computer performance. Then, since it is named so poorly, people cannot figure out why their icon text now looks so Windows 98-ish.

The Conversation

Follow the reactions below and share your own thoughts.