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Windows 7: Remove the "Focus Rectangle" from Icons

07 Jan 2010   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
Remove the "Focus Rectangle" from Icons

The Focus Rectangle has always been a part of Windows, ever since Windows 3.1. But in Windows 7 it seems it acts a bit differently, or the way it appears and disappears randomly is simply a bug; I won't make any certain statements. But here's the deal:
Whenever you change the desktop background or a theme in Windows 7, the Focus Rectangle becomes visible.

Remove the "Focus Rectangle" from Icons-rectangle_focus.png

Now, I have found a few solutions or registry hacks to completely remove this (but only for XP), and as some people may actually use it, it's not recommended to completely remove it. So the answer is actually quite simple:
Restart the PC. On the next boot the Focus Rectangle will be gone and will not appear until you change the desktop background or the theme again.

Remove the "Focus Rectangle" from Icons-no-rectangle.png

Perhaps a simple Log Off can do the trick as well, I haven't tested, but I think it should work as well.

Yet, if you really want to risk it and try to remove it, you can use the Universal Focus Rectangle Remover I found on the Neowin Forums. Use administrator priviledges when running whatever is in the ZIP file (I do not wish to test this).

1. Unpack the downloaded archive
2. Use x86 setup for 32bit systems; for 64bit systems, you need to use both files included in the archive.
3. Log off or restart the PC.

This fix works for both Windows 7 and Vista!

EDITED to add new link, courtesy of Bongo :)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jan 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate (32-bit)

Just a quick note to say that logging off and back on works also.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jan 2010   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Great. Thanks for that.
I tested the UFRR from the link and it works. The ugly rectangle is gone, but of course, the feature itself is still there.
Remove the "Focus Rectangle" from Icons-untitled.jpg

My System SpecsSystem Spec

14 Feb 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate 7600 RTM - Windows Server 2008 R2 7600 RTM Dual Boot

What about x64?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Sep 2010   #5

Win7 Ultimate x86

I signed up just to say thank you. That really helped me a lot, those dots drove me insane!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Sep 2010   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Oh my, well thank you. You should stick around, though, as there is much more help offered here.

This little app supports x64 as well... I think.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Sep 2010   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

With the installation of IE9b, this fix does not seem to work anymore, unfortunately. I will try and find another solution for IE9 users, and post back any feedback.

Edit: Let me restate that the focus rectangle won't work in IE, but reinstalling it should work for Windows itself.

Edit2: Yes, it does :P
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2013   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro x64 / Win 10 Pro

The link is broken to the Universal Focus Rectangle Remover so I will post it here in a zip folder.

Attached Files
File Type: zip (62.2 KB, 719 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Mar 2013   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bongo View Post
The link is broken to the Universal Focus Rectangle Remover so I will post it here in a zip folder.
Bongo - I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to realize the broken link, and being kind enough to post an alternative download method for those like myself. I have searched exhaustively all over the net and have come up with either broken links, or straight up b.s. links redirecting me somewhere else. Please keep it posted for others, for future reference. Thanks again...ROCK!!! ~johnny~
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Mar 2013   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Universal Rectangle Remover...Why?

I am curious as to why this has recently become such a common issue with people all over the world. For example, I have had Windows 7 and been running it fine without ever running into the "Rectangle Box" Problem. Seriously, it has only been within the last several months, a year tops, that it has been an issue for me at least. Obviously it has something to do with Windows itself, and one possibility I was thinking may be from a recent Win Update. This of course being said admitting that I am no IT Tech. and could be way off base. But, it seems at least a logical question. In addition, I was thinking it may have something to do with the Win Cleaning Programs. For example, I use Ccleaner...possibly whatever it is cleaning could be ****ing with the registry too. Finally, I haven't pinned the exact cause as of yet, but what I have mentioned above are the only things that I can think of considering the only changes I have made personally, or new software I have used (Ccleaner) as mentioned above. Any thoughts on this topic as far as possible cause? If so, please respond because it has been seriously irritating the **** out of me to find out the cause. thanks in advance...
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Remove the "Focus Rectangle" from Icons

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