Dotted Box around Desktop Icons

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  1. Posts : 7
    Windows 7 pro (64-bit)

    Dotted Box around Desktop Icons

    Dotted Box around Desktop Icons-screen-crop.png

    This little dotted outline has just started appearing around desktop icons. I can control it with the arrow keys and use it to select icons that way.

    What I can't seem to do is switch it off. Clicking off the desktop makes it disappear, but as soon as I click back on the desktop it returns. It wasn't doing this until just recently and I don't know what i did to enable this function - or how to turn it off.

    I have no use for it and it looks a bit naff. How do I get rid of it?

      My Computer

  2. Posts : 1,011
    Windows 7 Ultimate x64 (Retail)

    It's a normal feature of Windows 7 that you probably just never noticed before. It tells you which is the icon that is selected and would be activated if you didn't have a mouse or touchpad to navigate and click with or just didn't want to use them. Seems kind of innocuous and useful to me. I don't think it can be turned off (well maybe with editing the registry) but I don't think it would be a good idea.
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 428
    Windows Seven x64

    Have you tried the Show Desktop Button in the Corner.. Click that..

    Hope that Helps..
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Dotted Box around Desktop Icons-capture.jpg  
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 7
    Windows 7 pro (64-bit)
    Thread Starter

    Harpua - I didn't not notice it before: it wasn't there before! As for it indicating which icon would be selected if I didn't have a mouse or touchpad ... well, yes ... that's its function, but it's redundant - I have a mouse! And it wasn't there before.

    Ryan 2320 - the show desktop button does not turn it off.

    Does everyone else with Windows 7 have this box around one of their icons? Is there anyone who DOESN'T??
      My Computer

  5. Posts : 72
    Windows 7 build 7600 64 bit

    i had the same problem, Border around icons on desktop
    i guess there is no way to turn this off
      My Computer

  6. Posts : 7
    Windows 7 pro (64-bit)
    Thread Starter

    Hakon - I don't accept that there's no way to turn this off. It's definitely something that's been turned on - a function. It appears in other places where it didn't before too:

    Dotted Box around Desktop Icons-user-screen.png

    It doesn't have the dots, but it's the same thing here, around the favourites folder. It's like 'select/navigate with keyboard' has been ticked somewhere.

    Surely not everyone is having this issue, and therefore it's an option that can be switched off. It was off!!!
      My Computer

  7. Posts : 620

    It's always been there, I know because I used it constantly. You've never noticed it.

    Hit tab and it'll move to focus to the desktop to "nothing" to system tray, then to the show desktop button.

    That's the "focus" square, it's been in play since at least windows 2000.

    So you're answer is "tab" but the focus is gonna be elsewhere.

    In explorer tab moves you from left pane -> right pane -> menu bar.
      My Computer

  8. Posts : 7
    Windows 7 pro (64-bit)
    Thread Starter

    Just to test I really wasn't going mad I restored my computer from a previous system image I made the other day (trying out the new win7 function). I remembered that this box thing wasn't happening when I made the backup.

    Sure enough, in the restored version I'm running now, it's no longer happening on the desktop. I can click on the desktop and no outline appears around any icon.

    Something is definitely going on. I will stay vigilant and try to notice what happens before it turns on again (if it ever does) and post any solution I find here. (Hakon - don't lose hope! )

    - Stone

    (if anyone else figures it out in the mean-time, please let us know!)

    EDIT: just to be clear copernicus - I'd click on a desktop icon, it would highlight (translucent box effect around the icon) and then I would click on the desktop and the dotted line would remain where the highlight once was, around the icon.

    Now, ater the restore, I click on the icon and it is highlighted. I click onto the desktop and the highlight disappears (as before) but NO dotted line remains arounf the previously selected icon.

    If it's 'always been there' how do you explain the difference? Hmmm?
    Last edited by stone; 01 Nov 2009 at 20:25. Reason: replied before previous post was visible
      My Computer

  9. Posts : 12,364
    8 Pro x64

    stone said:
    Does everyone else with Windows 7 have this box around one of their icons?
      My Computer

  10. Posts : 748
    Vista and now 7 in 32 and 64 bit.

    No. This may work for you. Right click the desktop. View - Change the size of the icons to another one of the three options and apply. Now you can change back again and the rectangle may be gone.
      My Computer

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