7 x icons-text transparancy at windows desktop

Windows XP has the possibility to make the background of your desktop icon text transparant. All you have to do is check one option.
But sometimes it’s not that simple and finding the solution can be a real challenge. Once confronted with this problem, I searched the internet for a solution. I found several ones, luckily for me the second one worked. But I thought it wasn’t a bad idea to collect all solutions I found and put them together in one article.
So if you want transparant text but it doesn’t work, try this seven solutions before you really panic!

At first the default solution:

Solution 1:

Desktop icons text background transparent:
Go to Control Panel > System > Advanced > Performance Tab > Settings button > put a checkmark in ‘Use Drop Shadows for Icon Labels on the Desktop’

If this doesn’t work, try the next step.

Solution 2:

right click desktop > Display Properties > Desktop tab > Customize Desktop > Web tab > Uncheck ‘Lock Desktop Items’ and uncheck everything listed under ‘Web Pages’ > click OK.

Nine out of ten times this will do the job.

Solution 3:

Sometimes the backgroundfile of your desktop is the cause. Look at the extension of your desktop image. If you have a png file the transparancy won’t work, so use only a jpg or bmp file.

If the cause is a spyware infection: choose a random jpg-file and select “set as desktop background”. After that reset your desktop background back to your favorite wallpaper.

Solution 4:

Using two monitors can cause the problem.
In case you’re using of multiple displays, turn off the Clone option.
With a NVidiadriver choose the icon Nvidia Settings at the bottom-right at your desktop > NVIDIA Control Panel > Display > Set up multiple displays. Uncheck ‘Clone’; instead check ‘Dualview’.

Solution 5:

The option ‘ActiveDesktop’ might be set to ‘on’. To disable it, you have to change your registrysettings:

Start > Run > type ‘regedit’ > OK > then in your register go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Policies > Explorer . If you see ‘ForceActiveDesktopOn=1′, change it to ‘ForceActiveDesktopOn=0′

After that, redo solution 1.
If that doesn’t work, lower your screen resolution and put it back to your original resolution.

Solution 6:

You tried solution 5, but still no transparancy…
Do you have a videocard with tv-out and a tv connected?
If you have a TV out videocard and the option “extend my Windows desktop onto this monitor” is checked, then first do solution 5.
Now you have to change the resolution of your second monitor:
a. give it a value of 800×600 or above
b. in case your resolution is 1200×800, change it to 1280×768 and then reset it to 1200×800.

Solution 7:

The last one: maybe your cat jumped at your keyboard and hit the keys alt-left, shift-left and printscrn?

Then go to Start > Control Panel > Accessibility Options > Display. Uncheck the option ‘High Contrast’ and click OK

The illustrations taken from the dutch version of Windows XP you can find in the dutch article.

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