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Stop Blinking Icons on the Windows 10 Taskbar When Deleting Files

Written By Corlew Solutions
Updated January 30, 2017
Published January 29, 2017
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The Problem

Ever notice that the Windows 10 taskbar icons flash when you delete a file or folder from the desktop? If not, once you see it, you can’t unsee it. This bug has existed in Windows 10 since the very first release and Microsoft refuses to address it. If you search Google for a solution, your likely to find suggestions (from Microsoft customer support reps) that the problem is related to a misbehaving software application that YOU have installed on your system. We think that’s baloney since we’ve seen this problem on bare bones systems with no additional software installed

There’s a reasonable chance the issue has something to do with the display drivers from graphics card vendors. Nvidia once released a display driver update that totally hosed dragging live tiles on the Windows 10 Start menu a while back. Still, we’ve seen this problem with every video card we’ve used (Nvidia, ATI, Intel, etc…). Are they all making the same mistake? The problem seems so pervasive that one would think Microsoft would engage these vendors with a fix if they’ve all misusing an API or doing something boneheaded.

The Solution

We wish we had some awesome magic to share, but there doesn’t seem to be a proper fix. There is however a workaround, if you’re willing to adapt…

The Workaround

The second half of the video, posted at the top of the article, shows the steps needed to implement the workaround. By default, Windows 10 will not open a confirmation dialog when you delete a file; it will place it straight into the recycle bin. You can flip things around and configure Windows to open a confirmation dialog every time you delete a file. You can also tell Windows not to send the file to the Recycle Bin after you accept the delete the confirmation. By doing both of these things you get a more immediate deletion process, which avoids the Recycle Bin - which seems to consistently stop the blinking taskbar icons.

If you like going through the Recycle Bin to fully delete your file, this isn’t a great workaround. It works, but you have to rethink your file deletion process.

  1. Right click on the Recycle Bin on your desktop and select the Properties menu.
  2. Select the drive that has the Windows 10 OS installed on it.
  3. Click the radio button that says Don’t move files to the Recycle Bin. Remove files immediately when deleted.
  4. Click the checkbox for Display delete confirmation dialog.
  5. Press OK.

Enjoy your blink free taskbar.


Microsoft should be fully aware of the issue since it’s front and center on the desktop. Also, if you check out the Windows Feedback app, frustrated users have reported it multiple times. Hopefully we’ll get a proper fix sometime soon, but we’re not optimistic.

We hope you found this article useful. If you see any mistakes, missing features or ways to improve it, please let us know in the comments below so we can update its contents. If you're willing to link to us, we would sincerely appreciate it!

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