Issue: What are brown box icons on my pictures and how to remove them in Windows?
Hello. Recently I noticed small brown box icons on most of my files in Windows 11. What do they mean and how do I get rid of them?
Windows 11 is the newest operating system version of Microsoft. It came out with a new user interface, design, and features. Unfortunately, many people experience various bugs and inconveniences. We previously wrote about Windows 11 issues, such as icons keep disappearing from taskbar, Security Dashboard won't open, and audio stopped working.
Recently, users encountered another problem that does not interfere with their work but is annoying. People noticed small brown icons that look like boxes next to their files. Research says that it is most likely an updated way of identifying which files are not stored on your device, but are linked to the cloud or OneDrive.
Some people say that the brown boxes did not affect their ability to open files, but for others, the files were impossible to open if they are not connected to the Internet. It is unknown how exactly people can get rid of this identification as different methods work for different people.
In this guide, you will find 9 options that should help you remove brown box icons on pictures and folders in Windows. We also recommend using a maintenance tool like FortectMac Washing Machine X9. It can automatically fix most system errors, BSODs, corrupted files, and registry issues or clear your system from cookies and cache. Otherwise, follow the step-by-step instructions below.
Solution 1. Log Out and Log In to OneDrive
- Open OneDrive and click on your account icon
- Click on the Sign out button and close OneDrive
- Now open OneDrive and sign-in
Solution 2. Disable Archive Apps
- Enter Settings on Windows Search Menu and click on Open
- Click on Apps on the left sidebar
- Then click on Apps & Features
- Press on More Settings, then select Archive Apps and turn it off
Solution 3. Uninstall OneDrive
- Open the Windows Start Menu, then select All apps
- Go to OneDrive, right-click on it and select Uninstall
- Check if the brown icon box disappeared from your files
- If not, download OneDrive and reinstall it
Solution 4. Turn on Network for OneDrive
- Go to Settings and click on System
- Go to OneDrive, and then Network
- If a message pops up saying it is shut off, turn it on for private network sharing
- Check if the issue is resolved
Solution 5. Always keep on this device
- Open Windows Explorer
- If you're using OneDrive you should see something like OneDrive – Personal within the left-hand pane
- If so, right-click to access the context menu
- Select Always keep on this device
- Check if the brown boxes disappeared
Solution 6. Refresh Desktop
- Right-click anywhere on your desktop
- Click Refresh from the menu
Solution 7. Manage Backup
- In the System tray, right-click the OneDrive icon and click on Settings
- Select the Backup tab
- Select Manage backup and add or remove whichever folders you're having the problem with
Solution 8. Disable Storage Sense
- Enter Settings on Windows Search and click on Open
- Click on Storage
- Under Storage management, turn off Storage Sense
Solution 9. Use System Restore
- Go to the Start menu, type
restore, and click on Create a restore point
- Click System Restore, then follow the prompts until you can select a restore point
- Select the one you want (ideally before the brown box icon issue began) and go ahead with the process
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