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Published on 08.24.07 by Brent Trahan

Show the Internet Explorer Icon on Windows Vista’s Desktop

This guide shows you how to add the Internet Explorer icon to your desktop.


This guide shows you how to add a shortcut to Internet Explorer on your Windows Vista desktop by using a registry hack.

For those of you saying “Why don’t you just create a shortcut on your desktop?” this method has many advantages like being able to view your home page(s) instead of just a link to one page.

Add IE Shortcut to Desktop

Warning: Modifying the registry can cause damage or loss of data to your computer.

Download and run the registry files below to:

Or manually edit the registry by:

Note: You must be logged in with a user account that has administrative privileges.

  1. Type regedit in the search box in the Start Menu and then press Enter on your keyboard.
  2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ Software\ Microsoft\ Windows\ CurrentVersion\ Explorer\ HideDesktopIcons\ NewStartPanel in the registry editor.
  3. Click on NewStartPanel in the left column of the registry editor.
  4. Right-click on the right (large panel) of the registry editor, point at New and then select DWORD 32-bit.
  5. Name the new 32-bit DWORD {871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30309D}.
  6. Double-click the new DWORD and give it a Value Data of 0.
  7. To remove the IE icon for your desktop delete the {871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30309D} DWORD.

Once you’ve modified your registry, click anywhere there’s free space on your desktop and then press F5 on your keyboard to refresh your desktop.

Still need help? Ask your computer question now.

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3 Responses to “Show the Internet Explorer Icon on Windows Vista’s Desktop”

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  1. Brenda says:

    None of the registry fixes worked for me. This is what I ended up doing:

    This is what I did, and perhaps making the registry changes first helped in the icon appearing, but I had to take these extra steps:

    Right click on the task bar, you will see the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties. Click the Start Menu tab. Make sure the Start Menu radio button is checked and then choose Customize. Then you will see Customize Start Menu. Toward the bottom of the box you will see Use Default Settings, immediately beneath that you will see Show on Start Menu and beneath that you will see two check boxes. Make sure Internet Link is checked and in the drop down box choose Internet Explorer.

    In the Start Menu, right click on the Internet Explorer icon and choose Internet Properties. Click on the Programs tab. The last option in the Programs tab is Internet Programs. Choose Set Programs, then choose set program access and computer defaults, if you are prompted to stop or continue, choose continue, you will see Microsoft Programs, Non Microsoft and Custom. Click the Custom Radio button. The first option is Choose a Default browser, click the Internet Explorer radio button and then click OK and then click out of all open windows.

    I hope this works for those for whom the other methods didn’t work.

  2. kooshal says:

    Thank you for this guide, it worked on my PC!

  3. Pufnstuff says:

    After none of usual registry fixes worked, came across your website and followed instructions.
    FINALLY have native Internet Explorer 7 desktop icon.

    Tx and info here very much appreciated.

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