Feb 062008

The Internet Explorer icon might be missing after either you upgrade the Internet Explorer version to 7, or installed through Windows updates.This is not an issue and is by design. Unlike the previous versions of Internet Explorer, the option to enable to Internet Explorer icon on the Windows Desktop is not available. The behaviour of Internet Explorer 7, which is bundled with Windows Vista is also the same.

The option to show Internet Explorer via a check box is missing.

Control Panel > Display > Desktop > Customize Desktop, Internet Explorer check box is missing.


You can open right-clicking on Desktop > Properties > Desktop > Customize Desktop


To resolve the issue, follow these steps

Click Start>Run Type regedit click ok

Navigate to the following registry key from left pane

\NewStartPanelIn the right hand pane, double-click {871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30309D} key.

Enter dword value as 0 to enable the Internet Explorer icon on the Desktop.right click on desktop and click “Refresh”.

Solution 2

To create a new shortcut for Internet Explorer we’ll look for IExplore.exe which is normally “C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\IEXPLORE.EXE”. Navigate to “C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer”, click and hold on IEXPLORE.EXE, and drag it over to your desktop. As you drag it over the desktop you should see the little curved “shortcut arrow” appear indicating that if you release it onto the desktop you’ll be creating a shortcut.

Solution 3

Right click on the desktop, select New, Shortcut and in the dialog that results, select the Browse button. Now expand directories listed there to locate the file you want a shortcut to; for example My Computer, C:, Program Files, Internet Explorer. In there we’ll see IEXPLORER.EXE; click on that, hit OK, and then Next. Now enter a name for your shortcut (that’s what will show on the desktop) and press Finish.

 Solution 4

Right-click the desktop. Point to Arrange Icons By.
Click Show Desktop Icons.

Solution 5

1.Right-click an empty area of the desktop and choose “Properties”.

2. When the “Display Properties” multi-tabbed dialog box appears, click the “Desktop” tab.

3. Click the “Customize Desktop” button.

4. A “Desktop Items” dialog box will appear. Make sure the “General” tab is selected.

5. Choose an icon to change back.

6. Click “Restore Default”.

7. Click “OK” on the dialog boxes to close them.

Solution 6 

If you’re using classic theme or scheme, browse to the following registry location instead


If the above key doesn’t exist, create a new key.

Edit or create a DWORD (32-bit) value named {871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30309D} and set it with value of 0 (dword:00000000).

Refresh desktop by pressing F5 or right click on desktop and click “Refresh”.

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  38 Responses to “Fix for Internet Explorer 7 Desktop icon missing”

  1. sorry, refreshed the desktop and it worked. i love you.

  2. The key [871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30309D] is not present in my registry at the path described. Should I add it to restore the IE desktop icon??

  3. try to add this key manually and check it

  4. I’ve created a new DWORD Value with {871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30309D}
    and it worked!

    Thanks :>

  5. This is what I have been looking for.thank you for posting this information

  6. I missed the Internet Icon from the start menu, and that icon is more than a simple shortcut because it allows to set the internet preferences by clicking with the right button.

    The solution was to right click on the start bar, select properties, go on the start menu tab, and select the customize button at the right of “Start Menu” (only for the new xp menu, not for the classic) flag the Internet check under “show on the start menu”

    ta daaaa



  7. I’ve read other forums who claim it’s a bug and MS are aware and are fixing it with SP3.

    The problem occurs after you install
    HOT FIX KB943460

    From Windows Updates.
    If you un-install this hot fix the ICON will re-appear in CUSTOMIZE DESKTOP ICONS

  8. this is DEFINTELY a bug, its never occured on any of my systems.

  9. Hi, I lost my Iexplore.exe But i still got Interet Explorer in my computer. I couldn’t find the short cut for that anywhere in my computer. To check whether its working I tried to open Internet Exploer thru yahoo Mail and it works perfectly.

    I tried your regedit method and added that new 871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30309D but i couldn’t make it. Can u plz guide how should i get back the internet icon button back.

    Thanks in advance

  10. None of these seemed to help me, but what I did find was sort of a hybrid solution that seemed to work. Logged in as the user that is missing IE7, open regedit and navigate to
    HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\CLSID\{871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30309D}\ShellFolder change the DWord “Attributes” to 24 so the line reads
    Name = Attribute
    Type = REG_DWORD
    Data = 0×00000024(36)

    Hopefully this will help some one else. It was the only solution that worked for me.

  11. Thanks Kirby!!!

    Your “hybrid” solution was the only one that worked for me!

  12. While the techniques shown did produce an icon it was for IE 6 and clicking it created a new IE6 shortcut on the desktop and did NOT start IE7. The mod shown in comments also did not help. I think that IE7 may have a differeent CLISD number but who knows what it is??!?!?!

  13. Dear All,
    As well as doing whats mentioned in solution 6 above, also try adding the following seting as per Kirby’s comment above


    Worked for me.



  14. ur amazing man that totally worked….i created a new key named it! thanks again, yo ive been researching a solution for weeks.

  15. thanks to U now i have a ie. icones original on my desktop,but i dont have the icone in desktop costumize(in that place where U inform me, apsters- desktop items).

  16. Thanks Kirby,
    I got back my IE7 icon on the desktop but still in Display Property->Desktop->Customise Desktop->Desktop Items->in General tab Internet Explorer is no present.
    Any Solution plz.

  17. Thanks Solution # 06 works

  18. Thanks for the info on the fix for Internet Explorer 7 Desktop icon missing. Had a headache from trying to find missing icon.

  19. [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\CLSID\{871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30309D}\ShellFolder]
    Worked for me. ? ? ? ?

    Yaah Thats Right

    Thanks to all <<>>

  20. Thanks Karim–yours is the only one that uncovered my IE7 shortcuts thank you!!!!

  21. it is working but my thinking is then also the internet explorer option not displayed in Desktop Icon option in Display property know

  22. This worked exactly right- thank you so much- MS= idiots (or the justice department = idiots) so if you install a non MS broswer they put a shortcut icon that is a smart shortcut (if they want it to be) but MS can no longer put a smart IE icon… so when Mozilla or Google get 51% share it will be okay for IE to compete fairly again??!!

    Solution 6

    If you’re using classic theme or scheme, browse to the following registry location instead


    If the above key doesn’t exist, create a new key.

    Edit or create a DWORD (32-bit) value named {871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30309D} and set it with value of 0 (dword:00000000).

    Refresh desktop by pressing F5 or right click on desktop and click “Refresh”.

  23. their are winners and their are loser- sure maybe netscape lost against IE because it was so well tied in to the user interface, but that was a benefit in my mind- It seems others have now found ways to compete otherways- maybe if Netscape had stuck it out and competed instead of hiding behind AOL and the US Dept of Justice they could have survived and prospered- or not?- that is capitalism folks- love it or leave it..Why again is Apple allowed to have everything proprietary and tied together, even as they gain market share- is anti-competition okay in computers and cellphones but not in so many other win-or-lose american industries.. not many people making manual drafting equipment, buggies, or typewriters are there?

  24. also check HKLM for this key. Set this to zero (0).

  25. & Also not able to put IE7 icon on desktop. I slipstreamed SP3 & Cumulative Update IE7-WindowsXP-KB956390-x86-ENU.exe (Oct2008). I think this update is my problem. Found fix on Microsoft site that works. Quick & easy. Make small registry entry in Notepad & then merge into registry. See >>> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/945402 <<< for code & process.

  26. This fix works no problems with SP3 + hotfixes & IE7 + hotfixes upto Oct-2008 slipstreamed then installed. See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/945402/ Quick & easy to do.

  27. Want to fix this automatically? See knowledge base article 945402 and click Fix It!


  29. Non of the solutions worked for me!

  30. The bug is also present in Windows 7 (build 7000 beta 1)
    Solution Four worked Really, I mean come on MS — you should have solved this by now!

  31. Update: the bug is WORSE in Windows 7. All desktop ions disappeared (not only explorer). Just use solution 4 and “refesh”

  32. Solution 1
    Worked..no problems.excellent solution, even for a beginner, like me !

  33. excellent solution
    even ,i am a hp technitian, it helped me a lot

  34. Save this to a file like “setiedesktopicon.reg” and run this file afterwards:

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


  35. According to http://support.microsoft.com/kb/945402 and I’ve tested it on RTM x64 Ultimate, this no longer works. Mostly because of the idiots in the EU.

  36. Thank you so much! A very big mahalo!

  37. Had the original problem of IE running with add ons disabled. Some genius said delete the icon then create a new shortcut, only like all of you, I could not find it. I finally went to add remove programs in control panel, then on the left, add remove windows components. Lo and behold! there it was in the list! I checked the box, clicked next ant there it was, back in the start menu. No new registry keys to create or anything. YAY! (windows XP).

  38. Vista Internet Explorer will not display recent items from the START button, but old ones. How do I set up to post recent items>

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