Adding Internet Explorer Icon to your Desktop

In Windows Vista, you cannot add the Internet Explorer Icon to your desktop like you did in Windows XP (Left Image) by using Desktop Properties because there is no Internet Explorer to select for Windows Vista (Right Image). Refer to Images below.

    

You could add a shortcut for Internet Explorer to your Desktop but this will give you a shortcut arrow which you may prefer. I much rather prefer the cleaner look of a Internet Explorer Icon on my Desktop without the shortcut arrow. Refer to Images below.

 

CAUTION

Before making any changes to the Windows Vista Registry, please backup the Windows Vista Registry using the directions from Create a System Restore Point". For restoring your computer with a system restore point within Windows Vista, read Restore Your System/Computer Using A User Created System Restore Point.

To Add the Internet Explorer Icon to your Desktop Using Windows Vista Registry

For a Specific User

  1. Click on the Start Orb (commonly known as the Start button).
  2. Type regedit.exe in the Start Search field on the Start Menu.
  3. Press ENTER on your keyboard. More Information, "Opening the Registry Editor without Elevated Privileges".
  4. Accept the UAC Prompt if you are an Administrative User.
  5. Navigate to:

    HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer

  6. Create a new key by right-clicking "Explorer" to select New > Key. Name the new key HideDesktopIcons.
  7. Create a new key by right-clicking "HideDesktopIcons" to select New > Key. Name the new key NewStartPanel.
  8. Right-click "NewStartPanel" to select New > DWORD (32 bit) Value. Name the new key {871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30309D}.
  9. Right-click an area on your Desktop to select Refresh to show the Internet Explorer Icon on your Desktop.
  10. Close the Registry Editor.
[HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HideDesktopIcons\NewStartPanel]
Name: {871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30309D}
Type: REG_DWORD (32 bit)
Data: 0

For All Users

  1. Click on the Start Orb (commonly known as the Start button).
  2. Type regedit.exe in the Start Search field on the Start Menu.
  3. Press CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER on your keyboard to elevate the Windows Vista Registry. More Information, "Opening the Registry Editor with Elevated Privileges".
  4. Accept the UAC Prompt.
  5. Navigate to:

    HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer

  6. Create a new key by right-clicking "Explorer" to select New > Key. Name the new key HideDesktopIcons.
  7. Create a new key by right-clicking "HideDesktopIcons" to select New > Key. Name the new key NewStartPanel.
  8. Right-click "NewStartPanel" to select New > DWORD (32 bit) Value. Name the new key {871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30309D}.
  9. Right-click an area on your Desktop to select Refresh to show the Internet Explorer Icon on your Desktop.
  10. Close the Registry Editor.
[HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HideDesktopIcons\NewStartPanel]
Name: {871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30309D}
Type: REG_DWORD (32 bit)
Data: 0

To Add the Internet Explorer Icon to your Desktop – Using Reg Add

For a Specific User

  1. Click on the Start Orb (commonly known as the Start button).
  2. Type cmd.exe in the Start Search field on the Start Menu.
  3. Open a Command Prompt:
  4. Type the following in the commands prompt window:

    reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HideDesktopIcons\NewStartPanel /v "{871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30309D}" /t REG_DWORD /d 0

  5. Press ENTER on your keyboard.
  6. Type EXIT and press ENTER on your keyboard to close the Command Prompt.
  7. Right-click an area on your Desktop to select Refresh to show the Internet Explorer Icon on your Desktop.

For All Users

  1. Click on the Start Orb (commonly known as the Start button).
  2. Type cmd.exe in the Start Search field on the Start Menu.
  3. Press CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER on your keyboard to elevate the Windows Vista Command Prompt. More Information, "Opening an Elevated Command Prompt".
  4. Accept the UAC Prompt.
  5. Type the following in the commands prompt window:

    reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HideDesktopIcons\NewStartPanel /v "{871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30309D}" /t REG_DWORD /d 0

  6. Press ENTER on your keyboard.
  7. Type EXIT and press ENTER on your keyboard to close the Command Prompt.
  8. Right-click an area on your Desktop to select Refresh to show the Internet Explorer Icon on your Desktop.

To Add the Internet Explorer Icon to your Desktop – Using a Registration File

For a Specific User

  1. Download IE.Icon.Desktop.reg to a folder on your hard drive.
  2. Right-click IE.Icon.Desktop to select Merge.
  3. Accept the UAC Prompt if you are Administrator.
  4. Now the registration entries are added for you.
  5. Right-click an area on your Desktop to select Refresh to show the Internet Explorer Icon on your Desktop.

For All Users

  1. Log into an account with Administrative Privileges if you are not an Administrator.
  2. Download IE.Icon.Desktop.All.reg to a folder on your hard drive.
  3. Right-click IE.Icon.Desktop.All.reg to select Merge.
  4. Accept the UAC Prompt.
  5. Now the registration entries are added for you.
  6. Right-click an area on your Desktop to select Refresh to show the Internet Explorer Icon on your Desktop.

NOTES

The IE.Icon.Desktop.reg and IE.Icon.Desktop.All.reg files are from my web server (http://lprf.homeserver.com).  You also can view the contents of the IE.Icon.Desktop.reg and/or IE.Icon.Desktop.All.reg files by right-clicking the file and selecting Edit. You may need to log off then log on to your user account or restart your computer for the changes to take affect.

Platforms Tested

  • Microsoft Windows Vista, x86 versions

Version 2.1
Edited: May 3, 2012

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