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Create/Restore Internet Explorer desktop shortcut

Internet Explorer (IE) shortcut on Windows desktop is missing! May be it was deleted accidentally or missing due to some unexpected reason. So what would be the way to recreate it? You can create a shortcut just by right clicking on Windows Desktop. But you must give the application path to Internet Explorer installation. How would you find it?

You would do a search on Windows for iexplore.exe on your C drive (Windows drive); and you'll end up seeing a number of iexplore.exe files on your machine. Are these the ones you have to use? which one out of these?

Not exactly. The expected executable will not be shown by a Windows search. The correct file is a "protected operating system file", also it's hidden. By default Windows Explorer hides those files, but still you can view such files by changing the folder options as shown in the image.
Tools->Folder Options->View

The iexplore.exe executable will be available under;
C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe

So create a shortcut on Desktop by setting the location/target to the above executable.


  1. After hours of searching, your answer was the perfect solution for my problem. Thank you!!

  2. thank you so much! this info was so helpful..

  3. Just what I needed.Keep up the good work.
    Thank you

  4. Thanks very much, Kamal.

    Embarrassingly, this is one of those basic procedures that anyone using Windows ought to know but don't. (And I've been using Windows since soon after Win95 came out!)

    I hadn't been using IE6 for a while because I found Firefox to be superior in many ways (tabbed browsing, faster page loads and so on) and I vaguely recall removing its shortcut which I think was harder to remove than a regular shortcut. Well, it so happens that even though I won't be using IE6 to browse the Web anymore, it will certainly come in handy to test how webpages I build will appear to others who still use that browser and version. (Surprisingly, there is still a large percentage of people who do.)

    Although and other similar sites are very useful for webmasters, they have their limitations. A better option is to actually have the browsers installed on one's system if possible.

  5. This doesnt seem to be relevant for XP SP3 and IE8


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