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Microsoft Windows Tips And Tricks!


Restore The Real Internet Explorer Desktop Icon In Windows 7

There used to be in previous versions of Windows an Internet Explorer icon on the desktop, and you could right-click it to quickly access the Internet Options screen. Itís completely gone in Windows 7, but a registry hack can bring it back. Microsoft removed this feature to comply with all the murky legal battles theyíve had in the past. Their alternate suggestion is to create a standard shortcut to iexplore.exe on the Desktop, but itís not the same thing. This article has a registry hack below to bring it back.

Orginal functionality of Internet Explorer Icon Restored in Windows 7.

Orginal Internet Exploer Icon

If you just want the IE icon back, all you need to do is download the file, then extract the contents, and then double-click on the RestoreInternetExplorerIcon.reg file. Thatís it! Thereís also a delete registry file there if you want to get rid of it.

Get the zip file here.

The Manual Registry Hack:
If you prefer doing it manually, or just really want to understand how this feature works, you can follow through the manual steps below to learn how it was done, but there is a lot of steps to it.
Launch Regedit.exe using the Start Menu search box, and then navigate to the following location:
Right-click on the key on the left-hand pane, choose Export, and save it to a .REG file (say, ie-guid.reg).

Internet Explorer Registry Hack 1

Then open the Reg file using notepad.
From the Edit menu, click Replace, and replace every occurrence of the following GUID string.
Use a custom GUID string, such as:

Internet Explorer Registry Hack 2

Internet Explorer Registry Hack 3

Save the Reg file and close Notepad, and then double-click on the file to merge the contents to the registry. Either re-open the registry editor, or use the F5 key to reload everything with the new changes and remember (this step is important).
Now in regedit.exe you can navigate down to the following registry key:
Double-click on the (default) key in the right-hand pane and set its data as:
With the above done, press F5 on the desktop and youíll see the Internet Explorer icon that looks just like this:

Internet Explorer Registry Hack 4

You will notice the icon appears incomplete without the Properties command in right click menu, so keep reading this article.
Finalizing the Registry Hack:
Click on the following key, which should still be viewable in your Registry editor window from the last step.
Double-click LocalizedString in the right-hand pane and type the following data to rename the icon.
Internet Explorer
Select the following key:
Add a subkey and name it as Properties, then select the Properties key, double-click the (default) value and type in the following:
Create a String value named Positon and type in the following data:
At this point you should now have a window somewhat like this:

Internet Explorer Registry Hack 5

Under Properties, create a subkey and name it Command, and then set its (default) value as follows:
control.exe inetcpl.cpl

Internet Explorer Registry Hack 6

Next navigate down to the following key, and then delete the value named LegacyDisable.
Then head to the this key:
Create a subkey named {871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30301D} (which is the custom GUID that was used earlier in this article.)

Internet Explorer Registry Hack 7

Press F5 to refresh the Desktop, and here is how the Internet Explorer icon and right-click menu will look like.

Internet Explorer Registry Hack 8

Thatís it! It only took 24 steps to complete to get that IE Icon back, but you could of course, just download the registry hack and get the icon back with a double-click.

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