On a computer running Windows 7, I deleted the shortcut to Internet Explorer.

In which directory is Internet Explorer installed?


Press the start button, and start typing "Internet Explorer". It should pop up at the top of the list.

From there, you can drag and drop it as a shortcut to your desktop or wherever you want to put it.

  • To expand on Chris Dwyer's post: Press the start button, and start typing "Internet Explorer". It should pop up at the top of the list. You can now right-click on it, and select "Pin to Taskbar" or "Pin to Start Menu". – user420559 Feb 19 '15 at 16:09

On 64-bit:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe

On 32-bit:

C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe

  • Isn't it the other way around? – sealz Feb 29 '12 at 21:39
  • No. There is no \Program Files(x86) folder on a 32-bit Windows. – MDMarra Feb 29 '12 at 22:28
  • Ahh i see what you are saying now(thats for the 32 bit .exe on that bit type). I read it as the 64 bit version is in x86 and the 32 bit version is not. – sealz Feb 29 '12 at 22:50
  • I updated my Windows 7 yesterday, and IE11 was included. But there's no iexplore.exe anymore, any idea why it vanished? (The folders still exist with several DLLs etc., seems like just the main executable is gone). A manual installation fails, 'cause there is "a newer version installed" -.- – CodeManX Jan 18 '14 at 0:14
  • Wrong! On a 32-bit Windows, 32-bit programs go under %ProgramFiles%. On a 64-bit Windows, 64-bit programs go under %ProgramFiles% and 32-bit programs go under %ProgramFiles(x86)%. more info – orad Sep 30 '14 at 20:14

Important: Windows 7 no longer supports the ability to modify the registry to get the special Internet Explorer icon to appear on your desktop. This change was made to ensure Internet Explorer could be removed easily for compliance reasons.

OK, let's forget about this official business for a moment :)

If you want the special Internet Explorer icon back, copy the following code into Notepad:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

@="Internet Explorer"

@="Internet Explorer"



@="No add-ons(&N)"

@="\"C:\\Program Files\\Internet Explorer\\iexplore.exe\" -extoff"

@="Open home page(&H)"

@="\"C:\\Program Files\\Internet Explorer\\iexplore.exe\""


@="\"C:\\Windows\\System32\\rundll32.exe\" C:\\Windows\\System32\\shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL C:\\Windows\\System32\\inetcpl.cpl"

Save it as a REG file, i.e. IEicon.reg. Import this file into the registry and press F5 to refresh your desktop.

Voilá, there's your special Internet Explorer icon in all its beauty :)

Enter image description here

No ugly shortcut arrow, and the usual options of the special icon (Properties will open Internet Options) ... oh, and it is perfectly safe from accidental deletion. :)

If you want to remove this icon, delete the following registry key:


  • 1
    @Molly If I ever get my answers downvoted w/o a comment, I assume they just didn't like my tone. – Chris Dwyer Jan 29 '10 at 20:06
  • 1
    @Chris Dwyer - well, i assume they have no good reason and if they do, they're lacking the guts to let the readers know why they think it's a poor answer, bad style either way. – Molly7244 Jan 29 '10 at 20:08
  • Deleting the registry key removed the icon, but there is still some blank, white "placeholder" icon that keeps showing up I can delete it, but it just comes back after refreshing the desktop. Any idea how I can get rid of that? – marky Oct 31 '13 at 13:27

Click Start > Run and type iexplore. Then open Task manager and switch to Processes tab, right click and select Properties.

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