How to Add an Internet Explorer Icon to the Desktop in Windows 7

by Andrew Meer
Image courtesy of Microsoft

By default, Windows 7 features a clickable Internet Explorer taskbar icon that loads the Web browser without your having to search through the Start menu. To have the icon placed on the desktop instead, locate Internet Explorer on the Start menu and use the Send to Desktop function to generate a shortcut. Alternately, you can insert Internet Explorer's file path into the Create Shortcut wizard to manually create the shortcut.

Send to Desktop

Step 1

All Programs features a list of installed applications.

Open the Start Menu, and click the **All Programs** button.

Step 2

For an IE 64-bit shortcut, right-click

Right-click **Internet Explorer**, point to **Send To**, and then select **Desktop (Create Shortcut)** to add an Internet Explorer shortcut to the desktop.

Left-click and drag the icon to any position on the desktop.

Double-click the shortcut icon to launch Internet Explorer, or right-click the icon to rename (**Rename**), delete (**Delete**), or view additional information (**Properties**) about the shortcut.

Create Shortcut Wizard

Step 1

New Shortcut function lets you create shortcuts manually.

Pick a vacant area on the desktop, and then right-click and select **New Shortcut**. The Create Shortcut wizard opens.

Step 2

Inserting an invalid file path results in an error.

Insert the location of Internet Explorer's main executable file into the vacant field under **Type the Location of the Item**, which by default is **C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe**. On 64-bit versions of Windows, however, this location results in a 64-bit Internet Explorer shortcut; if you prefer a 32-bit shortcut, insert **C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe** instead. Click **Next** to proceed.

Enter a new shortcut name or leave the default name intact.

Click **Finish** to generate the shortcut on the desktop.


  • To get rid of Internet Explorer's taskbar shortcut, right-click the icon, and select "Unpin This Program From Taskbar." To add a shortcut back to the taskbar, right-click the desktop shortcut, and the click "Pin to Taskbar."
  • Change Internet Explorer's default behavior by adding command lines to the shortcut. Select "Properties" after right-clicking the Internet Explorer shortcut, and insert the command line after a single space at the end of the Target field. For example, insert "-private" (without quotes) to open in private mode, "-k" (without quotes) to open in kiosk mode, or "-extoff" (without quotes) to open without any extensions. Click "Apply," and then "OK" to save the changes. To revert the shortcut to its defaults, remove the command line.
  • To add an Internet Explorer shortcut in Windows 8 and 8.1, type "Internet Explorer" into the Start screen, right-click the "Internet Explorer" search result, and then select "Open File Location." To create the shortcut, right-click the "iexplorer" file, point to "Send To," and then select "Desktop."
  • Download the latest version of Internet Explorer for Windows 7 from MSDN (link in Resources).


Photo Credits

  • Image courtesy of Microsoft

About the Author

As an ardent tech fan, Andrew Meer loves writing about the latest in computer hardware and software. Since 2006, he has worked as a level designer and programmer for various video game companies. Meer holds a Bachelor of Science in game and simulation programming from DeVry University, California.

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