In early versions of Windows, Internet Explorer had a special icon right on the Desktop. It was not just a shortcut, but an ActiveX object which provided access to various IE settings and features by right clicking it. For instance, you could open Internet Options directly from its context menu or start a private browsing session. Such an icon can still be added to the Desktop in Windows 10.
In Windows 10, Microsoft recommends and promotes a new browser called "Edge". The Edge browser is a Universal app, which as of this writing lacks many core browser features which even the average user needs. So, those who like Microsoft's browsers prefer to stay with the good, old Internet Explorer.
For such users, an Internet Explorer icon on the Desktop is useful. Most users pin IE's icon today to the Taskbar or the Start menu so it's accessible even when the Desktop isn't showing. Tip: Add the Show Desktop button next to Start in Windows 10. But even if you use the desktop icon relatively rarely, you can access IE's options (the Internet Options Control Panel) and other useful IE features by right clicking it.
Let's add all the necessary values to the appropriate registry keys to make the Internet Explorer icon appear on the Desktop. To save your time, I made two registry files, one to restore the icon and another to remove it.
To add the useful Internet Explorer icon to Windows 10 Desktop, do the following.
- Download the following file: IEicon.zip
- Inside the archive you will find two *.reg files, add_ie_desktop_icon.reg and remove_ie_desktop_icon.reg. Extract them to your Desktop.
- Double click the "add_ie_desktop_icon.reg" file and import it into your registry. Confirm the UAC prompt and Registry Editor requests to merge it.
That's it. Right click an empty area of the Desktop and choose 'Refresh' from its context menu. The Internet Explorer icon will appear.
Import the "remove_ie_desktop_icon.reg" file if you wish to delete this icon.
When you are done, you can delete the REG files.