Weekly quickTIP

IE Didn't Make the (Desktop) Cut

Here's one small change among 800 in the Windows OS that you might want back.

When Bill Gates appeared on Jon Stewart's The Daily Show to announce the official release of Windows Vista. Jon jokingly asked Bill, "What does the F12 button do?" Bill responds, "I'd stay away from it if I were you. I'd start with F1 and work your way up."

So what exactly does the F12 button do, anyway?

Seriously though, he goes on to talk about how during Vista development Microsoft worked with 50 families in seven countries across the globe. Those families found 800 different changes to the operating system that Gated said were eventually incorporated into what we now know as Windows Vista.

Eight hundred changes, eh? And yet when I installed my copy of Vista I found you can't put an Internet Explorer icon on the desktop anymore! At least not through the old Display Control Panel like before.

Doing a little searching around I discovered that the only way to get IE back on the desktop is through a registry hack. So, if you're like me and you like IE on your desktop, try this little trick to bring back an old friend.

Open regedit and navigate to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\Explorer\HideDesktopIcons\NewStartPanel.

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Create a new DWORD (32-bit) value named {871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30309D}. Then, right-click on the desktop and choose Refresh. Viola! Welcome back, IE!

About the Author

Greg Shields is Author Evangelist with PluralSight, and is a globally-recognized expert on systems management, virtualization, and cloud technologies. A multiple-year recipient of the Microsoft MVP, VMware vExpert, and Citrix CTP awards, Greg is a contributing editor for Redmond Magazine and Virtualization Review Magazine, and is a frequent speaker at IT conferences worldwide. Reach him on Twitter at @concentratedgreg.

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