Internet Shortcut

How to Create a Desktop Internet Shortcut without getting the Default IE Icon in Vista
This will show you how to create a Desktop internet shortcut using a URL shortcut or a normal shortcut without it defaulting back to the IE7 E icon.
How to Create a Desktop Internet Shortcut without getting the Default IE Icon in Vista

information   Information
A internet shortcut from Internet Explorer Favorites is a URL file. These URL shortcuts use a favicon that are always going back to the default Internet Explorer E icon. This will show you how to create a Desktop internet shortcut using a URL shortcut or a normal shortcut without it defaulting back to the Internet Explorer E icon.
Note   Note
The Internet Explorer favicon.ico files are located in the hidden protected OS folder below.

C:\Users\User-Name\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files

To Use a URL Shortcut

1. Open the Favorites folder in the Start Menu under your username button.​
NOTE: The Favorites folder is located at C:\Users\(your username)\Favorites.​
2. Right click on the Favorites URL shortcut you want as a shortcut, then click on Send To and Desktop (create shortcut).​
3. Right click on a empty space on the webpage you want as the shortcut in Internet Explorer and click Create shortcut, then click on Yes to place it on the desktop.​
Just Change the Desktop Icons Size
4. Right click on the Desktop and click on View and Classic Icons. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: Since URL shortcuts only use small favicons icons, this will let you see the favicon instead of the default Internet Explorer E icon. A workaround for just changing to smaller icons is to increase your DPI size to 120, if you do not mind everything else be a bit larger as well.

Change the URL Icon
Note   Note
This will show you how to change the icon so you can use the same image as the original one, but be able to see the icon with larger Icon View sizes without getting the default Internet Explorer E icon.
5. Open the Start menu and click on All Programs, Accessories, and on Paint.​
NOTE: Paint is located at C:\Windows\System32\mspaint.exe if you do not have the shortcut for it.​
A) Take a screenshot of the image you want to use for the icon of the URL shortcut.​
NOTE: You can press the PrtScrn key for a screenshot of the entire desktop, or ALT+PrtScrn keys for just the current open window.​
B) Go to the Paint window and Paste this image into Paint.​
NOTE: You can do this by pressing the CTRL+V keys while in Paint.​
C) Make any adjustments to the image you want in Paint.​
NOTE: It is best to not use a large size image to avoid distortion when Vista sizes it down automatically for the icon later.​
D) Save this image in Paint as a 24-bit Bitmap (*.bmp;*.dib) file in the Save as type drop down menu to a location of your choice.​
E) Now save this same .bmp image in Paint again, but change the file extension from .bmp to .ico manually in the File name field.​
NOTE: You will need to save this to a location where you can keep this for the URL shortcut's usage.​
F) Close Paint.​

6. Right click on the URL shortcut and click on Properties.​
A) Click on the Change Icon button. (See screenshot below)​

B) Click on the Browse button. (See screenshot below)​
C) Navigate to the location of the saved .ico image from step 5E above and click on it to highlight it and click on Open.​
NOTE: If you want to use a .ico file that you have not created in step 5E, then make sure that it is a 256x256 bit icon file designed for Vista. Otherwise, the icon may not display properly above the Medium Icon size.​
D) Select the icon and click on OK.​

7. You will now have a URL shortcut with a icon that you will be able to see with any Icons View size you use. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: The best Icons View size will be Medium Icons to prevent the shortcut from having the outline on it for larger sizes.​

To Use a Normal Shortcut

NOTE: You can also use this shortcut any where you like to, but you will have to provide the icon for it.
1. Right click on a empty area of the Desktop.​
2. Click on New and Shortcut.​
3. Copy the full path of your browser .EXE file in quotes into the location line. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: For this example, we would use "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\IEXPLORE.EXE" for Internet Explorer.​

4. Now add a space after the browser .EXE, and copy the full URL web address into the location line. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: For this example, we would use for the web address.​
5. It should look like this in the location line now:​
[B]"C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\IEXPLORE.EXE"[/B] [URL=""][B][/B][/URL]
6. Click on Next.​

7. Type in a name for the internet shortcut and click on Finish. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: For this example, we would use​

8. Now just right click on the new desktop shortcut and change the icon to whatever icon you want it to be.​

To Use a Batch File Shortcut

CREDIT TO: Our Member: alanho
1. Open the Start menu.​
A) In the white line (Start Search) area, type notepad.exe and press Enter.​

2. In Notepad, copy the code below.​
NOTE: Substitute the url internet address with the one you want instead in the second set of quotes.​
WARNING: There must be a space between the two pair of quotes.​
"C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\IExplore.exe" ""
3. In Notepad, click on File and Save As. (See screenshot below)​

4. Type in a name folowed by .bat. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: For example, Vista64 Forum.bat
5. Save this .bat file to a location on your hard drive to be used by the shortcut.​

6. Right click on the .bat file and click Send To and Desktop (create shortcut).​
NOTE: This will create the internet shortcut on your desktop.​
7. Now just right click on the new desktop shortcut and change the icon to whatever icon you want it to be. (See screesnhot below)​

That's it,

Last edited by a moderator:
Shawn Brink


I hope this is where I finally find an answer to my problem!
I've read your solution, however, it isn't fixing my problem.

My normal method of creating a desktop icon for an IE site is to right click on a blank area of the page, clicking on "send to", "desktop" and "yes" when it asks if I want to place an icon on my desktop. Simple process! However, although 80% of the icons on my desktop are created in this manner, not all of them appear with a website picture icon. Some show up with the generic ie planet icon or "e" icon. Some have a white square (looks like a blank page) with the "e" icon, some with a white square w/a tiny website icon in the middle. All of these have the arrow on them. I'm running Vista Home Premium 32 bit.

Please......somebody help!!!!! :confused:
Hello Cruzsgal, and welcome to Vista Forums.

Since the internet shortcut icon will not stay for you using the normal method 2, then you might also consider using either Method One or Method Three to create the icon and change it's icon to one you like instead for a more permanent solution.

Hope this helps,
All of these suggestions seem, to me, to be unnecessarily involved. (Or maybe I'm just not intelligent enough to understand!)
I don't understand why this issue even exists! I never had this problem when I was running XP.
It doesn't make sense to me that some of the icons I create from a website appear with their logo symbol, and some don't.
I keep hearing about "Favicons" but can't locate them. Are they saved to my computer? Why hasn't Microsoft developed a fix for this issue?
Can anyone provide a simpler, permanent solution?

Thanks! :confused:
Hello Cruzsgal,

I have added the NOTE box at the top of the tutorial for the location of the favicon.ico files. They do not always show up for normal internet shortcuts (Method Two) if the favicon.ico for it has been deleted, or the website may not have been opened in a while. If only the later, then usually going to, or using the shortcut, may refresh the icon on the shortcut.

Hope this helps,
HI Cruzsgal,
Option one worked for me first go. This icon problem has been bugging me for a while! Thanks BRINK. Have't bee albe to locate my Temporary Internet Files folder though. Not under AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files on my laptop.
Hi Shawn,

yes I unhid the files just for my personal User folder and and found the Appdata folder etc as in my post, but no luck with your method to find my Temp Int Files, either.

But I am happy to have most of my icons reflecting the website logos :D
I dont use my "favourites" much.

Well, if you do see your Tempory Internet Files folder there, then you may just need to open the website a few times before the favicon may show up in it.