In addition to the few additions included with SP3 for Windows XP, Microsoft also removed a few features. Apparently in connection with its European anti-trust settlement, Microsoft’s latest service pack tries to “deintegrate” Internet Explorer from the operating system. As such, many users will notice their Internet Explorer icon is missing from the desktop after installing SP3.
Showing/hiding the icon used to be controlled in the Display Properties control panel applet, but Microsoft has even removed the option to re-display the Internet Explorer icon. If you want Internet Explorer to appear on your desktop once again, you can download this REG file . Once you download it, double-click on it to install. If asked, reply in the affirmative (“Yes” or “OK”) to any prompts that appear. The icon should then reappear on your desktop. If you don’t see it, restart your computer.
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