How to Bring Back Internet Explorer on Windows 10

Internet Explorer has been the default browser for Windows for more than a decade until Edge took over. Even though there are better browsers in the market now such as Chrome, Firefox etc, there are many users who still prefer Internet Explorer to browse the internet.

Lately, there have been many discrepancies with Internet Explorer shortcuts and visibility on the task bar. Furthermore, there can also be cases where IE is missing from your computer completely. This is very rare and only occurs if you have accidentally removed or deleted IE. The workarounds for this problem are quite simple. Take a look.

Internet Explorer is Missing on Windows 10

There have been many reports by users where the Internet Explorer has been missing from their Windows 10 either from the start menu or from the whole computer. There are also instances where the explorer is missing from windows server 2016. We will go through the steps to get Internet Explorer back up and running.

Before you proceed with the solutions, click the start menu and navigate to Windows Accessories. Internet Explorer should be present here. If it isn’t, you can proceed with the fixes.

Solution 1: Relocating iexplorer.exe

iexplore is the main executable of Windows Explorer and is also present in your program files. If Windows Explorer is missing from Windows Accessories and isn’t even accessible using the search, we can create a shortcut of the executable and paste it in the correct directory after renaming it. This will repopulate Internet Explorer back to its place.

  1. Navigate to the following path using Windows Explorer (Windows + E):
C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer (for 64-bit/x64 Windows 10)

C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer (for 32-bit/x86 Windows 10)
  1. Once you have located the executable ‘iexplore.exe’, right-click on it and select Send to > Desktop (Create shortcut).

  1. You can easily use the internet explorer using the shortcut we made on your Desktop. If you want to add it back to Windows Accessories, follow the steps below.
  2. Copy the shortcut we made on your Desktop, press Windows + R and paste the following path:
%ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Accessories
  1. Paste the shortcut in the directory. If you are prompted with a UAC as shown below, press Continue.

  1. Explorer will now be present in your Accessories.

Solution 2: Enabling Explorer from Windows Features

Windows has a utility called ‘features’ from where you can enable different applications and modules to run on your computer. This is usually used to control which older applications will be running at any instant. We can use Windows Features to disable and then enable IE to force it to refresh itself.

  1. Press Windows + S, type “windows features” in the dialogue box and open the applications.
  2. Once in Windows Features, locate the entry Internet Explorer 11. Uncheck Press OK.

  1. Now open Windows Features again and check the entry. Press OK and restart your computer.

  1. Now search the start menu for Internet Explorer. You can also use Windows + S to search for the program.

Solution 3: Using command prompt

Another solution which worked for some users was disabling Internet Explorer manually using DISM command, clearing some caches and then enabling it again. There are many cases where Internet Explorer gets corrupt and because of this, you might find it missing from your computer.

  1. Press Windows + S. type “command prompt” in the dialogue box, right-click on the application and select “Run as administrator”.
  2. Once in elevated command prompt, execute the command listed below:
dism /online /disable-feature:"Internet-Explorer-Optional-amd64"

  1. Now restart your computer and after restarting, execute the following commands in the correct order in an elevated command prompt:
DEL /S /Q "%TMP%\*.*"

DEL /S /Q "%TEMP%\*.*"

DEL /S /Q "%WINDIR%\Temp\*.*"

DEL /S /Q "%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Temp\*.*"

DEL /S /Q "%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Temp\*.*"

DEL /S /Q "%LOCALAPPDATA%\Temp\*.*"
  1. After executing the above commands, we will re-enable Internet Explorer using the following command:
dism /online /enable-feature:"Internet-Explorer-Optional-amd64"

  1. Restart your computer completely and check if Internet Explorer shows up.

Note: If you are still experiencing the even after executing the solutions above, you can run an SFC scan and then a DISM to check for missing modules in your Windows installation and install them accordingly. You can also consider doing a clean installation if these steps don’t bring back IE.

Kevin Arrows


Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

How to Bring Back Internet Explorer on Windows 10

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