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Lost "Default Icon" for http *.URL file Type after IE7

Posted on 2008-10-31
Last Modified: 2013-12-08
Hi Experts

I think that this problem manifested itself after I upgraded the Windows XP SP2 IE6 to IE7, but I cannot be sure because I installed XP SP3 either at that time, or from a slipstreamed CD - I can't recall now.

IE7 changes quite a few icons to kind of glossy 3-D ones, and I had noticed that the blue "e" icon for a *.url file had changed.  The first I noticed my issue was when  installed a couple of programs that placed shortcuts to web help pages in the new Start Menu folder alongside shortcuts to the program.  Example, CDBurnerXP creates 4 shortcuts to web pages.

The issue is that the *.URLs revert to the icon representing a file with no program association, as can be seen in the screenshot of the file properties of the top shortcut (URL-Icon-01.jpg).

Before I noticed this issue with Start Menu *.url shortcuts, I had noticed something odd when I created a shortcut to a web page on my desktop by dragging and dropping the "e" (Or FavIcon) at the left of my IE address bar out.  In this page I'm seeing the orange Experts-Exchange logo, and if I click and drag that out to my desktop it creates an Internet Shortcut with the E-E icon.

Now, this icon persists until I empty my Temporary Internet Files folder in the normal manner, which deletes the "ee.ico" and/or favicon.ico" files.  Previously, in this event, the new *.url file on my desktop would revert to the standard blue "e" Internet Shortcut icon, which I believe was C:\WINDOWS\system32\url.dll,0

When I empty the Temporary Internet Files folder, and this delete the favicon files, my shortcuts now revert to the Shell32.dll,0 icon, ie. the "unassociated file type" icon.

In some instances I have been able to get the icon to stick if I use the "Change Icon" options under the file properties and choose the top left one (ie. index 0) from URL.DLL, but others revert back again to no icon.  I have uploaded a screenshot of 2 *.url files on my desktop (URL _Icon_02.jpg).  Example_01.url retains the icon, but Example_02.url keeps losing it.

I have done some comparisons on the code embedded in these *.URL files by creating a new right-click menu option that opens the files in Notepad.  Here is the code respectively for "Example_01.url" and "Example_02.url":



It looks like the additioal crap in the *.url that isn't retaining the icon is causing this, and I can't understand why because they were both created the same way.

The CLSID {000214A0-0000-0000-C000-000000000046} relates to "URL Shortcut PropSetStorage Mapping" (Master Key) and "InternetShortcut" here:
and this key seems to contain the settings for all the additional (and in many cases superfluous) settings that can be placed in the code of a *.url file:

WhatsNew, Author, Desc, Comment, IDList, Pinned, URL, HotKey, ShowCommand, IconIndex, IconFile.

I believe that my "DefaultIcon" for the *.url file type is correctly set in my Registry, but perhaps someone could conmpare to make sure.  See Code Snippet for my *.reg export.  I'm sure there is a lot more in those exported keys than there was in IE6.

OK, so my conclusion is that web pages that do not have a "favicon.ico" that displays in the Address Bar seem to retain the default and normal blue "e" icon when saved as a *.url.   The code in them is simpler than those *.urls created from web pages that display the "favicon.ico" and tend to lose their icons.

I can live without "FavIcons", so if anyone knows of a method to completely disable the caching of them, then I would be pleased to have it.

If not, then does anyone know of a registry modification that will prevent all my *.url files from losing "favicons" and the default icon when I empty my temporary internet files folder?

All other suggestions EXCEPT doing a repair install of IE or XP are welcome.  It's not that big an inconvenience to go to those extremes.


Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
@="Internet Shortcut"
@="View In Notepad"
@="C:\\windows\\notepad.exe %1"
@="rundll32.exe ieframe.dll,OpenURL %l"
@="rundll32.exe C:\\WINDOWS\\system32\\mshtml.dll,PrintHTML \"%1\""
@="rundll32.exe C:\\WINDOWS\\system32\\mshtml.dll,PrintHTML \"%1\" \"%2\" \"%3\" \"%4\""

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Question by:BillDL
  • 4
LVL 38

Author Comment

ID: 22851452
Note:  The shortcuts in my "Favorites" pane, and also the actual files in my "Favorites" folder display with the logo as shown in "Example 1.url" screenshot above, so that's not a problem.  Those shortcuts were created a long while ago when I had IE6 though.
LVL 22

Accepted Solution

orangutang earned 500 total points
ID: 22852411
Wow, BillDL is asking a question?!?! :)

What about a uninstall and reinstall? Also, have you tried:
LVL 38

Author Comment

ID: 22854039
Huh! I didn't find that in my searches, and I searched for a long while.  All I got was stuff about firefox in my searches.  Thanks for that orangutan, I'll check out the *.reg file and see if there are any differences that could be causing this.

Yeah, I sometimes get stuck myself, but I know where all the best experts hang around ;-)
LVL 38

Author Comment

ID: 22869554
Hi orangutan

The *.reg file APPEARS to have resolved the issue for NEW *.url files, but I'm stuck with a bunch of ones created pre-IE7 that would involve editing the source of each to "fix".

There's definitely a whole load of extra junk created in a *.url file made with IE7 installed, as opposed to IE6, and I suppose these are the overlooked incompatibilities that aren't weeded out by Microsoft as we advance through the replacement versions of Windows and applications.

If you are interested,or if anyone else is, then here's a *.reg file to add a new Right-Click > "View in Notepad" option for *.url files:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

@="View In Notepad"

@="C:\\windows\\notepad.exe %1"

LVL 38

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31512099
Thank you for your suggestion orangutan.

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