IE history missing


New Member
I recnetly installed Vista (Home Basic). I did an upgrade from Windows XP (Home) SP2. Though it's working well, there are a couple of minor annoyances I'd like to straighten out. Here are two that relate to Internet Explorer:

1. History is missing. Whne I press Ctrl+Shift+H or click on the History button, it's completely empty. The few pages that show up when I click on the arrow next to the back/forward buttons are the only history I have.

I looked in the regisrty, and the History folder appears to be set to "C:\Users\[my name]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\History." This folder is indeed present, and contains a hidden folder called "History.IE5", another folder called "Low", and a desktop.ini file, dated 10/25/01 (the date I originally installed XP). Inside the "History.IE5" folder are desktop.ini and index.dat files dated about two hours ago today and rigth now, respectively. Inside the Low folder is another folder called History.IE5, and inside that are 13 folders -- all empty -- that have names beginning with "MSHist" and date/time stamps from when I installed Vista.

So, does anyone know if some folders are mixed up, or what? It has me stumped.

2. There was no Internet Explorer icon on the desktop after the upgrade was complete, nor is ther one available Control Panel -> Appearance and Personalization -> Personalization -> Change desktop icons, which is where an online article said I should look for the icon.

Is this a bug or a feature??!!

Thanks for taking the time to read this... I'm sure I'll have more!


New Member
Sorry, I intended this to be in the networking forum.


New Member
I came up with an answer to my second question (patting self on back right now). The method for re-enabling the Internet Explorer desktop icon can be found in this knowledge base atricle: Internet Explorer 7 Desktop icon missing. I didn't find it in my original search because it does not list Vista Home Basic in its "applies to" section, but it does indeed work. Those looking for Vista answers in the KB might want to take note, and search for "Windows Vista" rather than a specific edition.

Pardon me for talking to myself here, but in case this helps somebody...

I have made some progress on the browser history problem. I was able to change the location of the history folder by editing this registry key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders\History

I backed up the original value, then changed it to the folder I was using for history in XP (I had changed both the cache and history folders from their default locations in XP. The Vista installed honored my old cache folder location setting, but not the history). After logging off and on again, history is now functional, in both IE and in Windows Explorer, too -- this was not working before, either.

I've since looked at the original folder, and found a folder called History(6).IE5 alongside the previously-viewable History.IE5 folder -- not sure if this is normal or not. It contains an index.dat file dated about a day ago. Also, there is one MSHist... folder inside the old History.IE5, dated the time I logged off as mentioned above.

I might erase the stuff in the old folder and try moving it back... but I'm inclined to leave well enough alone at this point -- at least until all of this is better documented.



I recently purchased a new Vista machine and used the easy transfer tool to get my settings from my old xp machine. This created a "shortcut to History" folder in C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows, or at least in one of these folders. To be able to see the shortcut I had to set my file settings to show hidden files and also unselect hide protected operating files. I deleted the shortcut and opened IE 7 to find Google was now in my History!!

No registry editing, no changing .ini files, just a simple delete of an obsolete shortcut that confused IE. I hope that this helps anyone else like myself that has read multiple threads on multiple sites just to see people arguing with each other and talking about a lot of stuff that makes no sense.

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