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There are a few ways of restoring the Outlook Express icon on your desktop.

After a long process of cleaning up after a virus, my Outlook Express icon is missing from my desktop. All the other icons are there. Would running System Recovery Console again restore the OE icon? If not, what could I do to restore this icon?

Off the top of my head, I can come up with at least three approaches to try.

One, simply right click on the desktop, Select New, Shortcut, and then browse to locate Outlook Express's .exe file. THAT's not obvious, but it's msimn.exe (form Microsoft Internet Mail and News - Outlook Express's old name), and is most likely in C:\program files\outlook express.

Another approach is to run System File Checker, which may well restore it.

Yet another approach would be to reinstall/repair Internet Explorer, of which Outlook Express is a part of it.

My approach would be the fist recreating the link manually.

Article C2263 - January 19, 2005 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

Bibbie Finch
July 17, 2005 6:58 PM

I just had Roadrunner and Outlook Express installed yesterday and I have never had a front page icon. I have tried everything I know and have forgotten. Please let me know how to install the icon for Outlook Express on my page that comes up when I turn the computer on.

November 23, 2005 11:26 AM

Thanks the first one worked very well

May 11, 2006 8:06 AM


You're a genius! I followed your suggestion and manually recreated the Outlook Express Icon on my desktop...worked like a charm! Took just a few so glad that I found your website!

Your suggestion gets 5 GOLD STARS!

Your website will be my first stop in the future when I have computer problems.

Thanks so much.

Priyanka Srinivasan
March 26, 2007 4:20 PM

I have the same problem with my outlook express icon. But I cannot find msimn.exe in my program files\outlook express directory. (All files are visisble, nothing hidden.) I have been running outlook express by going to the start menu -> Run -> msimn.exe. This is getting to be a bit of a drag now. Have searched my whole computer for this .exe file with only one search result "" under C:\WINDOWS\Prefetch directory. I don't know if there is some way of extracting the .exe file from this one. My icon disappeared after a botched installation of some virus scan software which I have since removed, but with no luck. Icon still and .exe file still missing. In the meantime I ugraded to Internet explorer 7 and still no outlook icon. Then I uninstalled the IE7 update hoping that the outlook express icon would reappear with the previously installed IE6, but no such luck I'm afraid. So now I'm back with IE7 and still no outlook express icon. The program is running just fine though, I can send, receive email, etc. as if nothing was wrong. But I imagine there is something wrong if the msimn.exe file is missing. Have a lot of e-mail (over 2 year's worth) which I don't want to lose. I have made a copy of the .dbx files where all e-mail is stored, so I can access it even after a new installation of windows. But I hope it doesn't come to that. I did try the system file checker and that didn't work as I have a legal copy of windows XP, but no installation CD. I tried to make an iso image of the i386 folder, and then used a CD emulation program to load the image, but that didn't take, and the sfc kept asking for the installation CD. Anyway, hope someone can help me with this.

Priyanka (desperate windows user :-( )

December 28, 2007 12:24 PM

When installing IE7, you lose your Outlook icon from the browser bar, where it existed in IE6.

My workaround is to press + V to bring up toolbars, then click then then

Then delete any links that you are not using, to tidy up the toolbar below the browser, then go to , find your email icon, right click on it and drag it into links.

For tidying up, rename it from "msimn" to "outlook" or whatever you prefer.

It should then sit there below the browser bar as long as you've selected to view on the toolbar options as above

Good luck!

January 9, 2008 10:09 PM

When you compose a new message with Outlook Express, you may be unable to change the font style, size, or color.C:\WINDOWS\Prefetch directory. I don't know if there is some way of extracting the .exe file from this one. My icon disappeared after a botched installation of some virus scan software which I have since removed, but with no luck. Icon still and .exe file still missing

February 16, 2008 9:43 AM

You first choice was smooth sailing. Thanks much

July 26, 2008 2:30 AM

I recently launched a very nasty Smitfraud program (not knowing i had)which removed the outlook express logo among many others .Your advice was excellent and i now have my desktop short cut back.

September 3, 2008 10:11 AM

Thanks fo r the procedure above but when i searched for msimn.exe and clicked on it to launch outlook express, i am not getting the message headers but not the content - each mail looks blank - any way to fix this?

October 2, 2008 11:30 AM

With Windows Xp,recently re installed and Outlook Express finally working,all I had to do was drag it from the start menu to the desktop.

October 26, 2008 1:09 AM

hii mr.leo am using windows server 2003 on my pc my computer has been infected with a .exe file when i was using yahoo chat and my desktops icons got changed.. my computer to krishnas computer my documnets to krishna documnets.. and recyle bin name changed to gw bush i removied that file(.exe)frm c drive and windows folder.. how to restore my desktop and even my explorer and yahoo mseger are not working properlyy they get closed very soon, and my if i ping someone on yahoo msgr some auto genrated mesages and that .exe file goes into other yahoo msgr im window please help meeeeeeeee,i couldnt format the system coz i have peoplesoft software in it and am using windows server 2003 as my os

January 2, 2011 8:29 AM

i by mistake deleted my msimn.exe file, now im unable to find it, i now go through run and input msmin.exe and then check my mails. is there any solution for this ??


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