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Fix for When Clock, Volume, Power or Network Icons are Missing and Grayed Out in Windows Vista

So you notice you are missing icons in the System Tray, like the clock or volume icons, and then you realize that you simply can’t enable them because the checkboxes are grayed out. So what do you do?

The problem exists because system policies were set that probably shouldn’t be, but either way your icons are missing:

image

Normally you can re-enable the items by right-clicking on the Taskbar, choosing properties and going to the Notification Area tab:

image

But they are grayed out… what’s up with that?

Note: I’m assuming you already did the normal Windows fix-it technique of rebooting, and the problem still exists.

Fix for Notification Icons are Missing and Checkboxes are Grayed Out

You can solve all of these problems by looking in two separate places in the registry, and then deleting a bunch of keys in each location. We’ll detail all of the keys here, but you can skip down a bit for a downloadable registry hack file.

Open up regedit.exe through the start menu search or run box, and then browse down to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

image

If you see any of the following key names in the right-hand pane, delete them:

  • NoTrayItemsDisplay
  • HideClock
  • HideSCAPower
  • HideSCAVolume
  • NoAutoTrayNotify
  • HideSCANetwork

After deleting the values in that pane, browse to the following key and then repeat the process:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

You’ll have to logout and then back in, and then most likely go back into taskbar properties and re-check the boxes for each.

Download Registry Hack

Just download, extract, and double-click on RestoreMyTrayIconsPlease.reg to enter the information into the registry.

Download RestoreMyTrayIconsPlease Registry Hack

What if the Volume Icon Still Doesn’t Work?

Over the last year, many people have reported a related problem to me: They just have no volume icon… and also no sound.

If you encounter this problem, you should immediately open Device Manager and make sure that there are no exclamation points next to your sound card, because the problem is likely that your sound card driver isn’t working.

image

If there are exclamation points, or the sound card is missing and there are a bunch of “Unknown devices”, you usually need to reload the sound card driver from the manufacturer, but sometimes you can right-click on the device and choose to “Update Driver”.

Note: I’ve also run into this issue with Toshiba and Acer laptops, the solution for those usually being a BIOS update.

If you still have problems, head over to our forum and ask your question over there.

Important Note: Numerous people have reported to me that this problem happens much less after installing Service Pack 1, so you should probably make sure you are all patched up as well.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 05/1/08

Comments (115)

  1. Dobay Raymund

    In case of grayed out or missing system icons it is mostly enough to open the Task Manager, end the explorer process and run it again
    (new task, run, explorer). All four system icons will reappear!
    Pls check it!

  2. The Geek

    That’s a good point, I updated the article to mention this is for when rebooting doesn’t fix the problem.

  3. Carole

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  4. Matt T.

    What we all really want to know is, where did you get the Super Mario wallpapers?

  5. The Geek

    @Matt

    Seems like every other article I end up getting that same question… I got it from here:

    http://desktopgaming.com/display.php?file_id=35

  6. Dvord Direwood

    Thank you for the tip.

    It’s a shame, this is the kind of tip I would expect for the Linux OS, not a commercial OS.

  7. Matt

    Hey, can this (or something similar) work for windows xp?

    Every once in a while, XP has been removing the volume control icon in my taskbar. I’ve had to go to sounds in the control panel (where the box to place an icon in the taskbar is still checked but no icon shows up) uncheck the box, click apply and then recheck it and click apply to have it reappear.

    I’ve tried rebooting and everything else in the book, but it still disappears (and not because its inactive, I have it set to always show)….any help is appreciated!

  8. Kevin

    Does this fix missing icons in the control panel in Vista as well? My printer on my hp laptop stop working. Go into my control panel and that icon is missing.

  9. Gadzooks64

    I did this and it messed up my machine but good. I didn’t even have Explorer folder under Policies. I had to go back and delete those registry entries to get my CPU to stop being pegged at 100%.

    I found that the process described here has worked for me:

    http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/clean-up-past-notification-icons-in-windows-vista/

  10. rupert

    Useful tip, yet it highlights another of those niggly little things that conspire to stop me falling in love with Vista. In XP the network tray icon gave a reasonably clear indication of network activity. The Vista version is far less distinct. Probably a case of too many graphic designers and not enough software engineers.

  11. rupert

    @Geek – re: your note about SP1 causing this to happen less.

    I prefer an icon-free deskop and use the quick launch bar, so I usually only have the (My)Computer icon up in the corner. Having just installed SP1 I notice that that, too, has disappeared! I don’t really care, but would be interested to know if anyone else has seen this.

  12. Jaime

    Thank you so so much. It was driving me nuts, the ending the explorer and restarting it worked. You guys are great! thank you!

  13. GirlFriday

    Wow – What lifesavers you are! Ending explorer and restarting worked for me, as I didn’t have an explorer folder under policies either. I am going to bookmark this site!! Thanks much!

  14. Mark

    This problem went away a month ago when I installed Vista SP1. However, yesterday it came back. I’m back to having to shutdown and restart Explorer to get the taskbar icons for network, power, and volume every time I reboot. None of the entries in this article are in my registry either, so that’s not what’s causing it. Any other ideas?

  15. gadzooks64

    I have found that all you have to do is end Explorer under Processes in the Task Manager (Ctrl+Shft+Esc) and restart it (File/New Task(Run)/Explorere.exe in Task Manager) for the Network, Volume and Battery icons to reappear on your notifications bar.

    I have pretty much resigned myself to doing that after every boot up.

  16. LJ

    Dobay…EXCELLENT! Worked like a charm. :)

  17. Kcwoo

    awesome man. i got it fixed thx to u guys. peace~

  18. Andrew Matthews

    If have a problem with my vista system where all my system icons was gone and couldn’t enable them because they were all grayed out ad i was getting very frustion because nothing seemed to work. Then i came on to this site and read what Dobay Raymund said to do in his comment and it work!! This guy is a genius. Thank you so much!

  19. chaz wilson

    thank u that’s just what I needed volume and networking are back where they belong, in the systray

  20. j4cx sparrow

    thank you

  21. candymountain

    Dobay Raymund’s comment helped me… that seems to work the easiest, but i don’t know how long it will last for!

    thanks!

  22. Nadeem

    dobay, thanks alot, simple easy and effective man

  23. Mel

    Please follow these simple steps to restore your volume, power etc. icons that are grayed out for Vista! Simple:
    Go to Start Menu
    Click on Programs
    Click on Accessories
    Click on System Tools
    Click on Control Panel
    Click on Taskbar & Start Menu
    Click on Notification Area, your boxes are no longer grayed out, click the ones you want open, I searched for months without finding a solution & a friend gave me this, please post it EVERYWHERE!

  24. mike

    It worked! I was working on a friends Laptop and three of the four main icons were gone. I knew it was a registry problem, but I didn’t know the name of the keys to change. I downloaded his regfile and modified it (because it didn’t work they way they had it.) I change the values to 0 so that the keys were created with the values off. When I logged off and then back on – there the icons were, right where they needed to be.

    Thanks!

  25. Bill Gates

    The end explorer-in-taskmanager trick provided by Dobay Raymund (may 1st) worked for me!
    However, when I tried the regedit-trick, I had no folder titled Explorer in my Policies folder…?

    Anywho, problem solved!

    Now I’m gonna work on my iMac again.

    Cee ya!

  26. fuzzy

    no suggestions have worked for me. I dont have an explorer key to delete keys in the registry. And the lengthy way of running the control panel Taskbar and Start Menu yeilded still greyed out boxes. So who has an ultimate solution?

  27. mike

    Fuzzy,

    Download the regkey provided by this site. But before you merge it, right click it and select “edit”. Then, change the – (that will delete the keys) to a 0 (zero.)

    What that will do is CREATE the explorer keys and then set their values to 0 (or available to be modified by the enduser.)

    Log off of the account and log back in. NOW, through the Taskbar and Start Menu, the values should be available for you to click and enable the task bar icon.

    Email me with more questions or to talk on the phone.

    no3gods @ hotmail . com

  28. Evan

    Thanks Dobay Raymund! My network and volume icons had disappeared and their checkboxes grayed, and I tried everything else but nothing worked, and then I restarted explorer from the task manager and everything is fixed.

  29. gadzooks64

    I’ve been reloading the explorer for a while now and figured it was just something I was going to have to live with.

    I just recently got a new laptop and noticed that it didn’t have this problem…. until I installed the anti-virus and anti-spyware programs (which I did after I installed and estimate 982734986534 Windows updates and rebooted about as often).

    Shockingly, my icons were there every time until then.

    Today I installed SP1 among many other updates and I also activated the SLi video feature. Oddly enough my icons are back.

    I’m starting to think it might have something to do with a) anti-virus or anti-spyware or b) poor video response. The reason I bought this SLi laptop was the overtaxed and under-performing video on my previous unit.

    Regardless of the cause, reloading the explorer always worked for me. If I had to do it every time I booted up I would as the battery level and wireless connection are a vital statistics on a laptop.

  30. alyssa

    Hi, this is my problem: the files that u say to delete ( * NoTrayItemsDisplay* HideClock * HideSCAPower * HideSCAVolume * NoAutoTrayNotify * HideSCANetwork) what if you go to the registry editor and none of those files are even there for you to delete? then what do you do?

  31. jenna

    thank you, thank you, thank you! this was driving me crazy!!!! finding a way to solve it was really hard. ending explorer and restarting it fixed it for me. THANK YOU!

  32. Alexandra

    Yehey! Thanks for all the help in this website!! I thought I had some bug in my computer. I’ve just doing some auto updates for the past couple of days, then last night, it started acting weird. My network and volume icons are back on. I just ended the explorer.exe process on my task manager, then clicked on “File” and “Run” then typed in “Explorer”. That did the trick!!

  33. R.A. Ibarra

    Mr. Dobay Raymund;

    You were right on !!!!!!! Thank’s very much !!!!!!!

    R.A.

  34. Shone

    Here is no sound after installing Service pack 1,and after that thanks to you and this tutorial I found in device manager sound update and fix the problem.thanks a lot…

  35. Ian

    The comment about ending the explorer process worked perfect for me thanks!!

  36. Meg

    Thank you. Adding the registry values again, rebooting, then right clicking on the taskbar and clicking properties etc. and checking the network icon and sound icon worked. Before I added the restoreMyTrayIconsPlease registry hack, those options were greyed out and all of the registry values that I had to check for under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer and HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer were missing. Very strange.

  37. Bella

    In regards to the following post:

    “Mel
    Please follow these simple steps to restore your volume, power etc. icons that are grayed out for Vista! Simple:
    Go to Start Menu
    Click on Programs
    Click on Accessories
    Click on System Tools
    Click on Control Panel
    Click on Taskbar & Start Menu
    Click on Notification Area, your boxes are no longer grayed out, click the ones you want open, I searched for months without finding a solution & a friend gave me this, please post it EVERYWHERE! ”

    Thank you very much for this, I have tried everything to get back my icons and this was the only thing that worked, Thank you

  38. Charlotte

    I have followed all of the steps that everyone has left.
    Mel, I have tried your method, but the volume box is still greyed out!
    Also, in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer there did not exist an explorer file in the policies file.
    I NEED HELP WITH THIS PRETTY SOON!
    who can help?
    Thanks.

  39. mike

    Charlotte,

    Please try what I suggested while talking to Fuzzy. It worked for me while working on a friends laptop.

    If you still need help, email me at no3gods @ hotmail.com (remove the spaces)

    Regards,
    mike

  40. ld

    Thanks Dobay! I contacted my computer manufacturer, they recommended this website to me, and your answer solved the problem (the above steps did not!).

  41. Iain

    Thanks for the advice. Disabling the explorer solved the problem for me.

  42. mark de haan

    Thanks many thanks, Whooooohaaaaaa!

    From Holland, with love

  43. Navaid

    Really Who so ever told this trick of disabling of explore.exe worked for me
    HE IS THE MAN
    I appreciate him.

  44. Whatever

    Dobay Raymund’s suggestion works on Windows Vista, but you might have to re-enable the checkbox in the toolbar properties window, as mine did not instantly reappear. Nothing else worked on mine, as far as regedit fixes, etc.

  45. Alex

    You don’t have to do this to open the notification area:

    “Mel
    Please follow these simple steps to restore your volume, power etc. icons that are grayed out for Vista! Simple:
    Go to Start Menu
    Click on Programs
    Click on Accessories
    Click on System Tools
    Click on Control Panel
    Click on Taskbar & Start Menu
    Click on Notification Area, your boxes are no longer grayed out, click the ones you want open, I searched for months without finding a solution & a friend gave me this, please post it EVERYWHERE! ”
    Just right click on the system tray, select properties, and then select notification area.

  46. sw01fl

    Windows Vista Disappearing System Tray Icons Quick Fix
    How-to for fixing missing icons in the Windows Vista system tray:

    1. Back up the Registry by creating a restore point.
    2. Go to Start > Run (or Windows-key + “R”), type in “regedit” and hit “OK”.
    3. Navigate to the key “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion \TrayNotify”.
    4. Delete the values “IconStreams” and “PastIconsStream”.
    5. Open up the Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc), go to the “Processes” tab, select “explorer.exe” and click “End Process”.
    6. Open the “Applications” tab and click “New Task…” at the bottom-right of the window.
    7. In the message box that pops up type in “explorer.exe” and hit “OK”.
    8. Explorer.exe will reload, and the missing icons should now be back in the system-tray where they belong.
    9. If not right click taskbar and select properties, now open the notification tab and the network, volume, and power check boxes are no longer faded out so select them and click apply then OK.

    Wala

  47. Paul

    Worked for me :)

  48. mulcher

    I just experienced this today after installing Avast Anti-viral software. My battery icon disappeared and it was not available when I tried to check the box. For a simple solution that took 5 minutes, give this a try. I’m glad it worked.

    1. Close all programs, and shut down the laptop.
    2. Remove all power supplies (battery and power cord)
    3. Drain remaining power by pushing the power on button for 30 seconds(while you have no power supply)
    4. Put the battery back in and boot up the computer
    5. Once booted completely, right click the system tray and select properties
    6. The boxes should now all be selectable

    I hope this helps someone else who thought all was lost.

  49. Magis123

    Hey all,

    Thanks, went through all these suggestions but none of it restored my icon. I tried the first suggestion. I tried shutting down explorer.exe and restarting it. I tried deleting the iconstreams and pasticonstreams and restarting explorer.exe. Uninstalled and reinstalled my drivers, still no joy. No malware, spyware, virii or anything like that.

    Anyone else have any other ideas?

  50. Mike

    Magis123,

    If you still need help with this, I should be able to help.

    Please email me at no3gods @ hotmail .com (remove the spaces.)

    Or you can contact me through my website.

    Regards,
    Mike

  51. Mohammed

    Thank you so much to you guys and a special thanks to the creators of RestoreMyTrayIconsPlease Registry hack.

    I dowloaded the registry file applied it to my registry and then restarted my computer and then navigated to the start menu properties and checked the check boxes for volume and network which were greyed out when i had the problem.

  52. Ilan

    I appreciate the information and advice you have given in this article.
    Best Regards, Ilan.

  53. anonymous

    Not only did none of those suggestions work, but RestoreMyTrayIcons refused to run on my computer.

  54. Dea

    Hey,

    I’ve tried to fix my dissapearing icons with regedit, but when I go through all of the things you’ve said… the hiden files aren’t there… Is there another way to fix the problem? This particular problem doesn’t hapen often, sometimes I can just check on the box in notification area, but right now… nothing seems to work… By that I mean only the icon, sounds work but it’s getting on my nerves…

  55. Looking for help

    None of these work for me.

  56. stupdlove

    my laptop is japanese version all install,i whant to upgrade in english version ,my laptop is window vista home premuim, can i upgarede even no cd istaller ,pls geve me a tip how to solve it ,because i dont understand japanese version laptop.& hove online software free version to upgrde .ty if you can solve my problem 3 problem

  57. HH

    Mersi wala (sw01fl)

  58. Hiei

    Thanks for the great fix. It works ^^

  59. Katie

    None of these solutions helped. I deleted and recreated explorer.exe. Tried to change it from within the control panel instead of right-clicking the task bar. Downloaded the registry hack provided on this page. Searched for ‘Hideclock’ etc. in my registry editor. Restarted my computer numerous times. Absolutely nothing works. At this point, I basically hate Windows Vista. Does anyone have any other solutions?

  60. Reyes, Jessie A.

    MANY THANKS FOR THE TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDE! I HOPE MANY PEOPLE BE MORE LIKE YOU INSTEAD OF WASTING ENERGY AND TIME IN HACKING AND DESTROYING CYBER PROPERTIES OF OTHERS! GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!

  61. Reyes, Jessie A.

    @Katie After you executed the RestoreMyTrayIconsPlease.reg (the one you downloaded) do this
    By Dobay Raymund – In case of grayed out or missing system icons it is mostly enough to open the Task Manager, end the explorer process and run it again
    (new task, run, explorer). All four system icons will reappear!
    Pls check it!

  62. steph

    thanks sw01fl

    it worked for me :) i wont have to keep doing it will i??

    hopefully not:)

    xxx

  63. Roland Stone

    My volume icon keeps disappearing. Yes the “log off”/”log on” trick works. Yes the check and then uncheck “place volume icon in system tray” trick works. Yes the stop and then restart explorer.exe trick works (that’s probably the fastest workaround). But these are all just temporary workarounds and the problem always comes right back when the computer restarts. How do I fix the problem PERMANENTLY? I don’t have a problem with greyed out checkboxes. Should I still try the registry edits suggested here? Are they permanent fixes?

  64. Tin

    I’m with Roland Stone. I’m having the same issues, all of these provide temporary fixes, but I have the prob with disappearing icons when I restart the computer.

    Any other tips??

  65. Dom Sparks

    I had this problem, but I didn’t have anything in the registry settings.

    With most Explorer/task bar related problems rather than logging-off & on again, you can always restart Explorer instead; This means you don’t need to close any apps or anything… Just run TaskMgr, then find explorer.exe on the Processes tab and choose ‘End Process’. Then choose File, New Task, and enter Explorer, and Explorer will restart. For me, this was enough to get my volume icon back!.

  66. Stephen

    What I’d like to know is —- WHY HAS MICROSLOTH NOT FIXED THESE PROBLEMS????
    Flame on (for MS):
    Their little updates (and big of course) are continually messing with the notification tray icons, removing them, disabling them… Microsloth you just suck!

    This problem is old — a google search will reveal that folks have been dealing with this since 2007…
    What lame software and support. This just should NOT HAPPEN … not anymore anyway. MS just employs mostly chimps these days (rather, newbies out of college who work 80+ hour weeks for peanuts.. and thus no one knows enough about proper s/w development and support. Sorry if you work for MS, but — there’s no excuse for this problem going on for years like this (and of course, this is actually one example of many). Re-branding vista as “7” won’t help if you don’t fix these stupid bugs, folks.

    Sorry for the rant.

  67. LadyDee

    Thanks gadzooks64!!! I was able to get my icons back as I did not have the explorer file in my registery. This is now my first stop for Vista issues.

  68. Jan

    I followed all the steps in Fix for When Clock, Volume, Power or Network Icons are Missing and Grayed Out in Windows Vista, but when I opened Properties, there was no Explorer. I had Attachments, NonEnum, Ratings, and System, but no Explorer. So close, but yet still a grayed out Volume icon in my Notification area. What should I do now?

  69. AMT

    THANKS!!! Its 3am I was oing crazy until i found this!!

  70. vina

    my windows vista appearance looked like windows 2000. its toolbar is colored gray instead of blue… i want to restore the windows vista appearance but don’t know how… everytime i try to personalize my window color and appearance, the choices are limited to

    windows standard
    windows classic
    high contrast white
    high contrast black
    high contrast #2
    high contrast #1

    please help!

  71. Tim

    WOW! Thanks so much. I used the explorer.exe trick, worked like a champ! Thanks again!!!!

  72. Karl

    Thanks a lot! I lost my network, power, and volume icons, but the hack application in this guide worked great. :) I will definately keep it on my computer in case this gets messed up again…

    btw, I tried the manual changes you suggested first, but I didn’t see any of the key names you mentioned in the registry editor. does the application do something else which you can’t do manually?

  73. Pecani

    Mulcher,

    Your way of bringing back the icons should be on the very top of the list…. I tried practically all the other tips but something was always missing, or they simply didn’t work, the grayed out areas/boxes remained the same

  74. Leonard

    I am sure this problem is related to a spy/malware issue. Spybot fixed this problem where all the above failed without result. In fact half the “solutions” posted in the comments will NOT work when the control box is “grayed out”. People should really read the OP properly before leaving a comment….

  75. David

    I installed Linux over Windows and finally fised this problem! Sick of having to work out fisex for thses things constantly in Windows…

  76. Anthony

    I need some help with this. I tried restarting the Explorer and it did not work. I tried rebooting my computer, it did not help. I tried the Taskbar & Start Menu, but the were all grayed except the Clock.

    I also check the Regedit.. (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer and inside the ‘Policies’ folder ‘Explorer’ is not there. I can only go to: (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies).

    Inside ‘Policies,’ there is only four folder: Attachments, NonEnum, Ratings, and System…the Explorer directory can not be found on my computer.

    Is there any other way to get my Volume, Power, and Network icons back?

  77. Dog Easy

    Dom Sparks – You are a gem of infinite value. I’m sure some of the other suggestions work, but I don’t want to get involved with the registry and the others were often too complicated.

    Your solution above was exquisite and simple and immediately effective. I’ll have to give this tip to my guru.

    Thanks to all of you who took the time to make a post here. You’re all Aces in my book.

    Dog Easy

  78. vhri

    omg! Dobay Raymund’s trick works like a charm!

  79. Ken

    Your “Download Registry Hack” worked like a charm! Thx Much!

  80. tman

    I’ve tried everything above and none of them worked. To fix this problem using Win XP, I went to START, RUN, and typed SYSTRAY and hit ENTER, and all icons appeared. Hope this work for others.

  81. Ken

    My Vista system started to “forget” the Volume, System & Power Icons, & the “Registry Hack” stopped working, shortly after my above comment. So I used the first comment by Dobay Raymund & the Geek’s recommendations to shut down & restart Windows Explorer (explorer.exe). I did not even have to log out & back in or restart Windows. I just went back into the Taskbar Notification section after the aforementioned & checked the now “ungrayed” boxes for the missing icons!

    I hope this is a final fix!

  82. alex

    OH MY GOD!! THANK YOU SO MUCH

  83. Sned

    I went to the location stated in the article, but there was no “Explorer” folder inside “Policies”, so my Sound and Battery icons are still missing. Any ideas?

  84. prox

    closing the explorer n restarting it again solves the problem

  85. Justin

    Thanks a lot Dobay!! Worked! No need for registry hack.. Thanks

  86. JR

    Dobay’s solution of ending explore.exe worked for me. Don’t forget to go back in and check the boxes after you restart explore.exe. Thanks Dobay!

  87. krissy

    I have this problem mentioned – one day the volume disappeared and today the network disappeared. both are greyed out. I went to the registry and the “hides” are not listed there. What can I do to bring these back?
    plz help, I am wireless so I def. need my network icon back!!

  88. Sherilyn

    Thank you so much!
    Do you know why this happens? Just curiosity :D

  89. G.Elliott

    hey i did what you said an the files are not there

  90. Jenn

    Yay! Finally got my network icon back! I tried the regedit but like others, i didnt have the explorer file under policies. I tried ending explorer and running it again in task manager and that work but with an extra step because the missing network icon didnt show up. i right clicked the task bar and when to properties-notification area and the network box was no longer grayed out! Thanks

  91. Davec

    Dude! No muss; no fuss. Big thanks.

  92. Joanne

    Oh my sock! Thank you! I’ve been working without my battery icon for days and it’s such a pain! But all fixed :)

  93. Bernhard

    Thanks

    it worked fine.

  94. Liz

    Thanks Mulcher! I though I had tried everything… but followed your oh-so-simple instructions and what do you know?! If only everything could be this straightforward. Now I can stop tearing my hair out!

  95. supm

    I’ve tried the following:

    (1) rebooting (i.e. restarting Windows)
    [Issue: the icons were often still missing];

    (2) attempting to check the checkboxes at ‘Taskbar and Start Menu Properties –> Notification Area –> System Icons’
    [Issue: the checkboxes were usually all grayed out];

    (3) as recommended in the article above: deleting specific files (NoTrayItemsDisplay, HideClock, HideSCAPower, HideSCAVolume, NoAutoTrayNotify, HideSCANetwork) at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
    [Issue: these files were not present despite the icons being missing];

    (4) quitting and restarting explorer.exe in the same log-in session, without rebooting Windows.

    So far #4 has worked each time for me. Strangely, simply restarting explorer.exe seems to have a higher success rate in bringing back the icons than rebooting Windows altogether, from my experience. Therefore, in addition to any other suggestions mentioned previously, I would also recommend a simple restart of explorer.exe, e.g. via the following method:

    Go to Windows Task Manager –> Processes.
    Find explorer.exe, select it and then choose to End Process.
    Go to Windows Task Manager –> File –> New Task (Run…).
    Type in explorer.exe and click OK.

    Explorer.exe will restart and hopefully you will see the icons. If not, follow the other suggestions.

  96. Still_Kickin

    Thanks Geek !

    Using Vista and was able to use your ‘download the registry hack’ to restore icons for the desktop.
    Thanks for your help. :-)

  97. Domerman

    Hello, everyone!

    I’ve been having this problem for some time now. The thing about this solution is that I don’t have those registry keys in my registry. I don’t know why. (I’m using Vista Basic).

    This is the fix that worked for me: Clearing the notification icon history.

    If you right click on system tray and select properties, you see CUSTOMIZE next to HIDE INACTIVE ICONS. If you click customize you see the past icons ever used. You have to clear this history list by going to a different registry entry.

    > run ‘regedit.exe’

    > go to key ‘HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\LocalSettings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersio\TrayNotify’

    > delete keys ‘IconStreams’ & ‘PastIconsStream’

    Then restart Explorer.exe:

    Right click taskbar and click Task Manager. Under Processes, select explorer.exe, then click End Process.

    Now the taskbar will disappear. In the same window of Task Manager, click File, select New Task. In the dialog box, type explorer.exe.

    The task bar should appear with the tray icons restored. :)

  98. Amy

    Hey guys. I’ve spent hours reading this whole forum and have tried all the suggestions. Sadly, nothing worked. I’m not a programmer, but I would say I’m pretty savvy with computers. So, I know I didn’t perform the wrong steps. Any other suggestions to solve this issue? Btw, it’s my power icon option that’s grayed out in the taskbar options menu. My laptop battery fried out recently. (Perhaps that’s what contributed to the problem?) At any rate, I tried all the above suggestions after placing a new battery into my laptop. This is pretty frustrating. I’m open to any suggestion right now, including setting this laptop on fire :/

  99. Firiox1

    FYI

    Firefox 3.6.13 has been available this week.

    Has somebody tested it? Any ideas?

    Sorry if this is the incorrect forum!

    Thanks

  100. Rebecca

    This absolutely saved my life. Well, probably not, but it really did make my day. Not being able to see your network strength, battery life, or volume is soooooo annoying. Great easy directions for someone not very computer literate like me. THANK YOU Soooooooo much!

  101. BRIAN

    This was a big help, Thanks.

  102. Princess.bozeman

    How do I get my clock back on my phone.

  103. Queen of Hearts

    Thanks do much Domerman! Your solution to the missing icons was right on!

  104. Ayush

    Thanks for the solution. God bless you guys… People like you shall always suceed.

  105. Asian Guy

    FROM: sw01fl

    Windows Vista Disappearing System Tray Icons Quick Fix
    How-to for fixing missing icons in the Windows Vista system tray:

    1. Back up the Registry by creating a restore point.
    2. Go to Start > Run (or Windows-key + “R”), type in “regedit” and hit “OK”.
    3. Navigate to the key “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion \TrayNotify”.
    4. Delete the values “IconStreams” and “PastIconsStream”.
    5. Open up the Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc), go to the “Processes” tab, select “explorer.exe” and click “End Process”.
    6. Open the “Applications” tab and click “New Task…” at the bottom-right of the window.
    7. In the message box that pops up type in “explorer.exe” and hit “OK”.
    8. Explorer.exe will reload, and the missing icons should now be back in the system-tray where they belong.
    9. If not right click taskbar and select properties, now open the notification tab and the network, volume, and power check boxes are no longer faded out so select them and click apply then OK.

    Wala

    These worked out for me. thx a lot Wala!

  106. ramzi

    You guys are so so so great,thanx alot

  107. jane-marie

    thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!! I have been without sound for months and couldn’t find an answer until putting in just the right sentence in google and your info came up! much appreciated!!!!!!!!!

  108. antoina

    I followed your directions once before and it worked perfectly. Now, though, I can’t see the battery power and volume icons and when I followed these instructions,”HideSCAPower” “HideSCAVolume” were not options.They are also still greyed out on the task bar. I tried the hack you provided and that didn’t work either. Is there anything else I can do? Thank you for the help!

  109. Annie

    hi

    i need help with my volume mixer being disabled (having a small x mark). Done checking at Device Manager and it says device working fine. I tried to open VLC and Windows Media Player, the sound icon is there but its not producing sound.

    I checked taskbar as indicated above but the boxes are not greyed out nor unchecked. I think this is registry problem, i guess because this happens when i installed updates from a so called avira antivirus.

    Please help me.

  110. Kelly

    I tried to find the registry edit in my start menu and can’t find it. I’m getting very confused. What do I do?

  111. realself

    Dobay, you da man! been bedeviled for the longest time (intermittently) w/ this problem, now solved! Thanks!

  112. loveyou loveme

    thanks worked a treat love your knowledge keep teaching……..

  113. annoyed guy

    at the bottom left i can only see the clock and sumting about the side bar an HP guick launch thingy.
    when rebooted the computer it said: could not open the (anything that is in the bottom left corner) 0xc000000d…. when i try to open mozilla it says :exception unknown software exception (0xc000000d) in 0x6b9e51f5 terminate the program by pressing ok … and i cannot open almost anything in the control panel menu. i cant update the windows or anything. i already tried to go to prosesses and delete the exploorer.exe and reboot but i didnt work. WHAT DO I DO I NEED TO FIX THIS!!!

  114. got it

    Mulcher’s solution worked for me. Thanx. I thought it had something to do with my battery. In the past if my laptop froze or seemed to take forever to shut down I unplug the power plus take the battery out just to kill the damn thing. Then put the battery back in and plug in the power and reboot, yes, and it wasn’t shut down properly so just select the ‘start Windows normally’ as all is back to normal.
    So Mulcher’s solution re the battery worked, and I didn’t even bother holding down the on button for 30 sec. as he suggested. Just shut down, take out the battery, unplug the power, then put the battery back in (don’t need power plugged in yet) and boot back up, right click start menu button, properties, notification, and NOW the power and volume boxes are ungreyed, so check them, apply, and you got them.

  115. DAP

    Thank you for your help – it was an easy fix with your assistance.

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