Colin Cochrane

Colin Cochrane is a Software Developer based in Victoria, BC specializing in C#, PowerShell, Web Development and DevOps.

Windows Vista Disappearing System Tray Icons Fix

Yesterday I got out my laptop (which is running Vista Ultimate) to do some work on one of my websites.  When it loaded itself out of sleep mode I noticed that the battery, volume, and network icons in the system tray were missing:

 Naturally I was puzzled by this, and a little annoyed because I could no longer tell how much battery life was left (important because I like to get up and go sit on the deck while I work every so often).  First thing I did was check the Taskbar properties, and found something odd:



 As you can see in the above image, the checkboxes for the volume, network, and power icons are grayed out and not-selectable.  From my Windows development experience, I knew that Vista keeps a cache of recently used system tray icons in the registry, so on a hunch I popped open RegEdit and found where this cache is stored:


and the values

To make a long story short, I backed up the registry, deleted the "IconStreams" and "PastIconsStream" values, opened up the Task Manager, ended the "explorer.exe" process, restarted "explorer.exe" and just like that the missing icons had returned:

An odd problem, but thankfully one that is easily fixed. 

Edit (Added 01/28/2008):  It's worth trying to restart explorer.exe (see Step 4) before trying the registry modifications, because that may fix the problem on its own.

  1. Go to Start > Run (or Windows-key + "R"), type in "regedit" and hit "OK".

  2. Navigate to the key "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion \TrayNotify"

  3. Delete the values "IconStreams" and "PastIconsStream"

  4. Now open up the Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc), go to the "Processes" tab, select "explorer.exe" and click "End Process"

  5. Now open the "Applications" tab and click "New Task..." at the bottom-right of the window.

  6. In the message box that pops up type in "explorer.exe" and hit "OK"

  7. Explorer.exe will reload, and that's it! The missing icons should now be back in the system-tray where they belong.

Comments (168) -

  • Dennis

    10/29/2007 1:17:04 PM | Reply

    Hello - thank you Colin very much for getting my 'disappearing icons' back for me!  Not totally sure what I just did, but it worked, so thank you for sharing!  BTW, HP tech support directed me here to help me.  Didnt know if you knew that.  Very useful.  Smile  

  • Colin Cochrane

    10/30/2007 2:17:49 AM | Reply

    Glad to hear that it worked for you Dennis. It was a really irritating bug and the more people I can help get rid of it the better.

  • djfdat

    10/30/2007 6:36:29 AM | Reply

    i followed all the directions but the systray still isnt showing up. reg keys are deleted n i restart explorer and is still not coming up.

  • djfdat

    10/30/2007 6:37:34 AM | Reply

    ok i forgot to mention the hide inactive icons box is shaded out for me too, the only one i can check and uncheck is the clock box.

  • Colin Cochrane

    10/30/2007 10:13:34 AM | Reply

    You might need to try doing a full system restart if the explorer.exe reset method does not work.

  • genenio

    11/7/2007 6:02:04 PM | Reply

    I have this problem occasionally.  All you have to do is quickly log off then log back on and 'voila!' they appear again!

  • kiki

    11/13/2007 6:51:07 PM | Reply

    Fantastic! thanks a lot!!!!

  • MissH

    11/14/2007 3:53:34 AM | Reply

    Hi Colin, I have exactly the same problem as the screen shot you have shown above and it has only been like this since last night when updates were installed.
    I tried what you suggested but within the regedit I dont have the option for Traynotify - its not in the list under current version. Is there anything else you can suggest?

  • Colin Cochrane

    11/14/2007 10:07:58 AM | Reply


    If you right-click on the taskbar and select "Properties", then go to the "Notification Area" tab you should see a check box that says "Hide Inactive Icons".  If it is not checked, then check it, then click the "Customize..." button to the right.  This should pop up a window with a list of recent items that have been in the taskbar.  Close this window and the registry keys should be back.

  • erik

    12/7/2007 3:05:34 PM | Reply

    worked for me thanks!  I have to do it everytime I restart my computer - I wish there was a patch from Microsoft for this.

  • Mike

    12/18/2007 5:02:30 PM | Reply

    dude thats awesome!!! i like vista but not when it does stupid things like that!, also dude i got a core 2 duo 2.0 and 2 gig ram, it should not be soo slow in starting up, i just reloaded my laptop to factory settings and it was fast for a little but, i hardly put anything on here, i'ma  computer IT and i know what i'm doing, but it always seems like literally after a week it gets soo slow on the startup, also i tried to not do updates this time, seeing if it was the problem, but obviously its not Frown but the sys tray icon thing worked alot thanx

  • Shane

    12/22/2007 12:57:43 AM | Reply

    Thanks.  Awesome.

  • Luke

    12/28/2007 7:26:18 PM | Reply

    Thanks so much for this, it wasn't just my network and audio icons but also some software tray icons such as Skype and Windows SideBar.

    Nice easy fix, thanks.  It worked a treat.  I also learned the tip of Ctrl + Alt + Esc as apposed to the security screen.

  • pavel

    1/5/2008 7:58:37 AM | Reply

    Thank you, I happened to encounter the exact same problem. I would probably search for a long time (or give up) before considering to mess with the Mighty Registry. Thank you for your helpful tutorial!

  • pavel

    1/5/2008 8:01:44 AM | Reply

    And yes, Ctrl + Shift + Esc made my day, I hated the new "nice" interface for ctrl+alt+del, now everything is easier again. Thanks!

  • Michelle

    1/6/2008 7:38:08 AM | Reply

    Thanks very much. Worked perfectly, and very easy to follow for the likes of me who just knows how to browse the web. Cheers xx

  • Andy

    1/6/2008 8:03:59 PM | Reply

    Brilliant - helped my wife out a treat.

  • zach_b

    1/10/2008 3:03:42 PM | Reply

    thank you so much, there's no way I would have fixed that on my own.

  • Colin Cochrane

    1/11/2008 12:34:30 AM | Reply

    I'm glad this has been of help to all of you.  Thanks for the feedback!

  • Temple

    1/12/2008 1:05:45 AM | Reply

    Thanks Colin, your suggest is great & u resolve my problem!

  • ken miles

    1/15/2008 5:23:47 AM | Reply

    Hi, I followed these instructions, and they did like it says, I've got my missing icons back. However I usually keep them hidden, and now I've lost the ability to hide icons.

    I've got the 'Hide inactive icons' check box checked in notification area properties, but it's stopped working. Everything shows and there's no show/hide arrow. Any ideas where to look? It's Vista x64 HP that I have if it makes any difference.

  • ken miles

    1/15/2008 6:01:52 AM | Reply

    What a muppet I am. This reg tweak sets them all back to 'hide when inactive', which for some reason seems to be never. Just going back in and setting them to 'always hide' does the trick.

    Sorry, and thanks for the tip in the first place!

  • gilles

    1/18/2008 10:07:40 PM | Reply

    thanks a lot! it worked!

  • kk

    1/29/2008 9:26:47 AM | Reply

    Thank you so much. It helped a lot. Anyone know of any patch for this?

  • genia

    2/3/2008 11:37:56 AM | Reply

    thanks so much super easy instruction and my icons are back, your a life saver   Smile

  • Rini

    2/6/2008 1:42:46 AM | Reply

    Vista likes to hide my wireless network icon, but when I tried the registry method you suggested, the TrayIcon folder wasn't in there at all -- any help?

  • Colin Cochrane

    2/6/2008 2:10:18 AM | Reply


    Have you tried restarting explorer.exe?

  • Rini

    2/6/2008 3:29:59 AM | Reply

    Actually, just doing that seems to have brought it back, thanks Smile

  • Jim

    2/7/2008 10:58:24 PM | Reply

    Great explanation and it worked to re-enable the icons' check boxes.  The icons did not show up until I turned them back on in the System Icons box.

    The only one that did not come on was power and that is actively managed by a power condtioner.


  • coral

    2/11/2008 7:03:29 AM | Reply

    this works for XP too (well, the restarting explorer bit anyway) - it is apparently also a known bug in XPsp2 when using some upnp devices, I've got a whole new install of XPsp2 and its already buggy (I should have just stuck with linux!)

  • Postino

    2/11/2008 10:09:37 AM | Reply

    Cheers, Colin!
    I have this page tagged for future reference -
    I keep having to use these steps at least a couple of times a week.

  • Brian

    2/13/2008 12:14:23 PM | Reply

    Works Perfect.  Thanks, I have been trying to figure this out for a while

  • Amy

    2/15/2008 8:20:57 AM | Reply

    Thanks so much Colin!
    This was a tremendous help.

  • Rob

    2/17/2008 12:04:07 PM | Reply

    This is apparently a very good fix for most and very appreciated! Smile  However, I'm having a problem... I tried what you said, and it didn't work.  I even tried rebooting the computer, and it still didn't work.

    Do you have any suggestions?

  • Rob

    2/17/2008 12:09:51 PM | Reply

    Ah, I got it.  At some point, perhaps after your fix or after rebooting, the check boxes in the Notification Area became active (ungrayed) but stayed unmarked, and I failed to check on that.  Thanks so much for this fix! Smile

  • Carrie

    2/17/2008 1:16:27 PM | Reply

    Fantabulous! easy fix for a VERY annoying problem. That was SO easy to follow! THANK YOU!

  • Tejas

    2/20/2008 11:34:44 AM | Reply

    Works without editing registry, only by restarting explorer.exe. But glad I found this site, because I thought my laptop was being weird! Frown
    Other thing, my system tray also had that AVG icon  Smile

  • Ammar

    2/27/2008 2:58:36 AM | Reply

    Thanks a million, successfully solved, even MS site didn't had a solution.

  • T Noyes

    3/12/2008 1:06:03 PM | Reply

    Thanks a lot for the help. My missing network icon was driving me absolutely crazy because at my university all we use is wireless. I was wondering if the expand function of the task bar has been permanently deleted. Not that it matters, butI am still a little curious. Thank you again for the help!

  • prabhu sam

    3/12/2008 6:14:44 PM | Reply

    this was a rg8 help. thanx a million. but when i restart it recoils to the same state.. ie no icons again. do i hav to repeat these steps everytime i start my laptop.

  • Simon

    3/13/2008 12:45:32 PM | Reply

    Thanks Colin. It works!

  • Ahmahkyah Ahkilah

    3/16/2008 4:52:01 AM | Reply

    Thanks for this information!  I can't stand Vista but I love all the tech support men and women out there who assist when Vista F's up!  Thanks again!

  • Jay

    3/19/2008 2:27:07 AM | Reply

    Thanks for the help!
    Restarting explorer.exe worked Smile ...

  • Senthil Kumar Sundaram

    3/20/2008 10:52:32 AM | Reply

    Simply superb..

  • Erik Russell

    3/21/2008 3:53:01 PM | Reply

    Restarting explorer.exe worked great.  Thanks for the instructions.

  • jfc

    3/23/2008 7:35:00 AM | Reply

    it worked for me temporarily, then when I rebooted the same thing happened.

  • Steve

    3/24/2008 10:58:21 AM | Reply


    Very well designed page; easiest explanation and screen shots I could imagine. It worked perfectly, thanks.

  • shaun

    3/26/2008 2:52:34 AM | Reply


    Thnaks the sytem icon fix worked......and you saved my marriage because I blamed my wife or losing them!!
    I n fact if I can do this themn ANYONE can thanks for the very clear and concise instrucions all my icons are back and working.


  • Ronald

    3/27/2008 6:03:27 AM | Reply

    Hey, man. Thanks for the help, Microsoft seems to be a little bit useless when it comes to this kind of problems. Their support site only goes on and on about the system icons not appearing on first boot...

    Well, thanks again... Later

  • ed

    4/3/2008 1:37:32 PM | Reply

    perfect........if only customer service out west was this helpful

  • Keck

    4/7/2008 9:51:18 AM | Reply

    Awesome...saved me a lot of frustration....thanks again!!!

  • lena

    4/7/2008 6:33:12 PM | Reply

    wow wow thnk thnk u thnk us soooo much...

  • Jacky

    4/9/2008 3:34:06 AM | Reply

    Thanks for your help..Good job!

  • veebee

    4/18/2008 6:12:23 PM | Reply

    this was great. thanks so much. you made it really easy.

  • Chris

    4/21/2008 4:39:40 AM | Reply

    Thank you, sir!  Restarting explorer.exe did the trick!

  • platypus

    4/22/2008 2:10:05 AM | Reply

    thanks for this, restarting explorer then checking the boxes in the notification area did the trick for me, hopefully i dont have to do this everytime but at least now i have a solution

    vista is ridiculous, along with the "black screen" that remains after sleep mode its gettign to be annoying, why couldnt they just stick to xp

  • mole51

    4/23/2008 4:17:36 AM | Reply

    Thx this helps alot. Every time I start up my Windows Vista Ultimate PC 50% of the time the icons are there on logon and 50% they're missing. Really annoying bug - hope Microsoft fixes it soon.

  • Jesus Barrios

    4/26/2008 10:03:03 AM | Reply

    Thanks very much. Your fix was pretty self explanatory, the screenshots do come in handy and the problem was solved right away.

  • Scott Solano

    5/29/2008 6:58:56 PM | Reply

    Thanks man, you kick ass.  That was really irritating me.

  • Ryan

    6/5/2008 6:08:01 AM | Reply

    Thanks alot, I had the exact same problem as you and restarting explorer.exe did the trick without any reg edits.

  • ErMeglio

    6/7/2008 6:59:32 AM | Reply

    Thank you!
    I didn't have the exact problem, simply an icon of a vpn network on desktop had disappeared, and I found out your last addiction of 'closing and opening explorer' made it working again magically :p

  • Vicky

    6/13/2008 1:42:52 AM | Reply

    Thanks! Worked for me too.

  • py_cha

    6/14/2008 9:32:24 AM | Reply

    Thanks so much! I was beginning to get annoyed that it wasn't showing up...This has got to be a darned Vista problem...or perhaps a compatibility issue. *shrugs*

  • Ria

    6/15/2008 1:55:14 PM | Reply

    Thanks so much UR my hero.  Thought new computer was trashed!  Again, thanks.

  • Peter

    6/16/2008 11:40:28 PM | Reply

    Many Thanks Colin , your easy to follow instructions and screenshots made it simple to fix.

  • Ivan

    6/17/2008 3:25:53 AM | Reply

    Thanks Colin! It worked with regedit and stop/start explorer.exe. Next time I'll try logoff/logon suggestion. Maybe it's better to stop using Microsoft at all Smile.

  • Will

    8/26/2008 10:51:06 AM | Reply

    Thanks Colin, I wasted an hour on this problem last night. No one can make me believe that Linux on the desktop is any more of a pain than this.

  • blake

    8/27/2008 7:34:39 AM | Reply

    thank you so much!


  • deepak

    8/27/2008 2:36:44 PM | Reply

    That was good it's working good job

  • Eleutheria

    8/27/2008 7:00:24 PM | Reply

    Excellent post, fixed the bug.  

  • Phill

    8/27/2008 8:03:23 PM | Reply

    After several hours of frustration your fix was so simple.
    Thanks, your the best.

    Do we actually know what caused this and do you think Microsoft will put in a patch to stop it happeningagain... ?

  • Rod

    8/31/2008 11:09:24 PM | Reply

    For me, terminating and re-launching explorer.exe fixed it.

    I had that grayed-out options issue after my computer crashed. In my case, the computer crashed because I was clumsily terminating processes in the task manager and ended up closing csrss.exe, and BOOM! - Blue screen of death, memory dumped to hard disk, reboot, and no icons. I sound like Jar Jar Binks.

    Anyway, thought you might like to know.

  • Chris

    9/1/2008 2:36:59 AM | Reply

    This worked perfectly for me. What a weird bug to pop up. Thank you.

  • Raju

    9/6/2008 1:22:42 PM | Reply

    Thank you very Much. It worked for me.

  • Dawn

    9/6/2008 2:39:30 PM | Reply

    You are amazing! This is solved all my problems! Thank you so much!

  • Tia Yue

    9/9/2008 7:45:25 AM | Reply

    Thanks a lot for this little fix. I was growing very tired of regedit/restarting Windows every time my volume, battery, and windowblinds icons decided to go into hibernation. NO ONE had ever said anything about stopping win-explorer and restarting it. God bless you for stopping my frustrations, as well as those of so many others! ^_^

  • Troy

    9/10/2008 9:24:35 AM | Reply

    I created a REG file for myself. Double-click it to remove the registry keys. Save this file with a .REG extension to your desktop (like ResetTray.reg) then just double-click to have the keys removed.

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\TrayNotify]

  • George Carter

    9/16/2008 5:08:59 PM | Reply

    Excellent post! This worked immediately for me starting with Step 4. Thank you!

  • Jennifer L.

    9/22/2008 9:35:01 AM | Reply

    Thanks for this post! HP directed me here and the steps were easy to follow! Now I don't have to go through Network to connect to a wireless network!!! Smile

  • Adam

    9/23/2008 10:28:30 AM | Reply

    dude thank you so much this was a really big help!!

  • wiggums

    9/24/2008 6:40:45 PM | Reply

    thanks a bunch old chap

  • jonathan

    10/3/2008 4:56:24 PM | Reply

    Thank you Collin. You're so brilliant. By the way. I hav also face the same problem, not the icon, but whenever i open any application programs or folders or even MSN messages, the icon still cannot appear at the taskbar. If i follow your suggested solution, what should i put the name to reload in the regidit? it is very urgent.. because this problem happen to my office computer, i cannot work properly..

  • Matt

    10/7/2008 6:12:51 PM | Reply

    Thanks for the info on this, when I restart explorer.exe or remove the registry entries, it does work. But normally, when I turn my computer off and back on, the problem is back again. I am getting sick and tired of going through this routine every time I boot up. Any suggestions for a permanent fix?


  • Adam

    10/9/2008 2:05:24 AM | Reply

    Thanks a bunch, solved my problem by just restarting explorer.exe. Information worth knowing.

  • Matt

    10/9/2008 7:06:47 PM | Reply

    Just a note for everyone who has this as an ongoing problem - this is indicative of a corrupt User Profile. To test this, set up a new user account, and if the problem persists there too, you need to reinstall Vista.

    Just so you know Smile

  • Kelly Cornwell

    10/16/2008 8:29:59 AM | Reply

    Cheers! Worked fine.

    Seems to be a rather popular bug though. And a pain in the backside as well....

  • Rocio

    10/19/2008 11:05:43 AM | Reply

    Thank you very much! This was really helpful.

  • Larry Miles

    11/4/2008 2:06:06 PM | Reply

    I'm having a slightly different problem with my taskbar. I cant't add a toolbar.  If I right click on the taskbar, then click on toolbars, the menu that follows is greyed out. If I right click the start menu button, then click properties then click toolbars, it will only allow me to eliminate a toolbar. Once eliminated, there is no bringing it back. I really don't want to create a new user id or reinstall vista to fix it.

    I appreciate any help anyone has...   Smile

  • Ray

    11/10/2008 6:02:19 AM | Reply

    Thank you so much. I was going crazy trying to figure out what I did to cause the system tray to lose most of the icons. You saved me a trip to the "Geek Squad"  Thanks a million.

  • edwin a

    12/3/2008 2:34:02 AM | Reply


  • Ngozi

    12/4/2008 2:05:32 PM | Reply

    WORKED LIKE A CHARM!!!thank you

  • Elizabeth

    12/5/2008 12:04:28 AM | Reply

    I just restarted explorer.exe and it curiously came back... so weird! THANK YOU!

  • Simone

    12/7/2008 11:09:05 AM | Reply

    Just restarting explorer worked for me - Thank you so much for the answer to a surprisingly annoying problem!

  • awsusm

    12/10/2008 8:43:36 AM | Reply

    PERFECT, this tutorial was 100% perfectly organised and easy to follow and it works!.

  • Erser

    12/14/2008 2:49:09 AM | Reply

    Thank you, excellent! Smile)

  • partoba

    12/14/2008 7:03:34 PM | Reply

    Thanks for the great tutorial.

  • Singh

    12/16/2008 2:48:07 PM | Reply

    Thanks dude for a nice and elaborate tutorial. Its a good solution!!

  • suhaimist

    12/19/2008 10:32:02 PM | Reply

    Thanks a lot Collin! My laptop battery is dead (10 minustes max) and without the power icon showing, I'm dead! thanx again

  • SEO

    1/7/2009 5:52:37 PM | Reply

    I was able to get my icons back really quickly with this post. I also run Vista ultimate. Thanks for sharing. Windows Vista is simple enough if you know the procedure like you lay it out here. If not, it is daunting because things are hard to find even though they are just a click away in the system.

  • Mike Edwards

    1/8/2009 2:52:32 AM | Reply

    Thanks, dude. Vista's still broke, but this fix still works.

  • Oce

    1/9/2009 8:32:18 AM | Reply

    Thanks!! Helped Out!!!!

  • Jordan Richards

    1/13/2009 12:59:47 AM | Reply

    Thanks very much Sir.

    This really helped me as at first it was ubgging me dearly,
    much appriciated,


  • walter

    1/16/2009 4:57:34 AM | Reply

    Why is it not beneath of Microsoft to build such malice into their expensive software?  They are horrible and awful.


  • mohammad adil khan

    1/16/2009 8:12:38 PM | Reply

    That was excellent, the steps are very well explained.

  • Emil Henriksen

    1/25/2009 8:28:25 PM | Reply

    Thanks, it was very good, and an easy guide to fix the problem.

  • Annie

    2/1/2009 8:00:06 AM | Reply

    Thankyou so much. I got all the icons back.
    I am too happy.
    Thankyou again.

  • erko

    2/2/2009 8:00:37 AM | Reply

    Hello, first of all, thanks for this help, it solved all my icon problems including missing volume and network icon. But i still have one problem which i cant find a solution.

    Last icon that is missing is the one for changing keybord (from US to Slovak). I tried turning it on/off in regional & language settings, i tried to set it to be floating on desktop, i tried to find it in start properties, i tried keybord shortcuts (both) and none of it worked.

    I still cant figure out what happend, but at least i found the icon. When i have the User Account Control turned on, and some program ask for permission, and vista darkens the screen and shows a warning, i can see the icon there, but i cant close it, neither move it to start menu, nothing. Any idea how to fix this?

    Thank you very much for any hint.

  • luipaardje

    2/3/2009 8:27:00 PM | Reply

    THANKS A LOT!!!!

  • SpeakerForTheDead

    2/7/2009 9:32:00 AM | Reply

    What an incredibly irritating little problem.
    I'm one of those noobs that absolutely HATES going into the registry.
    But I took a deep breath, deleted the values mentioned, followed the rest, and...
    Back my icons popped! (Then I remembered to breath again.)
    Thanx ALOT Laughing

  • jason s

    2/7/2009 10:53:33 AM | Reply

    proper! thanks for the tip - it worked.

  • Richard

    2/14/2009 7:59:38 PM | Reply

    Thanks this was exalent and easy to follow fixed my pc 100%

  • Kirkistan

    2/18/2009 8:21:05 PM | Reply


    Every few weeks my Vista computer loses those system tray icons. It is irritating, like you've said. Your instructions have proved valuable half a dozen times so far. Like others who have commented, I'm not sure why it works, but I'm certainly glad you wrote out these instructions. Thanks!

  • M.S.

    2/22/2009 12:12:14 AM | Reply

    It works for Windows 7 (build 7022) too.

    Thank you for help!

  • Fabio Juliano

    2/22/2009 7:19:03 AM | Reply

    Awesome fix! I tried it just from Step 4 and it worked great.

  • marina

    2/23/2009 12:47:27 AM | Reply

    This tips help much in dominating my laptop. I used to use it by plugging it to electrical outlet.

  • celebrity justice

    2/25/2009 9:44:51 PM | Reply

    Thanks a bunch, solved my problem by just restarting explorer.exe. Information worth knowing.

  • mo

    2/27/2009 2:20:35 AM | Reply

    Thank you very much it worked perfect !

  • mark

    2/28/2009 12:38:42 AM | Reply

    Hi, ive tried this about 3 times and restarted my computer and tried it too, yet my network icon is still blanked out. Any suggestions?

  • Dave

    3/2/2009 7:23:02 PM | Reply

    You are a hero! Thanks! Worked perfectly

  • monica

    3/2/2009 8:49:15 PM | Reply

    Thank you! You are an absolute star!!! This problem has been driving me CRAZY for months!! xx

  • vikram

    3/3/2009 2:02:42 AM | Reply

            you made my day. Thanks a million. I've worked in the troubleshooting department of HP, and these resolutions come in handy. It resolved mine... Smile

  • Vista User

    3/6/2009 2:54:46 AM | Reply

    Got the problem after a recent MSupdate.
    Startng with step 4 worked fine for me

    Thanks for the solution

  • ala

    3/12/2009 10:56:31 PM | Reply

    amazing work I cant believe it that was great!

  • Gregory Santana

    3/13/2009 12:31:22 PM | Reply

    hey man thx i all i  did whas google it and ur solution whas the first on the list thx "life saver" & "time saver"

  • Ali Akbar

    3/14/2009 9:25:03 PM | Reply

    thanks a lot !!! finally i can see my icons Smile

  • Mouse

    3/29/2009 6:01:58 AM | Reply

    Thank you! this tutorial fixed the problem.

  • Ronald

    3/29/2009 10:38:32 AM | Reply

    Hi Colin! Thanks a lot...i've been trying to fix this the whole morning and bumped to you site and boom icon back online...Smile

  • Hassan

    4/9/2009 9:19:21 AM | Reply

    Good job... it worked for me... Thanks...

  • Sonia Elliott

    4/16/2009 8:52:58 PM | Reply

    Thanks, restarting explorer.exe in the Task Manager works perfectly to restore my missing network and volume icons.  However, I now have to do this every day, each time I boot.  Is there any way to make this permanent. Thanks for the help

  • stanley ranier

    4/23/2009 11:17:45 PM | Reply

    articulate instructions  (loved the screen shots) made for an easy fix.  thank you.

  • Mahendra

    4/24/2009 11:48:47 PM | Reply

    IT WORKED WONDERS..........



  • krystal

    4/28/2009 10:38:12 AM | Reply

    You can try just ending explorer.exe, and restarting it, which works for me. (and it may be worth trying first, to save some time, or if you are a little weary on messing with the registry)

  • T

    5/1/2009 5:39:48 PM | Reply

    Thanks for that

  • Pedro

    5/8/2009 10:31:04 AM | Reply

    Thanks dude!!
    worked fine for me.

  • TerryM

    5/11/2009 2:45:34 PM | Reply

    Thank you very much!!!  I had been driving myself nuts all day trying to figure this one out. Thank you!

  • vinh ngo

    5/13/2009 5:54:26 AM | Reply

    wow thanks a lot! that was driving me insane for a few days...anyone know how this error even happens?  Seems so random...

  • KB

    5/13/2009 1:41:54 PM | Reply

    Thank you, that saved my life!!!

  • Christopher Hoffman

    5/23/2009 7:18:25 AM | Reply

    The ending explorer and restarting explorer.exe works every time. It's just a pain to do this. I hope they fix Vista soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • bobby

    5/24/2009 6:19:10 AM | Reply

    OMFG thnkx sooo much!!

  • Philip

    5/24/2009 10:25:21 PM | Reply

    Excellent solution.  Many thanks.  I just wish there was a permanent fix (from Microsoft, but that is too much to ask)!

  • dana collins

    5/29/2009 9:59:40 AM | Reply

    thanks--- verrrryyy helpful.

  • Rebecca Porter

    5/30/2009 2:19:32 AM | Reply

    OMG!  That was too easy.  I have been on the internet for half an hour looking for ways to fix this problem and all the other sites are way too complicated for me.  Thanks so much for putting this up.  I am bookmarking it!

  • Andrea

    5/30/2009 2:43:06 AM | Reply

    Thankyou! Got my volume icon back although I still feel like kind of a noob... Smile

  • Balvinder

    5/31/2009 12:02:36 AM | Reply

    Dear Colin,
    Thank you very much for your help.
    I have got backt the network & volume icons.
    Can you please help with the Power icon, as it is still grey,
    Thanks once again

  • Matt

    6/7/2009 2:18:48 PM | Reply

    Works for Windows 7 too. I found it easier to delete the keys and recreate them. That did the trick! Of course, it also resets to the default for show/hide icon behaviors. Thanks for the great tip!

  • Steven W. Scott

    7/13/2009 4:54:42 PM | Reply

    Hrmm that was weird, my comment got eaten. Anyway I wanted to say that it's nice to know that someone else also mentioned this as I had trouble finding the same info elsewhere. This was the first place that told me the answer. Thanks.

  • Jose

    7/23/2009 10:59:25 PM | Reply


    I am having the same problem and the fix works until a new user logs in and the problem comes back. is the only fix for this problem? I am the only user allow to do changes to the registry or restart the computer so the other users cant use this fix when this problem happen to them. Log off and  then log in doesn't help in this situation. I already restore the machine to factory settings and the problem persists. Any clue on what might fix this permanently.

  • Sam

    8/6/2009 12:27:47 AM | Reply

    Good you make it sound so easy, most of us would have no clue about what happened to the icon.

  • Sudha

    8/8/2009 8:57:53 PM | Reply

    Thank You for giving the above info regarding 'Volume icon is not displayed in the notification area' fix. I could resolve the volume icon issue with the help of your web page. It worked well.

  • Kerrilee

    8/11/2009 5:34:41 AM | Reply

    Oh, my gosh!  Thank you SO MUCH!  This worked absolutely flawlessly...I am bookmarking this page so that I can take care of it if it flips out again.  THANKS!

  • Prabodh

    8/21/2009 5:08:29 AM | Reply

    Thanks Smile It did work...

  • Fred

    8/28/2009 11:33:57 PM | Reply

    Thanks Colin,

    I happened to me several times, stange program Vista is.

    Your solution worked out fine.

  • Kay

    8/30/2009 12:45:58 PM | Reply


    I have bookmarked this site.  Great info.  I just started at #4 (not to big on messing around with the reg unless absolutely necessary) Smile  but as I said started with step #4 and the icon reset without any problems.  Thanks again.

  • Tim

    9/11/2009 1:12:07 AM | Reply

    Woohoo! Thanks very much for the post. Let's hope Windows 7 isn't this buggy hey!

  • Linda

    9/12/2009 10:07:00 AM | Reply

    Another satisfied reader, thanks.  Worked like a charm and easy to follow for those that are less computer savy.


  • MichaelJW

    9/14/2009 9:03:24 PM | Reply

    Thanks for this! Restarting explorer.exe did the trick.

  • JB

    9/17/2009 7:17:17 AM | Reply

    Thank you so much. I've had to do this once before but the method wasn't this easy and most pages wanted me to download a regbooster so thanx.

  • Quinton Irick

    9/20/2009 6:04:38 AM | Reply

    Thanks, that helped alot. Great post!

  • Ap

    7/19/2011 12:32:46 PM | Reply

    Worked for me. Thanks a lot Smile

  • Christopher G

    7/20/2011 11:10:01 AM | Reply

    Thanks a whole lot man! It worked!

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