If you are using Windows 7, you may have noticed that sometimes your system tray icons disappear from the taskbar.
The system tray icons are those small icons that show up on the bottom right corner of your screen, such as the volume, network, battery, clock and action center icons.
They can be useful for accessing various settings and features quickly, but they can also go missing for various reasons.
Though you may get them back again by opening System Icons from the Control Panel and changing the behaviour to On.
In this blog post, we will show you some possible causes and solutions for this problem. We will also explain how to customize your system tray icons and make them always visible or hidden according to your preference.
Possible Causes of System Tray Icons Missing on Windows 7
There are several factors that can cause your system tray icons to disappear on Windows 7, such as:
- A bug or glitch in Windows or a third-party program
- A corrupted or missing registry entry
- A malware infection or a virus attack
- A faulty or outdated driver
- A conflict with another program or service
- A wrong setting or configuration
Depending on the cause, you may need to try different methods to fix this issue. Here are some of the most common and effective solutions that you can try.
Solution 1: Check if Your System Tray Icons Are Hidden
By default, Windows 7 displays only a few system tray icons; the rest can be found in a pop-up window that appears when you click that little white up-arrow next to the clock. This is done to save space and reduce clutter on your taskbar.
If you want to see all your system tray icons at once, you can simply click on that arrow and drag any icon you want to the taskbar.
Alternatively, you can right-click on an empty space in your desktop taskbar and select Properties. In the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties window, find the selection labeled Notification Area and click on Customize .
Here you can choose which icons you want to show or hide on your taskbar by selecting Show icon and notifications, Hide icon and notifications or Only show notifications from the drop-down menu next to each icon.
If you’d like to always show all icons, turn the slider window at the bottom of this window to On. Click OK to save your changes and reboot your PC for them to take effect.
Solution 2: Restore Your System Tray Icons Using Registry Editor
If checking your hidden icons does not solve your problem, you may need to restore your missing system icons by performing a few tweaks in your computer’s registry through a built-in Windows utility known as Registry Editor.
This method requires some caution as modifying the registry incorrectly can cause serious problems for your system. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully and back up your registry before you modify it.
To back up your registry, press Windows key + R to open Run dialog box. Type regedit and click OK. In Registry Editor window, click File > Export.
Choose a location where you want to save your backup file (such as Desktop) and give it a name (such as Backup). Make sure All is selected under Export range option and click Save.
To restore your system tray icons using Registry Editor, follow these steps:
1. Close all programs. Press Windows key + R and type regedit again and click OK.
2. In the Registry Editor, navigate to the following registry key :
3. Select the values labeled IconStream and PastIconsStream by clicking on them and then click the Delete key on your keyboard to delete these values. You can also right-click on these values and then select Delete from the right-click menu.
4. Restart your computer for the changes to take effect.
If this doesn’t solve your problem, you may need to make few more changes.
- Open Control Panel.
- Click the drop-down arrow next to View by and select Small Icons.
- In the page, click on Notification Area Icons and click on Turn system icons on or off.
- This will open the System Icons page. Now you can set the behaviours of different system icons to On.
- Now, if required restart the system and the changes should be permanent.
This should rebuild your icon cache file which stores information about all system tray icons .
Solution 3: Scan Your Computer for Malware or Virus
Another possible reason why your system tray icons are missing could be a malware infection or a virus attack that has corrupted some files or settings related to them.
To rule out this possibility, you should scan your computer with a reliable antivirus program such as Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE), which is free for Windows users.
To scan your computer with MSE:
1) Download MSE from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=5201 if you don’t have it already installed
2) Run MSE setup file and follow instructions
3) Open MSE from Start menu > All Programs > Microsoft Security Essentials
4) Click Update tab > Update button
This will solve your problem of system icons disappearing in the Notification area in Windows 7.