Nov 24 2012

Recover Lost or Missing System Tray Icons in Windows

The sound volume system tray icon and a couple others mysteriously went missing on my wife’s Windows 7 laptop. After looking around in the normal areas, I noticed the volume tray icon was grayed out and off; not allowing me to turn it on.

I did some researching and figured out how to wipe of the icon history and have Windows reload the system tray. Follow the steps below to recover your lost or missing tray icons.

  1. (optional) Back up the Registry by creating a restore point.
  2. Go to Start -> Run, type in regedit and click the OK button.
  3. Navigate to the registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\TrayNotify.
  4. Delete the following values: IconStreams and PastIconsStream.
  5. Open up the Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc). Click the Processes tab, select explorer.exe, and click End Process. (A confirmation dialog may appear asking if you really want to end the process, go ahead and click the End Process or OK button if this happens.)
  6. Click the Applications tab and click the New Task button at the bottom-right of the window. You can also select File -> New Task (Run…) from the menu.
  7. In the dialog box that appears, type in explorer.exe and click the OK button.
  8. The Windows explorer will reload, and the missing system tray icons should now be visible in the system tray.
  9. If the sound volume icon isn’t there, you can go to the taskbar properties (where the sound volume option was gray), and simply enable the checkbox.

I hope this solves your problem like it did mine.

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