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How To Fix Windows Vista System Tray Icons Disabled Or Greyed Out Problem?

After rebooting Windows Vista SP1, I found that Volume and Network icons disappeared from System Tray (a.k.a. Notification Area). At first, I thought that was caused by some unknown delay.

However, none of these system icons appeared in that Notification Area even after an hour or so! Looked like the options to show these icons had been disabled or turned off.
So, I proceed to Control Panel and opened Taskbar and Start Menu applet. But, the options to show Volume and Network icon in Notification Area tab were greyed out (disabled):

Windows Vista system icons, i.e. Volume, Network, etc, are greyed out or disabled.
Windows Vista system icons, i.e. Volume, Network, etc, are greyed out or disabled.

Although missing these icons do not affect system performance or reliability, except that I could not take a glance at notification area to tell there is a network failure.

Most importantly, I cannot adjust speaker volume with the mouse just next to keyboard. Instead, I have to move my hand further to turn the volume knob of Creative speaker :-(

So, How to fix this Windows Vista system icons greyed out or disabled problem?

Many forums said that this could be easily fixed by restarting explorer.exe process. I try that and confirm it works at no cost:
These steps are tested and verified OK on Windows Vista Ultimate SP1. The guide is only working in the case that these system icons are enabled but go missing after system reboot or account logout.

1) Press CTRL+SHIFT+ESC keyboard shortcut to open Windows Task Manager. Alternatively, press CTRL+ALT+DEL and select Start Task Manager, or right click the Taskbar and select Task Manager.

2) In Windows Task Manager window, go to Processes tab, click “Image Name” (the column title) to sort running processes appear in the list, locate the explorer.exe and click End Process button at the bottom-right corner of window:

How to kill or terminate explorer.exe process?

Once the explorer.exe process killed, the Windows Taskbar, Vista Orb (Start button), as well as Desktop icons and wallpaper are disappear.

3) Now, it is time to restart or start a new explorer.exe process again. In Windows Task Manager window, click the File menu and select New Task (Run…). Alternatively, click the Applications tab follow by New Task button on the lower-right corner of window.

In the Create New Task dialog box, type explorer.exe in Open text box and click OK button.

How to restart or start a new explorer.exe process?

As soon as the new explorer.exe process activated and running, the missing Taskbar, Desktop, Vista Orb, as well as the Volume and Network icons are all back to normal.

Custom Search

  1. Clare 26-04-09@15:16


    I’ve been looking for a solution to this problem (my power icon had been removed from my system tray) for about a year now!

    I’m definitely bookmarking this page in case it happens again.


  2. Matt 03-05-09@22:07

    Hi my network icon was missing. I did this process and it did not fix it PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!

  3. Anna 06-05-09@13:59

    Thanks for this! It solved my problem. Whew!

  4. jonny 14-05-09@16:35

    Omg thanks for that, so quick and easy to do. I tried finding other solutions and they were long and complicated and didnt work.

  5. Audrey 19-05-09@17:04

    Didn’t fix it…now there is a blank area on my system tray…and volume is still not back….

  6. damonnazzer 19-05-09@18:42

    Hey guys does anyone know how to fix a toolbar or taskbar, whatever its called. I have windows Vista Basic and my toolbar is frozen or something. Only my start button works and nothing else. Everytime i go to click on a window i have open down the bottom of the screen it makes a error beep. I’ve tried restarting my computer but still nothing has changed. Does anyone know how to fix this???

  7. Chris Bartow 27-05-09@03:31

    THANK YOU! This happens to me on occasion and started when I started using a USB headset. I usually randomly start changing sound settings, rebooting and it eventually comes back.

  8. Ray Tanzini 13-06-09@00:03

    Thank you for taking the time to post this fix.

  9. robert 25-06-09@05:48

    Add Another Thank You To The List

  10. Vinny 25-06-09@06:57

    Thank you very much for taking the time to post this fix.


  11. Amber 27-06-09@00:55

    Thank you so much!

  12. Gustavo 03-07-09@14:31

    Thanks!! I have seen a much more complicated solution elsewhere (http://www.mydigitallife.info/2009/01/01/fix-network-clock-volume-and-power-battery-system-icons-missing-with-disabled-or-grayed-out-check-box-options/), involving change group permissions and editing registry, but that didn’t work for me. Your solution was simple enough and worked like a charm. Now, any hints as to why that happens?

  13. Nick 07-07-09@13:00

    For those of you that didn’t have it work right click in your system tray and then go to properties and then notification area and the grayed out options should be able to be selected again, worked for me thanks for the fix walker

  14. MyGod 15-07-09@12:47


  15. Carol 15-07-09@20:41

    Thanks a lot!! It really worked. I had tried all the other ways, and this is the easier and the only one that worked.

  16. spafa9@gmail.com 29-07-09@20:45

    Thanks a lot! It worked and was super easy. I wonder why it just disappears like that

  17. tims533 01-08-09@03:01

    Wonderful fix. U really gave life to my tray icons ;)

  18. Tommy 05-08-09@07:03

    Sweet, thanks for the fix

  19. Shubham 16-08-09@15:24

    Yea!!! Yippeee….. YUREKA!!!!

  20. Jrock233 20-08-09@03:32

    Thank you so much!! This has been plaguing me for a few months.

  21. Tony Maloney 21-08-09@02:03

    Thanks very much for the clear explanation and for pointing to such a straigtforward solution. Had looked at quite a few other proposed solutions before finding yours. Thanks again.

  22. Aland93 29-08-09@03:36

    Thanks so much. This worked like a charm!!

  23. Burg 31-08-09@00:47

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Very clear instructions, and my icons are working again!

  24. Franklin 02-09-09@05:29

    Awesome post. Thanks so much!

  25. maheshhiremath 03-09-09@03:26

    Amazing solution and it works … :) Thanks a lot !

  26. blue 05-09-09@10:25

    THANK YOU!!!!

  27. wjj 08-09-09@12:28

    Thanks dude, that worked wonders!

  28. Kim 14-09-09@04:32

    THANK YOU! I have had so many problems with the stupid icons. This was the 4th time I’ve had to fix it and your method was the easiest. Thanks again.

  29. Louise 19-09-09@05:17

    Excellent! Thanks.

  30. Kerry 28-09-09@18:26

    Thanks. Icons didn’t appear straight away, had to go to properties to they weren’t greyed anymore. Thanks heaps, other registery things didn’t work for me. Way easier than all the other processes.

  31. Sharmine 30-09-09@21:52

    Mine didn’t work, not even in the properties tab. Infact, I didn’t even have explorer.exe in my processes. What in the world is wrong?

  32. Sharmine 30-09-09@21:54

    Oh ok you have to open explorer.exe first then you End Process! It worked thanks so much!!

  33. Sundaram 05-10-09@20:50

    Wonderful Yeah ! It is a miracle. Many many thanks

  34. Hari 08-10-09@03:31

    Wonderful !!!!

  35. lila 09-10-09@06:00

    My network icon disappeared about 3 days ago. I did all the registry edit stuff and it didnt work but yesterday my volume and power icons disappeared. I followed what you said and my power and volume came back but my network icon is still greyed out ?

    Help !!!

  36. sniz 13-10-09@05:09

    thanks man worked like a charm!!!!

  37. christen 14-10-09@03:28

    i never leave comments but this problem was so frustrating and you helped me fix it so easily i just had to say thanks!

  38. adam 14-10-09@10:57

    Thanks mate. This fixed it when the registry fix thing found elsewhere does not.

  39. Shay 14-10-09@11:01

    Thanks so much! Quick and easy fix, and in plain English! Many thanks!

  40. Grace 14-10-09@21:38

    thank you SO MUCH.!!!!

    This is by far the easiest way to bring back the system icons. This actually happened to me several times and I keep on forgetting what I had done before since others are too complicated. Good thing that you posted this..thank u thank u!!!!

  41. rob bass 17-10-09@10:23

    it works thanks alot

  42. Alex Q 17-10-09@19:52

    Thanks a buch, it did work!!!!!

  43. ketlord 21-10-09@21:07

    Bundle of thanks…

  44. Dave 22-10-09@02:22

    The process worked and I can see where it would work for most things but I must have another issue still. The switch is grayed out in the media area. hmmmm. I like the taskbar shortcut. Thanks!

  45. Jordan 28-10-09@14:34

    you saved my life, that was getting so annoying

  46. mark 29-10-09@03:24

    Good soln – I have used the hotfix from MS a couple of times to fix this problem but for some reason the problem persists and I found this through trying to find the fix again.

  47. Loraine 31-10-09@03:41

    Thanks a million. I have to admit I was quit anxious when I had I warned that doing what you said “could make my system unstable”. I backed up everything and tried your solution VOILA!…….it worked just fine. Thanks a million. It is so nice when someone takes the time to find and then offer solutions to some crazy, crazy, issues.

    You are appreciated!…..thanks and God Bless

  48. JAYMIN 03-11-09@02:54

    thanks buddie very very much…… may god bless u….. tc,…..

  49. Narssimhan Kannan 03-11-09@15:43

    Thanks man! It was so frustrating without the network icon. Your article really helped me. Thanks once again.

  50. Dana Schaffer 24-11-09@02:38

    Vista Sucks!!! Thank you SO Much!!!

  51. josh c 05-12-09@01:57


  52. pooria 06-12-09@17:08

    Thanx alot my friend.i spent a lot of time searching in windows help but i didnt find anything.and now with your help i solved my problem so quick.thanks again

  53. Jodha 07-12-09@11:55

    THANK YOU! I have been searching for this solution and your webpage is the first to actually provide something that works and doesn’t require me to go into the registry. I would say I love you, but that is not original, so I will say I respect you in a professional way. Thanks!

  54. sassy 07-12-09@17:35

    Wow… this was the simplest thing/solution out there! i was skeptical about others but the up to date reviews made me do it n now the icons are active n back on the task bar. thanks again!

  55. Rex the Strange 11-12-09@12:00

    Neat trick.

  56. mario 12-12-09@10:50

    thank u very much that help me

  57. Elaine G 20-12-09@10:56

    Thank you so much for posting this quickfix. You’re a life-saver!

  58. BENjaminANG 24-12-09@10:33

    THANKS!! it really helps me alot with my boss’s PC, make me a hero!! THANKS again!!

  59. HereBeDragons 28-12-09@15:19

    Thank you! A little scary when the Windows Taskbar, Desktop icons and wallpaper all disappear. But the fix works, is simple to understand, and even simpler to implement. I’m keeping this bookmarked. Thanks again

  60. Cutiee 17-01-10@23:58

    thanks this is the best. A little frightening when my task bar disappeared but thankss so much :) it took me ages to find a decent web page like this im totally bookmarking this ! :D

  61. Sweet 17-01-10@23:59

    have to reccommend this to my mates if it ever happens to them!

  62. Reva Hash 23-01-10@12:08

    I did exactly what you said and did not think it worked at first. However, when I went to the taskbar system icons notification area, the grayed out area had miraculously been removed. All I had to do was to check the boxes and they work fine now. Thanks so much for the info.
    R. Hash

  63. Jane Diva 24-01-10@06:36

    Kudos!! I freaked out when my info disappeared and was getting ready to tear apart my Control Panel and all sorts of other settings but I searched for a fix first and found you – so glad I did! Thanks for the easy instructions – much appreciated.


  64. Sal 26-01-10@04:23

    Just tried it and worked great! Thank You so much!

  65. Maurice 26-01-10@07:41

    OMG! Thank you! After installing Windows VIsta SP2, my network connection and volume control icons had disappeared from my taskbar. Even after several restarts the problem persisted.

    After searching extensively I found this blog and your instructions did the trick!


  66. Np 03-02-10@07:08

    I tried your solution but it didnt work.. but then some one responded saying its the USB headset.. thats the culprit.

    In anycase, visiting this page was helpful.


  67. Hiruhi 03-02-10@14:11

    thanks thanks thanks thanks
    thank you so much!!!!!

  68. Luna Amelia Ferrari 23-02-10@02:38

    OMG OMG OMG Its fixed :) :) :) :) :)
    Thankyou sooo much :)

  69. Dan Jones 25-02-10@08:11

    Great stuff, thanks very much!

  70. Cheri 04-03-10@17:42

    Thanks so much, that was quick, easy and painless ;-)

  71. laura 08-03-10@15:05

    OMG. I have been trying to fix this for days. Everything I did never worked!
    Who would of known it was so simple!
    Thank you so much! You are amazing

  72. Nigel 08-03-10@20:18

    I’m in no way computer minded but with your straight forwarded no fuss solution it was a walk in the park. Had spent bloody ages trying to find a solution. I really am very grateful. Many Thanks.

  73. Althea 15-03-10@12:42

    I’ve been looking for a way to fix this without rebooting my CPU. This is perfect! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

  74. Michael 22-03-10@09:44

    Thank you. Vista sucks but your information was right on. Thanks again.

  75. Shaun 07-04-10@03:24

    Nice one dude!!! Pretty stoked, been battling for ages!!!

  76. Amanda 10-04-10@03:08

    Thank you!! :)

  77. Kristin 13-04-10@09:08

    Simple fix for an endlessly irritating problem, thanks a bunch.

  78. Colin 18-04-10@07:19


  79. Tina 22-04-10@09:24

    Thanks. Worked first time!

  80. Ahad 26-04-10@12:27

    Thanx…it was very very simple

  81. Cheyennemtnman 29-04-10@14:06

    For those still stuck with grayed out…. after you followed the posted steps… you can try this after restarting the process Explorer.exe For new task enter the following into the new task block window (run line)…. c:\Windows\System32\gpedit.msc then find under User Configuration Category… select the Administrative Templates Folder and then open the Start Meny and Taskbar Folder… On the right hand pane of the Local Group Policy Editor… you will see a list of settings… find the “Remove the volume control icon” setting line and right click on that line… another window will popup … make sure it is selected as “Not Configured” if not change it to that setting and click on Apply… You should see the icon appear in the properties window from the taskbar… and you can select it to show….

  82. Tammy Kalis 07-05-10@11:01

    Thank you so much! I have looked at quite a few other ways to fix this problem and none of them worked or was as simple and easy as you described it! My icons are back, thanks again!

  83. Tina 13-06-10@07:01

    Glad I bookmarked this page. It happened again, but I only lost my power icon. Went through the steps again and presto.

  84. Eleanor Moore 29-06-10@02:02

    Thanks ever so much. I’m not a nerd but never considered myself a slouch when fixing errors on my computer. One day the volume icon in system tray had disappeared. I went all over Microsoft help, and then the internet. I emailed my brothers who know a bit also. I don’t know how I found this page, but it was a godsend. Had the very same problem with greyed out icons. Followed the directions and BINGO. I now have the volume icon back in my system tray.

  85. kate 12-07-10@12:00

    All the other websites talked about this huge complex process but this was so easy! Thank you so much :)

  86. Yasemin 22-07-10@07:45

    OMG worked like a charm thank you or gracias! :)

  87. Stephen 26-07-10@21:34

    This was simple and it worked!
    So many other sites talked but posted non-working or nonsense advice.
    Thanks very much.
    This problem, encountered by so many people, is a cogent reminder that Vista, when all is said and done,
    really does suck.

  88. Rrrrrrrrrrrrr 02-08-10@03:50

    Me too, thank you so much for this easy fix!!!!
    My speaker icon disappeared and the Volume property was disabled in the System icons notification area. Restarting explorer.exe was the fix!

  89. Pat 03-10-10@22:34

    Just adding my “thanks:! :) It didn’t work at first, until I read your comment to go back to the task bar properties and check the icons to always show… no longer grayed out. This is the second time it happened to me, but I forgot how it was fixed the first time. THIS time, I’ll remember!

  90. Arih 04-10-10@23:56

    YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! this worked soo well. im just soo glad tht im actually leaving a comment (which i never do btw) :D

  91. QwertyNoob 18-10-10@09:23

    TYTYTYTYTY SOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!! I have been looking for a solution to this problem for a long time! tyvm =D

  92. Nundy 24-10-10@10:31

    Thanks a million. Like many post have stated before me….it was very simple. I too searched other forums/sites and the directions they were giving was tedious and still didn’t work. Thanks again

  93. mojgan 28-10-10@21:03

    Thanks 10000…..0000.

  94. Don 04-11-10@09:19

    This was wonderful fix. I work in tech support and this fix really works !

  95. Emily 06-11-10@18:57

    Thanks for a quick & easy solution to this frustrating problem! -e

  96. Abuzer 06-12-10@22:02

    thanks mate…. works like a charm

  97. Jon Butler 08-12-10@16:43

    Thank you. This works perfectly!

  98. ANJANA 10-12-10@02:16

    Thanks..superb solution..:-)

  99. Gabriella 14-12-10@20:56

    A million, ker-trillion thank yous! I’ve bookmarked this page on my laptop and in my heart! I <3 U!

  100. Diamond 29-12-10@15:29

    Thank you so much! Not having a precise volume control was getting annoying! <3

  101. Mak 02-01-11@22:38

    Thank you!

    Easy and lifesaving (…or somewhat)

  102. Jumjums 16-01-11@02:56

    Thanks! Fixed my issue:) Great step-by-step instruction.

  103. Sherly 19-01-11@18:28

    Thanks a million! I did a quick search in Google and this tutorial was all I needed to restore my volume and power icons. It works perfectly fine with Windows 7 as well :)

  104. brucel 29-01-11@15:28

    Worked straight away. thanks

  105. sandra campeau 01-02-11@22:38

    Thank you, so annoying when this happens!

  106. Andrea N 11-02-11@02:48

    THANKYOU. foolowed the simple instructions and they were back

  107. Bob Cumbers 11-02-11@10:41

    You rock.

  108. Madeleine 13-02-11@04:53

    Thank you, i finally found a website that works! :-)

  109. C Bailey 18-02-11@01:02

    Worked for me after I when back to Properties and checked the boxes for network and sound. Thanks

  110. Albert 22-02-11@10:52

    Thank you so much!

    I’ve been searching for this solution for decades,

  111. J 04-03-11@11:23

    This totally worked. I can’t believe it. Vista sucks but this fix enables me to tolerate it for another day at least.

    Thank you Thank you Thank you

  112. PHILIP 16-03-11@23:46

    Brilliant !!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Thank you for sharing this, worked fine, items no longer greyed out.

  113. Sheila 19-03-11@08:51

    Worked like a charm. Thanks! :D

  114. Daddy Oh 23-03-11@22:34

    Excellent fix……………whats really get me is that this post is old and their are still so many of us still getting this problem. What happens that keeps causing this?
    Thanks again

  115. J 02-04-11@11:30

    Great fix (I’m one of the ones who posted above), but has anyone else noticed this? Ever since using this method to fix the disappearing tray icons or grayed out problem, my tray icons (battery meter for me) disappear a lot more often than they used to. It seems the more I go back to using this to fix it, the more it happens. My battery icon disappears at least once a day now. Before it was about once a month.

  116. rosa 05-04-11@08:59

    thank you very much it worked…this was easier than other options.

  117. sonja 19-04-11@04:05

    oh thank you
    thought i had broken laptop!
    all fixed now – yippee

  118. astropiero 22-05-11@23:21

    Thank you. I had that thing bothering me all the time. Good tip!

  119. Ena 01-06-11@13:00

    Thanks! This worked for me! :)

  120. Stan 09-06-11@14:15

    Its perfect.. Thank you so much

  121. Gina 12-07-11@22:24

    omg..Thanx!! 4 days with this prob n ive been to all kinds of sites looking to fix this prob. This did it! i bookmark the page just in case this prob reoccur

  122. Evi 18-07-11@14:34

    Another bookmark here!!! I’ve been trying, and trying, using so many options i found through google, but yours really worked!!!! THANKS!!!! :)

  123. ash 19-07-11@19:41

    THANK YOU VERY VERY VERY MUCH! one after one they were all going, and now you’ve come to the rescue!


  124. Sunny 22-07-11@08:14

    Thanks a ton, man you are a genius. It was so irritating to go to control panel to adjust the volume but now your super duper solution ended this misery in a flash.

  125. Terry 22-07-11@10:20

    Thank you very much. This is so far the simplest fix for this problem. I have had intermittent missing of these icons, and have tried other suggestions, but this one works very well. Thank you again

  126. Jo 26-07-11@06:21

    Thanks so much…It worked! and simple too!

  127. Alyssa 09-08-11@10:21

    Also thanks to Nick for adding that you still need to go back and check the boxes that were previously greyed out! You guys rock!

  128. Craig 11-08-11@05:51

    I work 12 hour shifts and have little time for complicated or tedious troubleshooting of minor annoyances such as this.
    The fix was fast and hassle free.
    It’s great to have people like yourself that are able to contribute their time and knowledge to the internet community.
    Many thanks!

  129. Cyrus 12-08-11@19:06

    Perfect and Bang on. Worked immediately…

  130. Ivan 17-08-11@04:51

    so, good this solution many times happens when i install anykind of software, computer got crazy and icons gone, many people say have solution but this one is the best when is also grayed out on system tray notification area, thank you a lot.

  131. tj 20-08-11@01:06

    Such a stupid problem and what an easy way to fix… thanx for the tip…

  132. sunnylive95 22-08-11@07:04

    Thank you thank you thank you i have been looking all over the internet and its kept telling me too open regedit.exe its stupid and this is so easy thanks again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  133. priyam 25-08-11@07:32

    worked.. thanks a lot!!

  134. bascobill 25-08-11@09:35

    Thanks! After suffering through a lot of posts suggesting registry editing, downloading registry hack files, standing on your head with one eye closed while rebooting, etc., this simple solution works like a charm!
    Bookmarking this for next time.

  135. MCC Frank 28-08-11@10:06

    Many thanks for such a well presented solution to my notification area issues. I was able to restore all of my grayed out icons in just minutes.

    This link is now in my “How To” folder.

  136. Wolffy 31-08-11@13:22

    It worked; Excellent! Very fast & safe. Thanks for the tip. I thought my wife was to blame, but now I need to go and apologize:)

  137. ClfyJr 01-09-11@12:35

    Woo Hoo! Worked like a champ! Finally got annoyed enough that I googled the solution and found your site!

  138. eRe 07-09-11@11:44

    Adding to the other 6 billion posts about how this saved me plenty of annoying search for fixes.. thankfully its the first result in google nowadays…

    This might be entirely unrelated, but for me this issue started when i enabled windows search indexing service, besides taking forever to actually start-up the icons were gone too.. randomness

  139. dl 23-09-11@08:59

    YAY!!! Thank you sooo much. I’ve been going nuts trying to figure this one out.. and such an easy fix too. Thanks for taking the time to post this.

  140. Fernando 24-09-11@08:54

    Worked for mi, thanks so much.

  141. Jamie 09-10-11@10:33

    omg – thank you SO much for taking the time to post this. I had no luck at all finding a fix on the Microsft support site. Worked great! (Too bad you can’t get a fraction of a percentage of the Microsoft profits for every person who was helped by this.)

  142. Galina 10-10-11@00:31

    Thank you very much!

  143. Stephanie 10-10-11@08:33

    You totally rock! Thank you!

  144. Eddie 10-10-11@10:16

    damn thanx alot worked like a charm didnt know so many people had this problem

  145. praveen 11-10-11@01:45

    thanks alot, it worked for me too. a nice n a simple solution to one of my long term problems. need to check whether this is a permanent solution or not. thank you.

  146. ami 12-10-11@19:44

    Many thanks! So good of you to share!

  147. Julie 25-10-11@21:26

    This was a fast and easy way to fix the problem! Thank you.

  148. Hooligan 09-11-11@04:54

    Post is over 2 years old but still Right on!! Tried the regedit fixes etc.,etc. This one finally worked!! Well done & thanks. Vista SP2.

  149. melter65 19-11-11@08:14

    Thanks for this fix, the first one I’ve seen that doesn’t need a reboot :)

  150. Sam 26-11-11@00:41

    thx for the instructionz…it worked hehe :)

  151. David 27-11-11@02:24

    The fix worked, simple and good, thanx!

  152. petya ivanova 07-12-11@16:19

    Thank you so much !!!!

  153. Mike 09-12-11@04:49

    By far the simplest & easiest solution I found anywhere – simply followed them and the results were just as described – Many thanks

  154. waffo 15-12-11@07:54

    Thank you! I needed this to re-enable sound for Firefox!

  155. betweeniandk 17-12-11@15:23

    Two years & eight months after your original post I can vouch that your fix still works. Thank you for your help!

  156. mary 23-12-11@11:19

    Thanks!! At first my volume icon still did not show….then I read on down and sure enough the volume box was not grey and I was able to check it this time. This fixed my problem.

  157. Skip 29-12-11@14:30

    It is still the best solution that I have found. Many thanks for your hep.

  158. Katie 02-01-12@19:20

    too easy – that rocks!

  159. polly 13-01-12@08:24

    Yo!! I am such a techie dinosaur but this worked for me! bookmarked for future reference because it happens quite a lot, thanks a mill

  160. joao 14-01-12@07:08



    one more stupidity of Microsoft is solved

  161. Mark 17-01-12@03:35

    I just had that happen where the volume control was grayed over and so I researched it and found these instructions. You are awesome and thank you so much!


  162. sloridde 17-01-12@09:35

    simple, effective, and straight to the point. thanx…

  163. Shane 06-02-12@10:22

    Thank you! Very easy effective fix!

  164. Ness 10-02-12@16:49

    merci enormement.

  165. Shiv Ram Krishna 18-02-12@04:03

    Hey dude,

    Knew that this works for several other problems .. but fixes this notification icons too … !! that’s amazing .
    Thanks !

    And it works on Windows 7 !

  166. Aaron 20-02-12@08:26

    Still works on 2/19/12 for WinVista SP2…like a charm.

  167. Li-Li 17-03-12@06:01

    Thank you so much! This irritating problem has been plaguing me for so long. Every time I power up my laptop I dread looking at the taskbar because I know that most of the icons will be missing and grayed out, and then having to endure the lengthy process of having to reboot several times just to get my icons back. Well, no more, thanks to you :) Who knew the solution would be so straightforward?!

  168. Adam 27-03-12@23:37

    Thank you:)

  169. regina 28-03-12@09:29

    Perfect!!! thanks for the help

  170. CarolynB 05-04-12@22:02

    Dude, you totally rock! And thanks, Nick above for adding what to do if it didn’t show up right away!

  171. PS 06-04-12@06:31

    Great guide!

    Quick and easy to follow.


  172. Ishwar 07-04-12@16:22


    I tried this but I am unable to get back my power icon on the task bar.

    Is there a way to put back grayed out power icon back on task bar?

    Thanks in advance

  173. Jean 12-04-12@13:22

    This worked great! Thank you. I have been so annoyed by not having my volume and power icons there. All fixed.

  174. Joseph Napier 26-04-12@00:52

    Thank you so much, for the much needed information. Worked like a charm. All icons are back.

  175. Michelley1965 27-04-12@21:24

    Thank you so much! Simple directions that worked perfectly.

  176. Samuel Kay 02-05-12@10:14

    My heart was beating faster when I show unusual task bar tray icons. I thought my computer was infested with virus. My computer automatically updated to SP2 the other night since then. When I started this morning all changed. I wasted quite a valuable amount of time trying to search for solutions. I eventual got it fixed by following through this site. Thanks a lot for the owner of this site.

  177. MN 08-05-12@12:38

    PERFECT! Way better than the other sites that had me going through the regedit.exe route. This was a quick and simple fix. Now let’s just figure out a way to get you to the TOP of the search results :)

  178. eve 12-05-12@11:44

    thank you. big help.

  179. Tony 13-05-12@01:40


  180. Maria Batista 18-05-12@03:31

    Thanks, it worked perfectly. But why did it disappear in the first place!???

  181. Christian 26-05-12@15:35

    Thanks, worked perfectly. I rebooted after adding a new hard drive. Not sure if this had anything to do with it, but this solved the problem. Thanks!

  182. Hec 27-05-12@22:21

    Wow!! You are the Master Genius!! Other forums give you a thousand things to do that might or might not work. You went right to the point and it worked effortlessly. Thank You very much.

  183. Karen 31-05-12@13:55

    thanks a TON~~~~~ I’ve been messing with this for days, and finally found your FIX!! It worked like a charm. Blessings,

  184. jam 02-06-12@20:12

    thanks a lot…. Great minds with a big heart sharing important info… cheers !

  185. Curt 03-06-12@21:43

    These icons disappeared on my taskbar overnight after having only run an Areca backup. It never has been a problem before! IT was probably and explorer crash that lost the settings in the first place. This simple solution reset these settings. Thanks!

  186. Trevor 03-06-12@22:44

    Brill. Simple and worked very quickly.

  187. Anne 10-06-12@13:22

    OMG!!!!!! You Rock! You are my laptop God. I LOVE YOU!!! :)

    I just googled and found you.
    who knew I would find my Laptop Knight in Shining Armor.

    Signed: WalkerNews.net Lover :)

  188. Eleanor 16-06-12@11:52

    Thanks for this great and easy fix. Windows updated, then crashed on restart, went back to previous time to try to fix it. Volume disappeared and was a pain to go to media center to turn volume off and on. I too am bookmarking this page if it happens again.

  189. Chetna 27-06-12@12:58

    i just tried and it worked .Thank you.big help.

  190. Miana 15-07-12@19:57

    Thank you very much… I’ve tried many things, and this is the only one that works… :D

  191. tassieted 21-07-12@16:36

    thanks very much it worked first time, very easy to follow instructions

  192. Dawn 07-08-12@22:48

    FANTASTIC! Thank you SO much!

  193. kevin 08-08-12@03:50

    dude, i think it goes without saying that you are fricken awsome. i’ve been working on this problem for over a year. thank you, it works like magic. so simple.

  194. Mandy 20-08-12@23:14

    THANK YOU! :-)

  195. Carol 27-08-12@14:34

    Thank you – works & is so easy to do!!

  196. Kathy 30-09-12@04:02

    Another thank you. I can’t believe how long it took me to google for the answer to why the volume icon was grayed out. Thanks a million times.

  197. Thomas 08-10-12@02:16

    Only real solution I have found :D

  198. Christopher 09-10-12@07:46

    You are wonderful, with a little more help from the commenters and it worked like magic. The universe smiles upon you.

  199. Fred 11-10-12@12:57


  200. dave 14-10-12@10:27

    Awesome fix….thanks!!!

  201. Shalin Singh 16-10-12@01:58

    it works Thanks friend

  202. FrannyC 27-10-12@11:12

    Thanks so much – good little fix ! Any idea why this works?

  203. Zonker 27-10-12@21:52

    Thank you!

  204. Robert 02-11-12@15:24

    Thank you for posting this very useful bit of information. Instructions were concise and only had to apply them once. Why did this happen is the first place?

  205. reagan 06-11-12@13:04

    YAY thank God! thank you :)

  206. james 07-11-12@17:36

    ending explorer.exe then restarting it got my icons back.thanks

  207. Sandi 15-11-12@12:41

    WooHoo I got my system icons back! Thank you for sharing this information. God Bless You!

  208. alveen 21-12-12@08:37

    Thank you so much for sharing this easy fix! I am not very computer savvy and found other “solutions” did not work or were to complicated for me to follow.
    Wishing you a happy festive season and a great New Year.

  209. Anand 21-12-12@10:41

    Worked perfectly, very simple. Thanks a lot

  210. James 30-12-12@02:38

    This solution didnt work for me at first.
    I opened task manager and end process explorer.exe
    But instead of restarting clicked new task and typed explorer.exe clicked ok.
    Worked a treat.

  211. Matt 09-01-13@11:32

    So simple, yet so helpful…and for so long! 2009 – 2013 and it still works like a charm. Thanks so much!

  212. Lor 10-01-13@15:57

    Thanks, their latest update greyed my network icon. Way to go MS, always keeping the customer in mind…NOT!
    It is so great that so many people act as FREE tech support for them otherwise they would have gone out of business or improved their product. Hmm?

  213. Salil 19-01-13@10:55


    The fix worked like a charm. Was not able to see volume and battery icon but this issue got fixed thanks to your easy explanation.

  214. Eden Spritzer 26-01-13@04:36

    Many thanks. It saved my laptop from a beating!

  215. J Boy 31-01-13@19:30

    Thank you. Much, much easier way to correct this than the old way I found. Quick and easy instructions. You have “the knack”.

  216. kitloy 05-02-13@00:18

    even worked on my windows 7 , like a charm!
    thank you sir!

  217. Chuy 08-02-13@13:35

    Thank you,problem solved.

  218. Scott Baxter 17-02-13@11:23

    Bravo!! Great instructions…thanks.

  219. Paul 04-03-13@18:53

    Many thanks, perfect fix

  220. Saiful 06-03-13@18:25

    Thanks you, Its works for me…

  221. Kay 11-03-13@06:01

    Thanks much…I cant thank u enough!

  222. doug 12-03-13@08:32

    thanks. it worked

  223. Jay 27-03-13@09:54

    thanks so much mate. that was so easy, once i found this site. all other forums i tried were useless. cheers

  224. Lynn 07-04-13@23:59

    Thank you SO much. I have been searching the internet for HOURS on how to restore the volume control icon in VISTA. Nothing worked and I tried your solution as a last resort and then I was going to give up. I followed your instructions and WALLA! That darn icon reappeared! Thank you!

  225. Red 08-04-13@22:58

    Thanks, it worked better and easier than the other complicated ones. :)

  226. Jane 20-04-13@21:25

    What a beauty! Had this problem before and spent ages trolling for an answer. How easy.

  227. Tuddy 26-04-13@02:43

    Worked like a charm, buddy. Thanks!

  228. Thank U 27-05-13@05:21

    Worked for my Vista. Thank you so much!

  229. Maggie 02-06-13@08:52

    Thank you very much!

  230. Ann-Kathrin 02-06-13@21:27

    Thank you so much, it worked perfectly and was so easy. You helped me a great deal :)

  231. Steph T. 30-06-13@15:18

    Totally worked! Thank you!!

  232. cat 04-07-13@17:54

    Thanks a million!

  233. Gerald 24-07-13@04:12

    Sorry no dice, but thanks for the try. For a generic fix this is okay. for Windows 8.1 on a tablet nada. Still grayed out. I have a feeling to look into the services I will try there.

  234. Big Johnson 28-07-13@04:08

    on point and props from a big johnson!

  235. Don 31-07-13@09:22

    Thank you. It worked.

  236. Bill K. 01-08-13@12:49

    Thank you! This issue was driving me nuts!

  237. Rakesh 06-08-13@01:51


  238. Sarah 06-09-13@02:07

    Thank you so much! That was so easy to fix with your instructions! :)

  239. Dang 11-09-13@21:02

    Thank you very much.

  240. jojo 15-09-13@01:56

    thank you so much, it worked.

  241. Playernumber21 17-09-13@04:58

    It works once again!!! Thanks

  242. Paul 28-10-13@06:45

    Awesome! Thanks.

  243. Sean 23-12-13@10:48

    I’ve been somehow taking registry tweaks for granted to fix this problem. But actually there was a way better solution!
    Thank you!

  244. S 24-12-13@10:29

    Thank you!

  245. Mike 11-01-14@02:44

    Brilliant , Quick, Easy Fix, Beats system restore that didnt always work anyway in Vista Ultimate. Thank You.

  246. Vettejim 19-01-14@06:41

    Worked great! Book marked this page! Thanks for the help!

  247. jim 26-01-14@06:51

    Worked like a charm! Thanks.

  248. angie 03-05-14@07:57

    thank you, that was so easy!

  249. rose 24-05-14@12:48

    I absolutely love this method as compared to the other more complicated stuff i thied and failed.

  250. Alejandro 19-06-14@22:31

    Thanks a lot…

  251. Dave 31-07-14@16:02

    Your were spot on with your solution. So simple to do. I kept this page open in my browser,just in case I needed to refer back while I proceeded with the fix. So simple. Very grateful for your advice.

  252. makoshark 28-08-14@04:42

    Best fix ever. I tried all the registry stuff – does not work 100%. Thank you. I copied your instruction and kept it on desktop.

  253. Nadja 08-09-14@14:40

    Awesome Thanks!!!

  254. Jennifer 15-11-14@15:24

    Fixed it! Thank you soooo much.

  255. alfred 21-11-14@15:48

    worked great. thanks!

  256. Lynn 19-03-15@09:09

    THANK YOU – scared to do it, especially when everything disappeared, but it worked!

  257. Aracsia 02-05-15@20:11

    cant believe it worked, thanks!

  258. Steve 13-08-15@17:45

    Worked first shot. Thanks a ton mate! Ya’ know, you would have thought F’n Microsoft had discovered fire, and then forget how to get it going again, each and every time. Windows “help” points you to everything except what you asked for. I hope a being from another galaxy is pissing his pants laughing at the utter stupidity of the “intelligent” beings on this planet. Windows-Vista-Microsoft-Gates-etc. etc. all collectively SUCK!!!

    You, Sir, cut right to the chase! Bravo, and thank you. Wow, what a novel idea for a laptop computer, powered by batteries, to actually have a charging indicator on the display! I guess it was stupidity on my part to think that after all these decades of computing, the engineers keep missing some vital engineering. You know, like ya’ might need some air in the tires!

  259. Dana 26-09-15@05:46

    Let me add the gazillionth thanks to this six year old comment section. The straightforward and easy fix is greatly appreciated. Anyone else amazed that this problem is still popping up after all this time, across several generations of Windows? It’s happened to me several times (using Vista)and each time I forgot how I got the icons back. This fix is simple and I’m keeping the instructions handy. Thanks again.

  260. Alan 09-11-15@04:41

    Worked a treat, so much simpler than some of the other solutions I’ve seen (but dared not try for fear of a c*ck-up!). Thank you.

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