Fix missing system tray icons in Windows

When your network, volume, clock or other icons are missing from the system tray, returning them is easy and only takes few steps.

Step 1: Back up the Registry or create restore point

  1. Click Start, type regedit.exe in the search box, and then press Enter. If you’re prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  2. In Registry Editor, locate and click the registry key or subkey that you want to back up.
  3. Click File > Export.
  4. In the Export Registry File dialog box, select the location where you want to save the backup copy to, and then type a name for the backup file in the File name field.
  5. Click Save.

Step 2: Delete both IconStreams and PastIconStream

  1. Click Start, type regedit.exe in the search box, and then press Enter. If you’re prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  2. Navigate to and select HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\TrayNotify.
  3. Delete both IconStreams and PastIconStream in the right pane. If you can’t locate them use the Find feature in regedit under Edit menu.

Step 3: End explorer.exe process and start it again

  1. Press Ctrl-Alt-Delete and select Start Task Manager.
  2. Select the Processes tab, choose explorer.exe, and click End Process.
  3. Choose the Applications tab, click New Task, enter explorer.exe in the text box, and press Enter. Your icons should reappear.

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