Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Restore disappeared network and volume icon on notification area


In Windows Vista (and also Windows 7 the speakers icon goes missing), suddenly I noticed that the volume icon (speaker icon) next to the clock on the notification area was missing. I right clicked on the taskbar selected Properties>Notification Area and found that both the Volume and the Network checkboxes where grayed out.

Solution from Microsoft

Fix it for me

To run a workaround for this problem automatically, click the Fix this problem link (only work for Windows Vista).

Then, click Run in the File Download dialog box, and follow the steps in this wizard.

Link to Microsoft Fix it

If you want to use a more manual solution, follow the three steps below.

1. Download this reg-file and merge it by double clicking on it.

Or you can just click on the link select Run and then Allow and in the UAC dialog box click continue, when the Registry Editor asks if you want to continue click on Yes and finally click on Ok.

This is the content of the reg file above.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\TrayNotify]

It simply deletes the TrayNotify key.

If you open up Regedit you can also locate this key and you will notice that there are two values; IconStreams and PastIconsStream. They can be deleted manually to achieve the same thing.

2. Now to be able to get this working you either need to log out and log in from Windows or restart the computer or you can just restart Explorer.

3. Go back to Taskbar>Properties>Notification Area>System icons and you will find that you can activate the Volume icon again.

It it still does not work you can start Regedit.exe and search for IconStreams and delete the value were it is found. If you are unsure take a backup.

There can also be another reason why they don't show up and that is if a policy have restricted them to be showed.

Run gpedit.msc (Group Policy Object Editor) and look at User Configuration>Administrative Templates>Start Menu And Taskbar and then the settings "Remove the networking icon" and "Remove the volume control icon". They must not be enabled. If you disable or do not configure these settings the icons will be displayed in the system notification area.

Reset icon or recover icon is now done.


  1. Restored comments
    Stephanie Law said...

    Fixed the problem, thanks! I wonder why it disappeared?
    November 12, 2007

    JTB World said...

    It seems like this happens when you have been using Vista for quite some time. In my case it happened after having the same user account for seven months. The thing is that the cache is full for the icon memory. I guess unless Microsoft makes a fix for this more and more users will run into this problem.
    November 12, 2007

    Anonymous said...

    Cheers, fixed
    November 13, 2007

    gel said...

    That fixed it, thanks.
    November 14, 2007

    Ceejus said...

    It worked! Thanks.
    January 14, 2008

    Ashwin said...

    Thanks..... It worked..... But i wonder if its with the amount of usage of windows as my laptop is hardly 2 months old....
    January 24, 2008

    Scott said...

    Worked perfectly for me too, many thanks, after being frustrated by periodic disappearance of volume and network icons - happened to me about every three months, never been able to find a fix through Microsoft...
    March 28, 2008

    Anonymous said...

    BRILLIANT! Fixed the problem with no problems!!!
    March 30, 2008
    Emma said...

    Yay! its fixed. Thanks.
    April 03, 2008

    Aditya K said...

    mucho gracias
    April 24, 2008

    JTB World said...

    Here is another related tip:
    Fix for When Clock, Volume, Power or Network Icons are Missing and Grayed Out in Windows Vista
    May 02, 2008

    Anonymous said...

    Many thanks worked like a charm. I also wonder why it disappeared in the first place???

    May 03, 2008

    raj said...

    thanks...fixed the problem...does anyone know why it actually disappeares?
    May 15, 2008

    JTB World said...

    I would say the reason is a bug and it's really only Microsoft that can fix this permanently.
    May 15, 2008

    Anonymous said...

    Just wanted to thank you for the help. I messed around with the computer for 30 minutes before trying the internet for solutions. This was the first thing I tried and it worked perfectly! Thank you again! -Sarah Bennett
    May 20, 2008

    Anonymous said...

    thanks heaps
    this worked perfectly.
    good to know there are people out there solving Microsoft's fukups
    May 24, 2008

    Bodya said...

    Thnx!!! I saved your Notify Icon solution for possible future problems with Network and Volume icons.
    May 27, 2008

    NooNee said...

    God Bless You.
    Thanx a million, it worked like a charm!
    And this is the 1st time i know about this (Exit explorer) thingi...so thats a new piece of info added to my dictionary! :P
    Cheers and keep it up.

    Kisses :-)
    May 30, 2008

  2. your my hero!, thanx man

  3. Tried this, and not only does my volume still not show, NOW I've lost the power and network controls too.

    Thanks for nothing.

  4. Sorry it didn't work for you. Maybe you missed some of the steps outlined or your problem is another one. I suggest you thoroughly repeat the steps one more time. Let us know how it goes and if you get it working again.

  5. thank u, it did help me with my problem! simply amazing!!! i owe u big time!

  6. Thanks a boatload. Worked great.

  7. thanks very much it worked perfectly!

  8. Thanks! It works :]

  9. Oh my God!!!! You are a genius, this worked like a charm, thank you JTB! I still don't know why this happened, I am not at all happy with Vista, this never happened with the older version of Windows - but at least your awesome blog is here to help work out all the Vista kinks... Thanks JTBWorld!

  10. Thanks a ton. A weird problem indeed.

  11. After seeing all the broken links to fix this issue, I found you. And it worked just as proposed. Thanks JTB, much appreciated. And for the record, my icons dissappeared after a restart/black logon screen issue I had with my video driver. Hope this helps with figuring out why this happens.

  12. cheers fella - worked a treat!

  13. You can find a "Fix It" MSI for this problem in the Microsoft Knwledgebase.

  14. Omg! dude thx so much. The fix it thing worked perfectly!

  15. I once had this problem, but I think the solution is simpler than changing the registry. I just restarted my computer and the icons came back, although I hear that others could even logout and login again.

  16. For some it might help to log out and in or restart but in most cases it does not help.
    Thanks for sharing your experience.

  17. Thank you! It worked!

  18. AnonymousMay 27, 2009

    Oh thanks !!!!!!!!

  19. AnonymousJune 21, 2009

    Woot! My volume and battery disappeared when I installed the last recommended system update.

    Thanks for the solution!

  20. It happened to me a couple times, and I got it fixed when I performed an scan with the software CCleaner. it fixes errors on registry.

  21. AnonymousJuly 30, 2009

    Thank you very much, it worked!

  22. You legend!!

    The local group policy was mysteriously set to remove the volume control button from the systray in Vista.

    Would never have fixed it but for your post.

    Thank you very much.

  23. Thanks so much. worked perfectly

  24. Thank you so much! This has been driving me nutz!

  25. Thanks! Worked fine! It was driving me crazy!

  26. спасибо братан

  27. It Works. Thank you.

  28. AnonymousMay 03, 2011

    wow! year 2011 and it still works! thanks v/much!!!

  29. Just restarting explorer (http://blog.jtbworld.com/2007/10/exit-explorer-in-windows-vista.html) worked for me.


  30. wow that gpedit.msc did the trick!.previously i used this nifty software called "volume2". It replaces the default volume control. Then after i stop using it, the volume option dissapears. googled for 2 days and no luck.

  31. Microsoft need to see this! Its really annoying, yet so easily fixed, why not create something that doesnt do it in the first place? But great link, works perfectly thanks :)


Some of the latest blog posts

Subscribe to RSS headline updates from:
Powered by FeedBurner

Contact Us | About JTB World | Subscribe to this blog
JTB World's website | Website General Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
^ Top of page

© 2004- JTB World. All rights reserved.