How to fix system tray icons missing in vista and xp

by Abhishek Bhatnagar on July 9, 2008



Many a times when the windows boot, the tray icons like volume control icon, network status icon, safely remove hardware icon etc. which should be visible in the tray are not visible properly.

system tray icons

In such a case, many a times you will find volume control missing, or you will find Safely remove hardware icon missing, or any other useful tray icon which you frequently use.


Why are tray icons not loaded properly?



At the time when windows is booting, there are many processes which are simultaneously being launched. All these are running in parallel waiting for the CPU turn. Some times when the CPU is busy with some processes, windows misses to properly load the icons.



Lets see how to fix this issue.



The fix is simple, whenever you find that the tray icons are not properly loaded, you can restart explorer task. This will freshly build all the tray, task-bar and desktop icons.


To restart the windows explorer, we have made a small windows-batch file which you can download from here.


Just download and save this file on your computer. Double-click on this file and it will re-start the windows explorer for you. After this, all the tray icons will be loaded properly.


For those who like to do it manually, open the command prompt and type the following two commands one by one:


taskkill /f /im explorer.exe



We hope you find this handy and useful.

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Hal September 8, 2008 at 8:43 pm

Worked in about ten seconds! Thanks so much!

Michael November 17, 2008 at 9:31 pm

Wow, this is fantastic. It worked like a charm. Other sites mentioned editing the registry, which obviosly was not neccessary! Thanks!!!!

Daniel December 14, 2008 at 3:28 am

this is fantastic, i love .bat scrpts :)

Oscar Sanchez February 8, 2009 at 6:01 am

Perfect! Simple and awesome. That’s wisdom in software. Thank you so much..!!!

Oscar Sanchez February 8, 2009 at 11:08 pm

Question: How do I make this solution permanent when I boot my PC? –
Thanks, OSCAR

Mark Catama February 23, 2009 at 7:06 pm

how can i recover the deepfreeze icon in my system tray?

John W April 27, 2009 at 3:32 pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Dave T April 30, 2009 at 12:04 am

Dude!!! Never would have thought of restarting explorer – it’s indeed an old machine. In your debt for that one, thanks.

Rocco May 16, 2009 at 9:57 am

I tried your program and nothing happens does not even reboot
I notice when i downloaded that a dialog box appears saying the download size is 55KB but the program i downloaded was only 1 KB Is that the actual size or is it 55 KB? I will look here for the next few days to see your reply. I can’t use my computer to get on the net since this trouble happened so i really need to fix it. Hopefully you have an answer

Rohit May 16, 2009 at 10:13 am


use these commands on command prompt in case you are not able to download the batch file:

taskkill /f /im explorer.exe


Rocco May 17, 2009 at 10:30 am

I can’t use command prompt from the lib computer, if it is not too much trouble e-mail it to me. I might be able to get my e-mails at the lib but don’t know for sure Not sure.,this might be a worm or something I have tried many workarounds

someone June 29, 2009 at 8:51 pm

thank you thank you thank you. really worked

James September 29, 2009 at 2:10 am

Thankyou so much! This was a great help… worked like lightning!!!!!!!!!! 😀


Dheeraj October 10, 2009 at 3:45 pm

It worked but then again when i rebooted the next day same problem can you help ?

dedy October 13, 2009 at 7:09 pm

not every windows xp release has taskkill.exe
in home edition you wont have taskkill inside your system. cmiiw :)

dedy October 13, 2009 at 7:09 pm

not every windows xp release has taskkill.exe
in home edition you wont have taskkill inside your system. cmiiw :)
but you could download it from microsoft site


Abhishek October 14, 2009 at 8:31 am

@dedy – thanks for the information about this – we appreciate it – thanks for sharing

Cas October 30, 2009 at 1:04 pm

Not to worry about last message, seen where i went wrong :)

albert November 21, 2009 at 5:10 pm

i think it does not work for me coz when i try it the network status icon doesnt show when i use that program

albert November 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm

i think it does not work for me coz when i try it the network status icon doesnt show when i use that program

pls any sugestions???

Jeff December 27, 2009 at 5:20 am

Easy to use effective fix. Thanks!

Tharindu December 31, 2009 at 8:49 am


Jacqui G March 6, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Worked beautifully! Thankyou.

WHOA, WHOA April 5, 2010 at 9:32 am

Brilliant! Quick and easy, and explains the root of the problem. Thank you so much.

mew May 9, 2010 at 11:43 pm

it cant load deep freeze icon..

geez df is so annoying

Genset Expert June 3, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Great Solution…All icons reappear again….
Thanks alot for this effort….

jed July 24, 2010 at 9:16 am

i use this but still nothing.when i click the icon the command prompt message “ERROR: the service cannot be started, either because it is disable or it has no enable device associate with it.” what should i do for it?

che November 20, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Thanks a lot! im saved

Kukubird February 14, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Well…it does fix the problem. BUT another thing is that it’s so troublesome to keep restarting explorer every time it happens
I wonder if there is any PERMANENT fix for this…what i mean is finding out the EXACT file that’s no launched by windows…and repair it or sumthing..?

JB May 6, 2011 at 5:54 am

i did the procedure but still I can’t see the Deepfreeze icon in the tray.
Please help me ..

Lourd June 17, 2011 at 3:11 pm

how could it be possible to uninstall the deepfreeze if i dont see its icon on the tray ??? I really really need your help. Hoping you could find a solution for these.

Smaeil Rezaei Afra August 14, 2011 at 12:24 pm

awsome, quick and usefull; thanks

sharingan August 21, 2011 at 12:09 pm

how to fix this problem permanently???????? any idea

Steve Paul November 5, 2011 at 9:31 am

I got this method works! Just get a DF version 7 and install it. It’ll prompt to uninstall the DF Version 6.. Restart and computer works normal..

Anton Wilhelm December 2, 2011 at 1:31 am

Thanks! Took seconds.

rj January 29, 2012 at 7:56 pm

Just press

Frank March 19, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Excellent solution, works as advertised & resolved the problem. Thank-you!

protik June 13, 2012 at 8:47 pm

supab..soluation…it worked like magical softwere..

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