How to fix system tray icons missing in vista and xp


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.


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

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

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

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

  5. 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

  6. @Rocco

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

    taskkill /f /im explorer.exe


  7. 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

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

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

  10. 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


    1. Author

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

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

  12. 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???

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

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

  15. 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?

  16. 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..?

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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..

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

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.