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Notification area icons missing.

While working today, I realized that some icons that a appear on my notification area have disappeared. I noticed I can hear skype alerts but could not find the skype icons on the tray. Don’t make a restart as I did, since I have researched on the internet and found a consolidated solution for you which will not require a reboot. The solution is not specific to windows 8, as you can follow the same for windows 7.

I found the issue to be caused by various problems, and one that happened to be the cause on my machine was corrupted tray icons profiles. Follow the following steps to resolve the issue:

  • Press CTRL+R to open the run dialog
  • Type regedit


Press OK, and if the user account  control appears click ‘Yes’.

Find the following key on the left of the window that appears ‘HKEY_CURRENT_USER’

Below it click the Software then Classes, then Local Settings, then Software,Microsoft,Windows,Currentversion, then TrayNotify. On the right press CTRL and highlight IconStreams and PastIconStream, then right click them, then click delete. This will open “Confirm Value Delete” with the following messageDeleting certain values could cause system instability.  Are you sure you want to permanently delete these values?“. Click “Yes”.

full path

Now start task manager by using CTRL+SHIFT+ESC.Choose the Process tab,  Right click windows explorer process and select restart (A new feature for windows 8). If you are on windows 7 then do the following.

Right click on ‘explorer.exe’ and select” End Process”

A “Windows Task Manager” box will open and ask, “Do you want to end ‘explorer.exe’?”, “If an open program is associated with this process, it will close and you will lose any unsaved data.  If you end a system process, it might result in an unstable system.  Are you sure you want to continue?” (<Do not worry> you will be fixing this in the next step) Now click ‘Yes’

Now select the ‘Applications’ tab in “Task Manager”, in the bottom right hand corner, select ‘New task…’ and type ‘explorer.exe’ then click “Ok”

Explorer will now reboot and your icons should return.  *Note: You may need to reset your preferences for each icon by going back to your “Notification Area Properties” because it will reset most of them to the default status”

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