System icons not showing or missing from Windows 7/8/10 Taskbar

Sometimes you may find that your System Tray Notification Area Icons, like Clock, Volume, Network or Power missing or momentarily disappeared in Windows. If you face this issue, here is what you may try:


System icons not showing in Taskbar

Right Click Taskbar and choose ‘Properties’. Then from the ‘Taskbar Properties’ window select ‘Customize’.

Taskbar properties

Next, select which Icons and notifications should appear on your taskbar and hit the ‘OK’ button.

System icons

If this does not solve your problem, or if you find that the areas are grayed out, try this registry tweak.

Turn system icons on or off grayed out

Create a System Restore Point first, so that you have something to fall back on, should something go wrong. Before touching the registry, I always recommend creation of one!
Type Regedit in Run dialog box and hit Enter. From the Edit Tab, select Find.
Next, type and search for iconstreams and then later for pasticonstreams and DELETE ALL such found instances of each of them.

On my Windows I found their first instance in Key:



HKEY_USERS \ S-1-5-21-2193082411-1103859620-1337499753-1000 \ Software \ Classes \ Local Settings \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ TrayNotify

You will also normally find IconStreams & PastIconsStream in the right side pane of

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\TrayNotify


Now enable the system icons using the above regular method. Do note that in case your computer has multiple user accounts you may have to enable icons for each account.

If you are running Windows 8 or Windows 7, click Start, type Customize icons and then click Customize icons on the task bar. Next click Turn system icons on or off, and then set Volume, Network, and Power System to On. Click OK, make sure that the behavior for Power, Network, and Volume are set correctly, and then click OK.

Alternatively, you can also use this Fix It solution from Microsoft that fixes the Notification Area Icons missing problem in a click.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of and a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows for the period 2006-16. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.