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Restoring Missing System Tray Icons in Vista

May 24, 2008

In trying out some new Bluetooth headphones I discovered that the sound icon had disappeared from the system try on my Vista Business PC. I quickly found the answer, which I reprint here for the benefit of others:

  1. Click -Start > type “regedit” in the search box. You’ll see regedit appear at the top of the Start Menu. Click on it.
  2. If you have your system permissions set to ask if Windows is allowed to open-click “Continue”.
  3. Navigate to, (and you’ll have to do this manually, search did not work for me), key ‘HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareClassesLocal SettingsSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersion TrayNotify’
  4. Delete ‘IconStreams’ and ‘PastIconsStream’
  5. Right click the Task Bar, choose Task Manager > Processes > Click explorer.exe to highlight it and click “End Task”
  6. Keep Task Manager open, go to Applications and on the bottom right corner you’ll see a button that says “New Task”
  7. A pop-up box will appear, in the field type “explorer.exe and click ok.
  8. When these steps are finished, Windows Explorer reboots itself, (without rebooting the computer), and either the icons will reappear, or you can go back to the Task Bar > Notification Area and choose which icons to show.
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