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Thursday, 17 November 2011

Tip - workaround for Windows 7 disappearing Systray Icons bug

A while back, I started using a new HP ENVY 14 laptop running Windows 7 (64-bit).
A frequently recurring  annoyance has been that when I start up my laptop from boot or from "sleep", some of the Systray icons (which should appear) are not appearing - even though the process to which they belong is active/running.

After double-checking that these icons were set to display at all times in the system, I googled "Windows Systray icons do not display", and came up with a list of results, one of which was to a Microsoft discussion forum. It's evidently a fairly common problem. One of the discussions in that forum had a link to a post made by Colin Cochrane in 2007 about this same problem, but it was with Windows Vista - Windows Vista Disappearing System Tray Icons Fix

The problem seems to be a bug in the Windows OS (Operating System) - common to Windows Vista and Windows 7.
I tried out part of his suggested workaround (it's not a fix) for the problem, and it worked a treat, so below is that part copied as a series of steps.
Note that this workaround may need to be repeated as and when necessary to restore all your Systray icons.
  1. Open up the Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc), then:
  2. click on the "Processes" tab,
  3. select "explorer.exe" and click "End Process".

  4. Now click on the "Applications" tab, and
  5. click "New Task..." at the bottom-right of the window.

  6. In the message box that pops up type in "explorer.exe" (without the quotes)
  7. click "OK".

  8. Explorer.exe will reload, and that's it! The missing icons should now be back in the system-tray where they belong.
Hope this works for you as well as it works for me.
I have subscribed to Colin Cochrane's blog at http://www.colincochrane.com/
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