Article ID : S500015612 / Last Modified : 11/04/2018

Why are the system icons in the notification area missing and the enable options in the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties window are greyed out?

The system icons in the notification area are missing and the enable options in the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties window are grayed out.

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The Clock, Volume, Power or Network icon may be missing from the system tray on the taskbar and the checkboxes in the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties window used to enable the system icons may be grayed out. Follow the procedure below to resolve the issue.

NOTE: Because each of these steps represents a possible solution to this issue, try to enable the system icons after completing each step.

1. Restart the Explorer process.

    WARNING: There is a risk of data loss. Save all open files and close all programs before starting this procedure.
       1. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL on the keyboard.
       2. Click Start Task Manager.
       3. In the Windows Task Manager window, click the Processes tab.
       4. On the Processes tab, in the Image Name column, click to select explorer.exe and then click the End Process button.
       5. In the Do you want to end this process? window, click the End process button.
       6. In the Windows Task Manager window, on the menu bar, click File and then click New Task (Run..).
       7. In the Create New Task window, in the Open: textbox, type: explorer.exe
       8. Click the OK button.

           NOTE: The Explorer process will restart. 
2. Edit the following registry keys:
        * HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
        * HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

    WARNING: There is a risk of data loss. This procedure involves editing the Registry. Using the Registry editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require the operating system to be reinstalled and can result in the potential loss of data.

    NOTE: A backup of the registry should be created before proceeding.
       1. Click the Start icon, click All Programs, click Accessories and then click Run.
       2. In the Run window, type Regedit and then press the ENTER key.
       3. In the Registry Editor, browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer.

          NOTE: If any of the following key names are shown in the right-hand pane, they need to be deleted.
              * NoTrayItemsDisplay
              * HideClock
              * HideSCAPower
              * HideSCAVolume
              * NoAutoTrayNotify
              * HideSCANetwork

       4. Once the key names have been deleted, in the Registry Editor, browse to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer and repeat the steps to delete any of the key names shown in step 3.
       5. Logout and then Login again. 
3. Complete the steps outlined in this Microsoft KB Article: 945011.