Vista System Icon Problem

Having been using Vista for around a year now, I have very rarely experienced any glitches which weren’t easily solved. However, I have come across a problem with the system tray icons (the Volume, Network and Power icons in the bottom right) not appearing after Vista has been started up from being completely switched off.

Normally you can just turn these on by going to the Task Bar and Start Menu properties, then selecting them in the Notification area. When I have tried this these options have been grey and I’m unable to change them. After digging around I have found a solution for this bug. If you have also experienced this problem I will explain how to remedy this with a few screenshots.

Vista Icon Problem Screenshot 1

The problem as highlighted above is that the System icons do not load up. We first start by opening the Task Manager, either by CTRL + ALT + DEL, or by searching for “taskmgr” in the Windows search bar.

Vista Icon Problem Screenshot 2

Once we’ve loaded this, we want to kill the process, “explorer.exe”. As shown below, right click on that process and choose to end it.

Vista Icon Problem Screenshot 3

As this process is critical to the operating system, we need to run the process again, simply by clicking “File” in the top left, and choosing New Task (Run…).

Vista Icon Problem Screenshot 4

We then simply create the new process “explorer.exe” and click OK.

Vista Icon Problem Screenshot 5

Then, as if by magic, your icons will be restored in their rightful place and you can then check them and uncheck them as you would normally in the Task Bar and Start Menu properties.

Vista Icon Problem Screenshot 6

Unfortunately this bug hasn’t been squashed by the Vista dev team in the new release of SP1, but hopefully there will be a permanent fix in the future for this.

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