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Network activity taskbar icon...

OK, I know I'm little nuts... aren't we all?... but this has been bugging me since I installed Vista and maybe you guys know if there's anything I can do about it.

It's the network activity icon near the clock... I much prefer to know the exact activity of my PC and the internet/network PC.... in WinXP this icon would flash in tune with which computer was doing the "talking". This helped me many times figure out if it was an issue on my end or on the internet end depending on how the lights would flash. Not exact, but I used it as a quick guide.

...but in Vista, the icon seems to just have a simple animation that repeats over and over (I've turned on "enable activity animation).

The icon has gone from something usefull (telling me which computer was sending data... to just being a simple animation that only animates when there's overall network activity.

So.... anyway if getting the older more acurate activity animation back?... or would this require a third party download now?

Thanks for any tips,


Staff member
Hi Teknomedic,

Yeah, that bugged me to. The most accurate way to view network activity it to use Task Manager. Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc and click on the Networking tab in Task Manager.

You might be able to find a Windows Sidebar Gadget for it to.

Hope this helps,
Thanks for the tip... I'll use that then if needed.... although the sidebar would be a nicer, quicker thing maybe.

Anyone know where to get sidebar gadgets?... I haven't looked as I turned off my sidebar, lol.


Vista Pro
If you enable Sidebar, at the top there is a +. If you click that you get a window with installed gadgets, then there's a place to click that will take you to the gadget site. There are dozens of network activity monitors to choose from.

I prefer the simplicity of this one:

Windows Live Gallery
With your permission, I would like to know if this supposedly flashing network icon can be made to flash.

When I installed my Vista 64-bit the network icon aside the clock at bottom right appeared as it is supposed to, but it doesn't flash! The network functions fine. It's wireless, but the lights do not come on and go off like in other systems.

I tried a few of the procedures I found on Vista forums that turn on and turn off the icon itself, but when I turn it back on, it is the same - just two monitors without any activity.

Must I reinstall my system to get these two to work, or is there a more practical way?

If I am off base here trying to get an answer, please let me know and I will gracefully follow your directions to go elsewhere.

Thank you,


Staff member
Hello DukeofClarence, and welcome to Vista Forums.

You should be able to right click on the Network icon and click on Turn on activity animation.

Hope this helps,
Hello Brink:
thank you for the kind welcome. I'm at work right now and will heed your advice as soon as I get home this evening. I'm surprised I didn't see such an obvious option...getting too old I suppose.
I hope you all are well and don't get too much wind and rain there. God keep you all safe. Thanks again.