Notification Area - System Icons

ByLine
How to Enable or Disable the Notification Area System Icons in Vista
Synopsis
This will show you how to enable or disable the Notification Area System Icons for all user account on the computer. These are the Clock, Volume, Network, and Power (battery) icons in the bottom right corner of the Taskbar.
How to Enable or Disable the Notification Area System Icons in Vista



information   Information
This will show you how to enable or disable the Notification Area System Icons for all user account on the computer. These are the Clock, Volume, Network, and Power (battery) icons in the bottom right corner of the Taskbar. When these icons are disabled, they will be grayed out in the Notification Area. When these icons are enabled, they can be checked to show on the Taskbar Notification Area.
Tip   Tip
If you want to make all Taskbar icons bigger, then increase the Caption Buttons Item Size to a higher number in Advanced Appearance settings. See steps 6A and 6B here: How to Change the Advanced Appearance Settings in Vista
warning   Warning

  • Make sure the the drivers and devices that go with the system icons are installed and working properly. They will not work if the device or driver does not.
  • Sometimes to simply logoff and logon, or restart the computer, will enable the missing notification icons again. You should try that first.
  • Sometimes a simple reset of the Notification Icons will clear the problem.
  • Sometimes on a laptop, you can shutdown the laptop and remove the battery pack, reconnect it, and power the laptop back up to get the Power (battery) icon back or ungrayed.




METHOD ONE
Turn the System Icons On or Off

NOTE: This will just turn the Notification Area System icons on or off for your user account only. Power will remain grayed out unless your computer is a laptop or has a UPS battery backup connected to it. To create a Power Options shortcut, see: How to Create a Power Options Shortcut in Vista.
1. Right click on the Taskbar and click on Properties.​
2. Click on the Notification Area tab. (See left screenshot below step 3)​
3. Check (on) or uncheck (off) the options you want or do not want to show on the Taskbar Notification Area.​
Note   Note

Enabled.jpg Disabled.jpg




METHOD TWO
Through the Local Group Policy Editor

NOTE: This method will enable or disable a System icon.
1. Open the all users, specific users or groups, or all users except administrators Local Group Policy Editor for how you want this policy applied.​
2. In the left pane, click on User Configuration, Administrative Templates, and Start Menu and Taskbar. (See screenshot below)​
Group_Policy.jpg

3. For the Clock Icon - In the right pane, right click on Remove Clock from the system notification area and click on Properties.​
(See screenshot above)​
A) To Disable the Clock Icon - Dot Enabled and click on OK. (See screenshot below step 7)​
B) To Enable the Clock Icon - Dot Disabled or Not Configured and click on OK.​

4. For the Volume Icon - In the right pane, right click on Remove the volume control icon and click on Properties. (See screenshot above)​
A) To Disable the Volume Icon - Dot Enabled and click on OK. (See screenshot below step 7)​
B) To Enable the Volume Icon - Dot Disabled or Not Configured and click on OK.​

5. For the Network Icon - In the right pane, right click on Remove the networking icon and click on Properties. (See screenshot above)​
NOTE: To make sure that this icon works properly you should also have the Services Network Connections, Network List Service, Network Location Awareness, and Network Store Interface Service set to Started and Automatic. For how, see: How to Disable or Enable Vista Services with an Advice Guide
A) To Disable the Network Icon - Dot Enabled and click on OK. (See screenshot below step 7)​
B) To Enable the Netwok Icon - Dot Disabled or Not Configured and click on OK.​

6. For the Power (battery) Icon - In the right pane, right click on Remove the battery meter and click on Properties. (See screenshot above)​
NOTE: This will remain grayed out unless your computer is a laptop or has a UPS battery backup connected to it. To create a Power Options shortcut, see: How to Create a Power Options Shortcut in Vista
A) To Disable the Power Icon - Dot Enabled and click on OK. (See screenshot below step 7)​
B) To Enable the Power Icon - Dot Disabled or Not Configured and click on OK.​

7. Close the Local Group Policy Editor.​
Properties.jpg




METHOD THREE
Using a REG File Download

NOTE: This method will enable or disable a System icon.
1. For the Clock Icon -
A) To Disable the Clock Icon - View attachment Disable_Clock.reg < CLICK TO DOWNLOAD
B) To Enable the Clock Icon - View attachment Enable_Clock.reg < CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

2. For the Volume Icon -
A) To Disable the Volume Icon - View attachment Disable_Volume.reg < CLICK TO DOWNLOAD
B) To Enable the Volume Icon - View attachment Enable_Volume.reg < CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

3. For the Network Icon -
NOTE: To make sure that this icon works properly you should also have the Services Network Connections, Network List Service, Network Location Awareness, and Network Store Interface Service set to Started and Automatic. For how, see: How to Disable or Enable Vista Services with an Advice Guide
A) To Disable the Network Icon - View attachment Disable_Network.reg < CLICK TO DOWNLOAD
B) To Enable the Netwok Icon - View attachment Enable_Network.reg < CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

4. For the Power (battery) Icon -
NOTE: This will remain grayed out unless your computer is a laptop or has a UPS battery backup connected to it. To create a Power Options shortcut, see: How to Create a Power Options Shortcut in Vista
A) To Disable the Power Icon - View attachment Disable_Power.reg < CLICK TO DOWNLOAD
B) To Enable the Power Icon - View attachment Enable_Power.reg < CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

5. Click on Save, and save the .reg file to the Desktop.​
6. Right click on the downloaded .reg file and click on Merge.​
7. Click on Run, Continue (UAC), Yes, and then OK when prompted.​
8. When done, you can delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.​
9. Log off and log on, or restart the computer to apply the changes.​



METHOD FOUR
Manually in Registry Editor

NOTE: This method will enable or disable a System icon.
1. Open the Start Menu.​
2. In the white line (Start Search) area, type regedit and press Enter.​
3. If pompted by UAC, click on Continue.​
4. In regedit, go to: (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: If Explorer is not there, then right click on Policies in the left pane and click on New and Key. Type Explorer and press Enter.​
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

5. To Disable the System Icons - In the right pane of Explorer, right click on a empty area and click on New and DWORD (32-bit) Value.​
A) To Disable the Clock Icon - Type HideClock and press Enter.​
B) To Disable the Volume Icon - Type HideSCAVolume and press Enter.​
C) To Disable the Network Icon - Type HideSCANetwork and press Enter.​
D) To Disable the Power (battery) Icon - Type HideSCABattery and press Enter.​
E) In the right pane, right click on the one you just typed to disable and click on Modify.​
Notification_REG.jpg

F) Type 1 and click on OK. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: Repeat for each step you did in 5A to D.​
Modify.jpg


6. To Enable the System Icons - (See screenshot below step 5E)​
A) To Enable the Clock Icon - Right click on HideClock and click on Delete.​
B) To Enable the Volume Icon - Right click on HideSCAVolume and click on Delete.​
C) To Enable the Network Icon - Right click on HideSCANetwork and click on Delete.​
D) To Enable the Power (battery) Icon - Right click on HideSCABattery and click on Delete.​
E) Click on Yes to confirm the delete.​
F) In regedit, go to: (See screenshot below)​
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
G) In the right pane, repeat steps 6A to 6E if they are here to.​
HKLM_Reg.jpg


7. Close regedit.​
8. Log off and log on, or restart the computer to apply the changes.​
That's it,
Shawn







 
Last edited by a moderator:
Shawn Brink

Comments

Hi Jamdn,

If you alread tried this tutorial to get back what I am assuming your Volume and Network icon, then reinstall your audio and network drivers to see if that will help.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
Jamdn,

What is the brand and model of your laptop? I'll post back with a link from the laptop manufacturer's website so you can download the drivers and reinstall them.

Shawn
 
I've tried all suggestions above and elsewhere to get the grayed out power back to no avail. How do I, "Make sure the the drivers and devices that go with the system icons are installed and working properly. They will not work if the device or driver does not." to see if this is causing my problem?
 
Hello Scharfm,

Welcome to Vista Forums. :party:

Usually the Power icon will remain grayed out unless your computer is a laptop or is a desktop that has a UPS battery backup connected to it.

Is this the issue? If not, and it has just stopped recently, you might consider doing a System Restore using a restore point dated before it was grayed out.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
I have two identical HP pavillon DV9000 laptops. One mine, one my adult son's. Mine shows power icon on taskbar and it is NOT greyed out. The other machine does NOT show the power icon and it IS greyed out. I tried the registry edit on page 1 of this thread. There are NO "hide..." entries under ....policies/explorer.... although there are the 4 other entries shown in the screen shot (page 1).

this is Windows home PREMIUM, 64 BIT.
 
Hello McLeandc,

See if removing the laptop battery while it is shut off, then connecting it back and powering it back up will allow the Power icon to not be grayed out afterwards.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
the power icon magically reappeared.... can't tell what I did to get it back..... we'll see how long it stays... thanks for the idea... I'll try it next time it happens?!
 
I followed the instructions for Home Premium but still no joy.

I have Vista Business on my desktop and this has never been an issue but on my laptop with Home Premium I'm getting frustrated.
 
Hello Eagles10,

Welcome to Vista Forums. :party:

What System icon are you having problems with, and what is it doing or not doing?

Shawn
 
Hi, I'm having problems with the Network, Power & Volume icons. Sometimes they're there other times one or other might be there and sometimes none of them appear. Whenever a particular icon doesn't appear then the check box in the Notification Area is greyed out.

Thanks for your help

Dino

Hello Eagles10,

Welcome to Vista Forums. :party:

What System icon are you having problems with, and what is it doing or not doing?

Shawn
 
Dino,

I noticed that with some laptops, removing the battery and then reconnecting it would allow them to reappear again when it happens. It might be worth a try to see if it may work for you.

Also, see if resetting the Notification icons can help. This can help if there is any corruption in this list. This tutorial will show you how to if needed.

Notification Area Icons - Reset - Windows 7 Forums

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
Last edited:
Did everything you are saying... but my network icon doesn't display in the task bar...
In the taskbar properties it remains gray out.
Also updated the drivers and everything works fine.

What to do.... i dont know... i am out of ideas.
 
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