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

I've tried the battery trick but no joy. I get a random set of icons each time I boot and rarely get the same set twice in a row.

I guess I should lok on it as an 'interesting feature' and give up.

Cheers

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.

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/13102-notification-area-icons-reset.html

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Hi Shawn

Icons are not set to 'Hide when inactive'.

this morning when I booted I got the clock (which is the only consistent icon) and the power meter. Next time I have no idea what I'll get.

Any ideas?

Dino
 
Dino,

I recently have seen where a security program that has a registry blocker feature to prevent changes had caused this sometimes. You might check to see if any of your security programs have this.
 
Hi Shawn

I use Computer Associates Internet Security Suite (for Vista) which includes firewall, anti-virus, spam filter etc. This doesn't intefere on my desktop but that runs Vista business.

I also use MS Windows Defender.

Any further help would be appreciated.
 
Hi Shawn

The problem with doing a System Restore is that the laptop is brand new, now about 2 weeks old and this problem was evident from day one.

Dino
 
Dino,

I must admit that I'm stumped on why it still will not work right for you. You might post this question in the General Discussion forum to see if someone may know of a solution for you.

Sorry, :(
Shawn
 
Hi Shawn

Thought you might like to know that by switching the Sidebar on the icon problem seems to have disappeared. I had switched it off as the machine was initially running very slowly.

Thanks again for your help :-)

Your welcome Dino. Just wish I could of helped you resolve it.

Shawn
 
Having somehow the same problems (the system icons don't always appear after a restart; synchronization in explorer and window management and events in general is a mess in vista) thought to share my experience on it.
Indeed the system icons cannot be enabled directly as they show as grayed out.
What I did was to use the group policy editor to force on disabled the entries related to them as in one of the methods given in tutorial and after that had killed all explorer instances (only using the close explorer action may not be enough) as described in another tutorial on the forum (just note that you may have multiple explorer instances to kill if you have activated the options to have separate memory space and processes for the management of desktop and explorer windows, which is a must because the event and user and GDI resources management is a mess in windows). After I have restarted the explorer process the icons do not show yet, instead the entries are no longer grayed out and can be enabled back.

Hope that this may help.
 
Ok I have a problem with my "power system icon" on the notification area. It won't seem to show up even though I have tried multiple things to fix this. It does not appear on the "taskbar and start menu" when i right click the taskbar and on "properties" because it is greyed out. I've also tried editing the registry through your tutorials (deleting the "Iconstreams and "Pasticonstreams" in "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\TrayNotify" and closing and restarting explorer but that doesn't help. Also I've tried opening "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer" and there isn't any Battery or Power icons on the right pane. I've also heard people talk about disabling the UPNP and SSDP services, which I already did, and that doesn't help either. I don't have a system restore point that I can go back to because I know I used a cleaner, which deletes the restore points, so that rules that out. So does anyone have any suggestions?
 
Hello, The hiddenthought, and welcome to Vista Forums.

What type of computer do you have? It will need to be a laptop with a battery connected to it, or a desktop connected to a Vista compatible UPS backup power battery box.

If you do, then you might try removing the battery and reconnecting it again to see if that can reset it and bring back the Power icon.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
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