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

Actually I've solved the problem myself. When I was about to schedule a check disk, I rebooted and then I noticed that my computer installed a new driver- the "CmBatt.sys" system driver, which is also known as the Control Method Battery Driver by Microsoft. I believe that took care of the problem and now the power system icon shows.

Thanks for the help anyway Brink.
 
hello...

i've read through all of the questions, but i don't think mine has been asked yet. :)

i'm running Vista Ultimate x64, on an HP Pavillion DC6000 (laptop). like the other users here, my power and volume icons disappeared one day, seemingly at random. also, they are greyed out in the taskbar properties.

i tried all three methods of enabling them with no luck at all. then i saw a link to "reset" all of the taskbar icons by deleting registry entries. after i restarted explorer, i thought great, it worked! my power icon was visible again.

unfortunately, my network icon has not disappeared, and my volume icon is still nowhere to be seen.

i have attempted to update my network driver, but windows is telling me that i am already using the current version.

suggestions?

thanks!

UPDATE:
a full shutdown (not restart) and removal/replacement of battery seems to have fixed the issue.... for now! :)
 
Last edited:
Initially I only read the options themselves without continuing on to the detail at the bottom. Instructions were very easy to follow and it worked like a charm.
 
Hello Ehmch, and welcome to Vista Forums.

I'm happy to hear that you found them easy to follow. Thank you for the feedback.

Shawn
 
Just restart your PC like what he says. One by one restart. After you restart once, one box will be white for you to tick. Repeat the process till all box are available. This is one common problems in Vista. So don't be discouraged!
 
Hi Shawn,

Though installing these files did initially help, the problem has systematically returned. On Feb. 7, the networking and volume icons went missing. Furthermore, on Feb. 8, the power icon was missing (the other two were restored).

I wonder if it is because I installed a new program called VOIPCheap, which added a new icon to the Taskbar. I don’t know if that modified my settings, so I will try once again to rerun all of the Registration Entries that I previously downloaded. The suggestions you made about using Method Two won't work for me because I am using Windows Vista Home Premium.

So I will stick to trying to rerun the Registration Entries unless I hear another suggestion from you. I will also try to turn off Norton Antivirus the next time the icons disappear to see if they are still grayed out in the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialogue.

This is a really annoying problem and I hope that if anyone from Microsoft reads this, they will quickly create a patch!

Would re-downloading and reinstalling the Networking, Power, and Volume files help?

Regards,

JMT
 
Hi JMT,

I would use the reg file again to see if they can help you like before. I would look at anything that you just installed or changed right before this happens a possible cause of it though.
 
With my computer, the power icon appeared until i installed the APC manager. My other icons (volume, network) disappeared though. I am going to try a reeboot first, that usually helps with my problems.
 
Hello again Shawn,

After having reinstalled the registry files, the problem has not been resolved. You said that some security programs may interfere with these files, so I temporarily disabled Norton Antivirus, but the network icon continued to not appear and to remain absent in my Taskbar and Start Menu Properties taskbar. The only solution I have found has been to restart and that takes a long time and causes me to have to close down the many programs and files I usually have open.

Regards,

JMT
 
Very good tutorial and really helped getting the icons back. Especially helpful was the 4 services that need to be enabled. Thanks again:D
 
You're welcome Travan, and welcome to Vista Forums. I'm happy to hear that you got it sorted. :)

Shawn
 
hey none of this worked for me i had to follow step three and when i downloaded the file and right clicked it there was no merge option and then when i went to regedit local machine ect. there were no files in there to delete well really there was nothing there under explorer at all so now im gonna run a system restore to like 3 days ago and see if that fixes it thanks any way looks like i good post if i could understand it. :confused:
 
When I got to the final stage to enable my Sound and Network icons, the right side next to "Explorer" had only one entry "REG SZ Value not set". It looks like these system icons are no longer there. How can I re create them? All my other icons are back and working without problem.
 
Hello Sonia, and welcome to Vista Forums.

You can download and merge the reg files in METHOD THREE to had them added back automatically for you.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
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