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

I have always found that a couple restarts restores icons, but now my power and "safely remove hardware" buttons are missing and don't seem to be coming back. First time I have lost the "safely remove hardware" button.

any one else missing it?
 
Hi
i have a sony vaoi and vista, my sound symbol has disappeared - when i go to the notifications page it is greyed out and i can't click on it.
i've recently started using skype and have had to add a webcam and mic to my laptop (as it didn't have them built in) so to get my mic working i have to change it from the windows default (even though my laptop doesn't have any mic) to the one i plugged in - this seems to be making my sound icon disappear as when i change it back to the default and restart my computer the icon is back
sooo my question - how to i keep the sound icon but also allow skype to use a different mic than the default option (which doesn't exist as there is no mic on my laptop if you follow me!)
i don't want to have to restart my computer every time i switch between using skype and watching a movie - help please!
 
Hello Tis, and welcome to Seven Forums.

Have you already tried all the different methods in the tutorial to see if they may be able to restore the Volume icon instead of having to restart the computer?

You might also check to see if there may be a newer audio driver available for your sound device that may address this issue as well.

Hope this may help some,
Shawn
 
Hi Brink

Is it possible to disable individual non-system icons in the notification area?

I want to disable a program called "Driver Genius", which just takes up space on my task-bar, nothing beneficent. It doesn't appear to have an option to disable it built inside the application itself, so I thought your would know a registry hack.
 
Hi Brink

Is it possible to disable individual non-system icons in the notification area?

I want to disable a program called "Driver Genius", which just takes up space on my task-bar, nothing beneficent. It doesn't appear to have an option to disable it built inside the application itself, so I thought your would know a registry hack.
You could try removing it from startup programs,

Option two of this tutorial,

http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/79612-startup-programs-enable-disable.html

Method two, using msconfig is probably easier and more effective.

As a side note, I always find getting my drivers from the manufacturers website is more effective and reliable than letting a program tell me what drivers I need.
 
Hi Brink

Is it possible to disable individual non-system icons in the notification area?

I want to disable a program called "Driver Genius", which just takes up space on my task-bar, nothing beneficent. It doesn't appear to have an option to disable it built inside the application itself, so I thought your would know a registry hack.
You could try removing it from startup programs,

Option two of this tutorial,

http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/79612-startup-programs-enable-disable.html

Method two, using msconfig is probably easier and more effective.

As a side note, I always find getting my drivers from the manufacturers website is more effective and reliable than letting a program tell me what drivers I need.
I think you misunderstood me derekimo, the application I'm trying to remove from the notification area is not a startup program.

Whenever I just run it, it's notification area icon appears aswell. So I was wondering if there's a way to bann it from the notification area due to the fact that it's just useless to me.

BTW, how did you get an image in your signature?
 
Hi Brink

Is it possible to disable individual non-system icons in the notification area?

I want to disable a program called "Driver Genius", which just takes up space on my task-bar, nothing beneficent. It doesn't appear to have an option to disable it built inside the application itself, so I thought your would know a registry hack.
Hello,

If it's a notification icon, then you may be able to use the tutorial below to hide it. You might also look at the program's settings to see if there may be an option to not show the tray icon.

http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/76913-notification-icons-customize.html

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
Hello,

If it's a notification icon, then you may be able to use the tutorial below to hide it. You might also look at the program's settings to see if there may be an option to not show the tray icon.

http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/76913-notification-icons-customize.html

Hope this helps,
Shawn
Guess there isn't any possible registry hack to bann specific icons from appearing in the system tray (not hiding in it such that when you click the "<" button, it appears) :( Eitherways, thanks for the attempt.
 
After working with every fix mentioned anywhere on the internet for recovering missing power, network, and volume icons, I consolidated the ‘repair’ into this procedure…

Either manually edit each of the registry keys below or make a .reg file with EXACTLY the content between the dashed lines and run it
==========================================
Put ALL below in a text file named (for example) “NotificationsFix.reg”
—————————————–
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\TrayNotify]
“PastIconsStream”=-
“IconStreams”=-

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer]
“HideSCANetwork”=dword:00000000

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer]
“HideSCAPower”=dword:00000000

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer]
“HideSCAVolume”=dword:00000000
—————————————–
The first one deletes two keys that Windows will restore on boot.
The last three tell Windows to NOT hide the icons…the zero value disables hiding.

Restart or reboot after editing/creating the keys, or running the reg file.

Works reliably every time in my Windows 8.1, and I’m sure it will work in Windows 8;
not sure about earlier ones.
 
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