Your sound icon suddenly disappeared from the Windows Vista taskbar !? He was there just recently, and now he is not! For some strange reason, many Vista users regularly find themselves missing the volume and network icons!
Even after I upgraded to Windows Vista SP1, the volume and network icons just disappeared from the taskbar. The funny thing is, if you go to the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog box and click the Notification Area tab, the Volume, Network, and Power icons will turn gray!
So almost all of my notification area icons are missing! Large! So how do you get the volume and network icons back on the taskbar? Unfortunately, if the options to check them are grayed out, as shown above in the Notification Area tab, you will have to hack into the registry. First, be sure to back up your registry in case something goes wrong.
Now open the Registry Editor by selecting Start and typing regedit in the Instant Search field http://www.fee-calculator.net/computer-tips/how-backup-registry/. Go to the Edit menu and click Find. Find “IconStreams” and click “OK”.
After a few seconds, you will see the following key with two entries to the right: IconStreams and PastIconStream. You want to right click on both and delete them.
If for some reason you cannot find these two keys, the full path to IconStreams in the registry is:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER Software Classes Local Settings Software Microsoft Windows CurrentVersion TrayNotify
After removing these two keys from the registry, restart your computer. Usually all of your icons return automatically, but if they don’t, just go to the Notification Area tab in the Start menu properties and check the icons you want to appear again.
Unfortunately this Vista missing icons problem happens to me over and over again, even after deleting registry keys. I’m not entirely sure of another way to permanently fix the problem, so if you know of another method, please leave a comment and enlighten us all!
If you’re having this problem on Windows XP, Windows 7, or Windows 10, check out my article on how to restore the volume icon on these operating systems. Enjoy!