Notification area icons randomly disappear on primary display


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Just as the title says, all of the sudden today out of nowhere, the notification area icons just disappeared. The only method for me to get them to come back is to increase the size of the taskbar, then returning it to its original size, but this is only temporary. I have restarted explorer, nothing changes, I have restarted the whole system and nothing changes. Nothing has changed (nothing newly installed/modified) this is an odd issue, and it also appears that explorer seems to be randomly resetting or something is causing the display to randomly refresh itself as well.

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24 minutes ago, jnelsoninjax said:

Just as the title says, all of the sudden today out of nowhere, the notification area icons just disappeared. The only method for me to get them to come back is to increase the size of the taskbar, then returning it to its original size, but this is only temporary. I have restarted explorer, nothing changes, I have restarted the whole system and nothing changes. Nothing has changed (nothing newly installed/modified) this is an odd issue, and it also appears that explorer seems to be randomly resetting or something is causing the display to randomly refresh itself as well.

Did you turn the computer off and back on or do a restart?

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7 minutes ago, warwagon said:

Did you turn the computer off and back on or do a restart?

Just a reset

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Did a complete system shutdown, and when it came back up, the icons are still missing.  After a search I came across an article on tenfourms that included a batch file that kills explorer, then removes a line from the registry, and then reboots the system, all it did was reset the icons that show up.

Here is a screenshot of what my notification area looks like for reference:

1745363264_Screenshot2021-06-05105958.png.b9692a799bca884929bd7f9a495e5b09.png

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Bear in mind that a shutdown doesn't do a complete shutdown, it puts the computer in to a semi-hibernation state. So something that is affecting your system tray, which I believe is linked to the explorer.exe process, will possibly still be present after "shutting down" the computer.

 

In your original post you said that the taskbar icons disappeared, but in the screenshot they are there but in what I can only describe as a broken state. I'm also curious what that arrow to the right is? It looks like it would give you the ability to scroll through your system tray icons, but I don't think I've ever seen that before. Are you using some third party program?

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2 hours ago, Nick H. said:

Bear in mind that a shutdown doesn't do a complete shutdown, it puts the computer in to a semi-hibernation state. So something that is affecting your system tray, which I believe is linked to the explorer.exe process, will possibly still be present after "shutting down" the computer.

 

In your original post you said that the taskbar icons disappeared, but in the screenshot they are there but in what I can only describe as a broken state. I'm also curious what that arrow to the right is? It looks like it would give you the ability to scroll through your system tray icons, but I don't think I've ever seen that before. Are you using some third party program?

Right now the icons are gone, when I click on the arrow it scrolls 2 at a time through the icons also they randomly show up like the screenshot shows. The only 3rd party program I am using in Display Fusion for managing my monitors. I have hibernation disabled, so shutdown would shutdown completely. I will try and disable display fusion and see what happens.

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16 hours ago, jnelsoninjax said:

I will try and disable display fusion and see what happens.

Any news on what happened after disabling Display Fusion? Did the scrolling option for the System Tray disappear? What about the icons, have they returned to normal?

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2 hours ago, Nick H. said:

Any news on what happened after disabling Display Fusion? Did the scrolling option for the System Tray disappear? What about the icons, have they returned to normal?

Nothing changed :(

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26 minutes ago, jnelsoninjax said:

Nothing changed :(

Nothing changed? As in, the scrolling option for the System Tray is still there? I'd be worried then, because that is not a function of Windows 10 and you don't know where it is coming from...

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15 minutes ago, Nick H. said:

Nothing changed? As in, the scrolling option for the System Tray is still there? I'd be worried then, because that is not a function of Windows 10 and you don't know where it is coming from...

Nothing changed as in the notification area is still blank, and when I do my workaround, it stays for a few then disappears. I have run an AV scan and nothing was detected, I am going to run SFC and see what happens.

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If you uninstall your display adapter drivers and go back to the Basic Microsoft driver do they come back?

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9 minutes ago, warwagon said:

If you uninstall your display adapter drivers and go back to the Basic Microsoft driver do they come back?

Have not tried, never had any trouble with the Nvidia drivers before.

SFC found no errors.

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I'm still stuck on that scrolling function. Are you saying that when you disabled Display Fusion, that scrolling option was still present? Where has that scrolling function come from?! How do you remove it?

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 This is what it looks like right now with display fusion disabled 1993336785_Screenshot2021-06-06103907.png.8fda6ae0d6c8f448204681e6db482a7a.png

and then it goes to this:692724510_Screenshot2021-06-06104043.png.129e2d692a180912f9407ba2a5510282.png

Then: 1434252631_Screenshot2021-06-06104102.png.7f09116cb4f5996fa3b87adcc9384c87.png

But if I click the up arrow to show more icons, it reverts to the first pic.

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Ok, that looks like a step in the right direction!

 

I would uninstall Display Fusion and see if that resolves the issue. Even though you've shown us what it looks like with DF disabled, it's possibly still messing with the settings for the system tray. If you uninstall Display Fusion and the system tray works normally again, you can reinstall and see if there is a particular setting that needs changing.

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1 hour ago, Nick H. said:

Ok, that looks like a step in the right direction!

 

I would uninstall Display Fusion and see if that resolves the issue. Even though you've shown us what it looks like with DF disabled, it's possibly still messing with the settings for the system tray. If you uninstall Display Fusion and the system tray works normally again, you can reinstall and see if there is a particular setting that needs changing.

Uninstalled DF, problem still exists, and I used IO Bit Uninstaller to uninstall, so it would remove all traces of it.

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46 minutes ago, Nick H. said:

Do you have KB5003214 installed? Apparently it is causing some issues.

Yes it is installed, should I remove it? Per the linked article: In other words, folks who are using the latest cumulative preview update with the “News and Interests” feature enabled on the normal desktop are having issues with the system tray which are meant to display background apps and pinned apps.

I do not have News and Interests enabled.

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9 minutes ago, jnelsoninjax said:

Yes it is installed, should I remove it? Per the linked article: In other words, folks who are using the latest cumulative preview update with the “News and Interests” feature enabled on the normal desktop are having issues with the system tray which are meant to display background apps and pinned apps.

Quote

One of the affected users told us that their taskbar is messed up with icons within the system tray going blank and overlapping, especially when News and Interests feature is enabled.

I would say that there is no harm in removing the update and seeing if that changes anything. ;)

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9 minutes ago, Nick H. said:

I would say that there is no harm in removing the update and seeing if that changes anything. ;)

I just uninstalled it, restarted the system, reinstalled Display Fusion and suddenly the notification area is back, so it must have been KB5003214 causing the issue.

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On 06/06/2021 at 13:33, jnelsoninjax said:

I just uninstalled it, restarted the system, reinstalled Display Fusion and suddenly the notification area is back, so it must have been KB5003214 causing the issue.

OK now today I finally got around to restarting my PC after patch Tuesday, and upon reboot, the notification tray is gone again :argh: I am going to uninstall KB5003254 as it was the only thing that was installed.

That did not fix it either... it's odd because when windows is starting, the notification area icons are all there, but when the OS is done loading it disappears.

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Just signed up to say I have/had this exact same problem. Here are some details about the issue:

 

- I launch the OS in safe mode and have no issues.

- Reverting my screen resolution to 100% also gets rid of the issue... but that is not viable on a 4k monitor as everything is too small without any zoom. I need it on 200%

- Putting the taskbar to the left/right fixes the issue, but what kind of psychopath has their taskbar on the left or right???

- The issue started after that Windows update which put some stupid weather icon on the taskbar and allows me to see 'news' and other BS by clicking on it... if I want to see what the weather is right now I will look out the Window... another pointless MS bloatware update for the purpose of pushing ads and their news feeds.

 

Now here is what the fix to your issue probably is. +jnelsoninjax do you use StarDock fences? I do and I just uninstalled it and the problem has disappeared... it hasn't returned again yet either!

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Yep I can confirm this is caused by StarDock Fences after the Windows10 Pro 21H1 Update. Seems to happen with other StartDock apps too. A work around is to enable that stupid news and interests icon on the taskbar again or to uninstall the update. Personally I have uninstalled the update. A full thread about this is on the StarDock support forums and will probably require a patch from MS or StarDock to resolve: https://forums.stardock.com/505139/after-windows10-pro-21h1-update-fences-causes-intermittent-disappearance-of

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18 hours ago, Ximbor said:

Just signed up to say I have/had this exact same problem. Here are some details about the issue:

 

- I launch the OS in safe mode and have no issues.

- Reverting my screen resolution to 100% also gets rid of the issue... but that is not viable on a 4k monitor as everything is too small without any zoom. I need it on 200%

- Putting the taskbar to the left/right fixes the issue, but what kind of psychopath has their taskbar on the left or right???

- The issue started after that Windows update which put some stupid weather icon on the taskbar and allows me to see 'news' and other BS by clicking on it... if I want to see what the weather is right now I will look out the Window... another pointless MS bloatware update for the purpose of pushing ads and their news feeds.

 

Now here is what the fix to your issue probably is. +jnelsoninjax do you use StarDock fences? I do and I just uninstalled it and the problem has disappeared... it hasn't returned again yet either!

I do indeed use Fences.

8 hours ago, Ximbor said:

Yep I can confirm this is caused by StarDock Fences after the Windows10 Pro 21H1 Update. Seems to happen with other StartDock apps too. A work around is to enable that stupid news and interests icon on the taskbar again or to uninstall the update. Personally I have uninstalled the update. A full thread about this is on the StarDock support forums and will probably require a patch from MS or StarDock to resolve: https://forums.stardock.com/505139/after-windows10-pro-21h1-update-fences-causes-intermittent-disappearance-of

Following the steps outlined from Stardock (enabling news and interests) suddenly the icons are back.

ETA: I only needed to enable the news and interests toolbar with the option "Show Icon Only" despite the Stardoc forums indicating that I needed to enable icon and text.

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  • 3 months later...

I had this same problem , after looking into it if found out they were on the second monitor and somehow switched.

Reboot did not fix this, however turning the main monitor on and off did. No clue why but i thought replying here might be helpfull to others.

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