Volume Icon Missing on Windows 8 or 8.1, How to Get it Back?

It would be a strange moment when volume icon missing on Windows 8 or 8.1 computer and can not be found in the usual place. For some reasons sound icon on the notification area may not appear. This could be possibly by system registry/files corruption or sound driver issues by Windows updates. This guide shows two possible methods to fix volume icon missing issue on Windows 8 or 8.1 and get it back in usual notification area.

There are several methods available to fix the issue and its recommended to try the basic method then move to advanced step. Recently I have faced this issue after upgrading my Windows 8.1 to 8.1 update 1 and one of the following method helped to solve it.

Methods to Show Missing Volume Icon on Windows 8 or 8.1

Method 1: There is no option available in control panel volume settings to show volume icon like earlier operating system. In Windows 8 and 8.1 you can enable volume icon by modifying ‘Turn system icons on or off’ option.

Right click on or near time clock in notification area and select Properties.

properties Make sure Volume icon is set ‘On’ as shown below, if it were off, make it on to show volume icon.enable system icons

If the above step hasn’t help, ‘Restore default icon behaviors’ which may bring back the missing icon.

restore icons

This is the normal procedure to get back the volume icon. In case the Volume icon option ( on/off) grayed out and you can’t change it, then follow the method 2.

Read Also: How to get back missing language bar in Windows 8  or 8.1

Method 2:  If volume icon is missing and you can’t enable it from ‘Turn system icons on or off’  area, then that could be an issue with explorer process. The following two methods can solve the issue.

a) Kill the explorer.exe from Processes or Details tab under task manager. Find out all explorer.exe and kill them, make sure no explorer.exe is running in the task manager.  After that, on the file menu select new process or Run (or new tasks), type ‘explorer’ and press OK. It will start the new explorer process. That should bring back the volume icon, if it hasn’t, redo the method 1

explorer in windows 8

This method has brought back missing volume icon on my Windows 8.1 computer.

b) Registry modification- Its recommended to take a backup before modifying registry.

Open registry editor in Windows and find out;

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\TrayNotify

More details about modifying above registry value is available here at Microsoft site, please visit.

After modifying registry keys, you need to kill and restart the explorer.exe process to take effect.

I hope one of the above method would have helped you in getting back missing volume icon on Windows 8 or 8.1 desktop/laptop.


  1. jcarerra says

    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)
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00




    The first one deletes two keys that Windows will restore on

    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.

  2. Dan says

    I have now bookmarked this page as this is the second time I have had to go through Method 2. Great fix. Thanks for the info.

  3. Stephen Roy says

    I usually use Chrome but used for Explorer for something specific. When I went back to Chrome, the icon was missing. I just restarted my laptop and the icon reappeared.

  4. Tim says

    Thanks a million! I was thinking about doing a system restore, but that was a last resort…. Method 2, Killing explorer in task manager; details worked.

  5. Keiba Fan says

    Bringing up Task Manager in Windows 8.1, and then highlighting Explorer allowed me to hit the bottom “Restart Explorer” button. Voila! The volume icon reappeared in the taskbar. No other method mentioned worked until I did this.

  6. Todd says

    I did as instructed, but my sound/volume icon will not respond to the “on” click. It remains off and I clicked the “restore default icon behaviors” and still nothing. I also rebooted the computer and still no response. Any other suggestions?

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