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.

Dinesh is the founder of Sysprobs and written more than 400 articles. Enthusiast in Microsoft and cloud technologies with more than 15 years of IT experience.

107 thoughts on “Volume Icon Missing on Windows 8 or 8.1, How to Get it Back?”

  1. I’m running 8.1 and the 2nd part worked for me also. THANK YOU so much! As soon as I clicked it reappeared! I did notice something different, instead of end process it said restart. That must be part of a recent update so I need to go research that! But I am really thankful, I had tried all of the other fixes in the past and none of them helped, including downloading drivers because mine are up to date. I’m saving this page for future disappearing acts!

    • It says “Restart” while under the “Processes” tab. It says “End Task” under the “Details” tab.

      I’m glad to know that this method works too though.

  2. Method 2 worked! My client’s PC has Beats audio installed and it likes to take over the volume and he doesn’t like it. He’s used to the icon being in the tray. So glad to know how to get it back!!

    Thank you!

  3. #2 worked for me. I restarted my machine this morning because IE was hung. When it restarted the message reconfiguring 30%complete, came up so I knew an automatic update had occurred since last reboot. After restart icon was not in tray and it would not allow me to turn it on via control panel->notification area icon-> system icons. so I restarted explorer.exe and volume showed up. thanks

  4. Killing explorer.exe in task manager cured my volume icon in windows 8.1, thanks I would not have thought of that method.

  5. Thank you the second method worked as i was went to the properties it was the only one shaded so i couldnt but killing the explorer and restarting it worked thanks a bunch

  6. Thanks a million! Method # 1 worked perfectly for me. I also got good results by getting the CONTROL PANEL and working your ideas out from that…i.e. find “Sound” and proceed from there. You are a wonderful person.

  7. mthod 2 worked for me, i just stopped the explorer.exe and ran it as a new task and boom! thanks, this article is of great help!

  8. Method 2 worked for me. For some reason I did not see the File menu but I was able to open a window and used file to open a command prompt. I changed the prompt directory to C:\ then C:\Windows and entered explorer.exe at the prompt and when my taskbar returned, there was the sound icon. Thank you so much for this fix.

  9. I did the second method (task manager thing) and it worked perfectly! Thank you so much, I had tried fixing it myself and it was really frustrating, but I’m so glad that these were really clear instructions to follow! Thanks!

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