Put the Volume Mixer icon back on your taskbar

Many of our readers asked us to help them put their Volume Mixer icon back to the notification area of their taskbar. Since this has been quite a common problem, we decided to publish this tutorial to help others having this issue.

First, right click on the taskbar and select Properties from the right click menu.

If you are using Windows 10, right click on the taskbar and select Settings. Scroll down and click on the link which says: Select which icons appear on the taskbar.

Taskbar Properties

Alternatively, you can go to the Control Panel and type the word ‘taskbar’ in the search box from the upper-right side. Once the search results are loaded, click on the link that says ‘Customize icons on the taskbar’.

Taskbar Properties

The Taskbar and Start Menu Properties window will show up on your screen. Here, go to the tab called Notification Area. In the System icons section check the Volume box and click on OK.

Taskbar Properties

The Volume Mixer icon will now show up in the notification area of your taskbar.

Related articles:
Volume Mixer
Disable the Windows Vista Startup Sound
How to configure the Taskbar and the Start Menu

105 thoughts on “Put the Volume Mixer icon back on your taskbar”

  1. Volume

    Many thanks for this – one day, my volume icon just disappeared! Very easy to get it back with this tutorial.
    Why does Vista do this though? 🙁

    • Help!!!
      Hi my volume icon dissapeared from the bottom of my screen, i’ve followed the instructions and when you are suppose to click the volume box it doesn’t give me the option to do this can anyone help?

      • no option or checkbox for volume AND network
        I’ve been doing this for a while and just today, i saw my system icons were gone except for the battery. when I opened Properties like I always do, the option/checkboxes for Volume and Network were in gray (inactive). I couldn’t check or click either. So what happened??

        Gawd, Vista is sooooo annoying.

        • Volume Icon caper
          Try rebooting your computer, I had the same problem, but when I rebooted it seemed to think everything was awesome.
          Vista has so many issues, howbeit it is fairly simple to work around it.

        • speakers/volumn
          At the bottom of my computer screen I have an inverted arrow that I could click on and could make the volume louder or even off, but the speaker “icon” has disappeared. How do I get it back?

      • Retreive Your Notification
        Retreive Your Notification Icons!

        Control Panel–> Hardware and Sound–> Change System Sounds–> Sound Scheme ( Dropdown Menu )–> Windows Default Scheme–> Apply–> OK–> Shut Down–> Right Click on Taskbar–> Properties–> Notification Area–> CHECK AWAY!!!!!

        The instructions are also illustrated above minus the shut down portion. Had to shut down, even after resetting the default sound sheme it wouldn’t let me check it. Icons went away after an update on 1-12.

        You should now be able to check 3 boxes or 4boxes if you’re on a laptop.

        Thanks who ever posted below??? it was pissing me off along with everyone else! lol

        Mon, 06/09/2008 – 16:23 — Anonymous (not verified)

        I had the same problem. But you can find the volume mixer if you create another user on your window and log on as that.
        Anyway I manage to put back the volume mixer again WITHOUT HAVING TO CREAT ANOTHER USER.. I went to the sounds, selected the default scheme and then again I went to the taSk bar and then clicking on properties, Iwas able to click on the volume check box and get the volume mixer back on my notification area.

      • volume taskbar
        I looked on several different websites and tried doing all the tasks they asked me to do, but nothing worked. So here’s how I found a solution. Click Start. Click on Control Panel. I selected the classic view. Click on Taskbar and Start Menu. Then select Notification Area at the top. There should be a list called System Icons, and below are four options: Clock, Volume, Network, and Power. Click the box for Volume so there is a check mark; then click Apply and then OK. Problem Solved.

        –> But here’s where I had a problem. The box for volume was shaded gray and I was unable to check the box. All you need to do is restart your computer, re-do the steps above, and the Icon will show up back on your Taskbar.

        Hope this helps!

        • Volume icon missing from taskbar
          Thank you very much. The only solution that worked for me was the one via the Control Panel. I could not do it by right clicking the taskbar as the volume selection was grey. But from the control panel it worked fine. Now I can adjust my volume again. xxx

      • sound icon gone and cannot reactivate using the instructions

        Hi my volume icon dissapeared from the bottom of my screen, i’ve followed the instructions and when you are suppose to click the volume box it doesn’t give me the option to do this can anyone help?
        Did you find a solution for this because I”m having the exact same problem.

  2. I followed these
    I followed these instructions, but at the Systems Icons section of the Notification Tab, my Volume and Network boxes are grayed out and are unable to be checked off.

    Please help.

    Also, how would I create a shortcut to the Volume Mixer application? What is its application name? I tried looking for volumemixer.exe, but found nothing.

  3. Volume Icon
    I followed the instructions to put the volume icon back in the notification area. When I get to the systems tray, I cannot click on Volume Icon. Help!

    • HELP
      im having the same problem…when i go there to click the volume mixer button…it does not let me!!! what crappy vista! i prefer windows….at least it was easier to use! arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

      if anyone finds out how to solve this problem…please email me on [email protected]

      thank you so much!

    guys im also having the same problem but i might try the one that says log on as a different user as it seems possible.

    If anyone finds a way to get the icons back in vista taskbar can u please email me at :[email protected]

    thank u

  5. Missing Mixer
    My volume box was uncheckable the first few times I tried to fix this problem. But after searching “volume mixer” in the Windows Help and Support through the start menu, I was able to open up the volume mixer. Then the next time I clicked on the taskbar properties I was able to click the volume box. Maybe this will help out — I’m not expert, but the mixer may have to be a recently used program to make that volume box clickable…. or something like that. 🙂

  6. Icon Missing/ Rogue Volume mixer
    I followed these directions but I could not check on the volume box. So I tried searching for volume mixer and opening it. The next time I tried checking the sound box, it was still uncheckable.

  7. Volume Icon on Taskbar
    Under my “Taskbar and Start Menu Properties” Notification Area Heading the “Volume” icon is not highlighted for selection. Was this option somehow turned off? If so, please advise as to where I can turn it back on.

  8. Thank you
    I have been doing so many searches trying to figure out this very easy step to get my volume control back. I lost the little speaker when I downloaded some updates and did a restart. When I started the computer back up the icon was just gone. Thanks for helping me. I adjust the volume all the time on my laptop and it was annoying going about it the long way.

  9. Here is the easy fix:
    Don’t edit your registry, don’t reboot, don’t….

    This is apparently an explorer.exe problem (see this thread at the bottom of this page: http://helpdeskgeek.com/windows-xp-tips/sound-or-volume-tray-icon-missing-in-windows-vista/)

    1. Start Task Manager (ctrl-alt-del and select Start Task Manager or right-click on empty space on Task Bar and select Task Mgr).
    2. Click on Processes.
    3. Click on Image Name (this will sort the processes by name–makes it easier for next step.)
    4. Click on “explorer.exe”.
    5. Click on the End Process button.
    6. Still in Task Mgr, click on Applications tab.
    7. Click on the New Task… button.
    8. Type in “explorer.exe” and hit enter.

    [Note: Steps 6 & 7 is the same as clicking on File on the Task Mgr menu, then selecting New Task (Run…). Same number of mouse clicks.]

    Your icons will reappear.


  10. Put volume icon back on task bar
    Your suggestion of running the RegCure program on the same web page worked just fine. Thanks for ending frustration!!!

  11. my taskbar
    hey dude .. i saw the tutorial it was great but theres one small problem … when i see the volume thing and i click on it nothing happens no check or anything ….. idk what happened please help ?

  12. Maybe a fix
    After I restarted my computer (I’m not sure if you have to though) I right clicked on the taskbar to bring the menu up. Instead of clicking “properites” uncheck “lock the task bar” after that follow the instructions for the tutorial above and then relcok your taskbar. I hope it works for you.

  13. Help me get back my volume icon
    I also cannot seem to get my volume icon back up. It’s greyed out under the properties tab. I’m installing a game that wont stop playing the intro music and I want to shut it off. GRRR
    Help please

  14. Shortcut / Link
    How about Microsoft be consistent and also put a shortcut/link to the volume mixer in the start menu ? I think it was in accessories/multimedia, even just accessories would be nice.

  15. Get your Volume ICON back on the TaskBar right way permanently!
    To get the volume icon back and really FIX it you must have igfxtray.exe running as a task.
    Make sure it is in your startup so it will load each time you have to restart your computer/PC/ Laptop.

    I have windows XP and this is how I fixed the problem on mine. I don’t know what I did at some
    point to remove igfxtray.exe from my startup tasks.

    But to fix it permanently without having to re-click the “show on taskbar” under volume over and over and over again this task igfxtray.exe has to be in your startup. S Adrian

    I had this problem forever and all I could find was the “go to volume” and re-click the show volume on taskbar solution… which only fixes it until you have to turn your PC off. I finally figured out the right way
    to fix it after my PC got the AWFUL “AVP” Virus (Adv Virus Protection) (some scam that loads a virus claiming to fix viruses) anyway… I had to reload some features from my recover disk (which I dug up after 5 years, thank goodness it was still around) when I had recovered my Laptop and could get back to using it… I noticed the Taskbar with Volume Icon was working again!!!! all the time!!!

    I then noted the igfxtray.exe task running which at some previous point I had permanently removed from
    executing at startup thus creating my volume not appearing in taskbar problem in the first place.

    Geez, Now it seems so obvious.
    S Adrian

  16. Click Start Collapse this
    Click Start Collapse this imageExpand this image, type regedit in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.

    Collapse this imageExpand this imageIf you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, type the password, or click Allow.
    Locate and then click the following registry subkey:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareClassesLocal SettingsSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionTrayNotify
    In the Details pane, click the IconStreams registry entry.
    On the Edit menu, click Delete, and then click Yes.
    In the Details pane, click the PastIconsStream registry entry.
    On the Edit menu, click Delete, and then click Yes.
    Exit Registry Editor.
    Restart the Explorer.exe process. To do these, follow these steps:
    On the Processes tab in Task Manager, click the explorer.exe process, and then click End Process two times.
    On the File menu, click New Tasks (Run), type explorer, and then click OK.
    Exit Task Manager.

  17. i got my volume icon back!!!
    right click your taskbar(where your volume icon usualy seen).
    then uncheck the “lock the taskbar”.
    right click the taskbar again then go to properties
    go to notification area tab..you’ll see that the volume and network option is checkable…
    hope it’ll help you…!

  18. My solution to this issue..
    My solution to this issue.. always works for me.

    Right click on your taskbar and select Task Manager.
    Click on the Processes tab.
    Find in the list explorer.exe (this may also be iexplorer.exe) and end the process.
    Next, click on the Applications tab. Click on New Task.
    Type in explorer.exe and press OK.

    Hope this helps someone. 🙂

  19. volume mixer not accessible after reboot.

    Once i start my laptop volume mixer appears and is accessible. After a minute, icon appears but is not accessible. Cant open with levels and all that.

    Kindly advice, Thanks

  20. Woo, got my volume checkbox back!
    “Control Panel–> Hardware and Sound–> Change System Sounds–> Sound Scheme ( Dropdown Menu )–> Windows Default Scheme–> Apply–> OK–> Shut Down–> Right Click on Taskbar–> Properties–> Notification Area–> CHECK AWAY!!!!!”

    Thanks for posting this solution! The original solution didn’t work for me because the Volume box in my Notification Area was grayed out and I couldn’t check it.

    One thing that was slightly different for me was that I couldn’t select “Apply” because I already had Windows Default sound scheme already chosen. I had to make another change (I decided on “No windows start-up sound”) in order to get “Apply” as an option. Volume was still grayed out after that, but as soon as I restarted, all was back to normal. I didn’t even need to go back into the Notification Area to check Volume off. So thanks again for the easy solution. Other sites were talking about editing the registry and I *know* I don’t know enough to be messing around with that. 🙂

  21. So my volume, network and
    So my volume, network and power disappeared from the task bar and when I utilize this method of trying to change I can not. Those three are there in a very light color and when I click my mouse in the box nothing happens…any other suggestions?

  22. For Vista, try to end the
    For Vista, try to end the explorer process and restart explorer.exe in the Task Manager.
    Go to task manager and then to Processes. Find explorer.exe. Click and end process. Then click on the Applications tab and at the lower right area, click on New Task. Type in explorer.exe. That should completly reset the notification area and your icons should all come back.

  23. missing icons
    I have the same problem but find that when I find that the boxes in (control panel – taskbar and start menu – notification area) are grey, it helps to restart and when you go back, they are active and can be ticked….but it is SOOOOO annoying when it happens!!!!

  24. I had the same problem with
    I had the same problem with my computer with the volume icon missing on the toolbar, try to get it back on there but the volume option was grayed out too..very frustrating. Don’t know too much about computers but ran scan on my computer and went back to see if I can get the icon back on the toolbar and this time I was able to. So maybe that might work?

  25. maybe fixing it
    I couldn’t get it to show for my life, I tried hiting the volume but it appeared gone, like when I tried to check it, I couldn’t. So I accidently hit the MUTE button and although the Audio Icon is still gone I got sound again!!!

  26. SOLUTION if this does not work
    Do CTRL + ALT + Delete and click Task Manager. Then end explorer.exe process. The taskbar should dissapear. Then go to File -> New Task and type in explorer.exe. The taskbar should come back up with the volume control there. Hope this helps! Cheers.

  27. volume icon
    Going to the task bar and selecting properties allows you to put the checkmark on the volume box….it does not let one do that from the control panel….or that’s been my experience THANKS! the icon appeared immediately!

  28. my stupidity
    i accidently deleted the sound program that came with my XP computer and i can’t find the same program on the internet which means i hav a fully functional computer and speakers but no sound.
    any help would be very much aprreciated as i need the sound for school.
    thank you

  29. Vista
    I see that steps but when i went to properties the icons were green.i searched with regedit.exe but nothing no hideclock ,sound or network.I cant find it pls help vista is so annoying

  30. I lost something from my toolbar.
    I accidently lost something from my toolbar, I meant to exit something but I removed it, I don’t know where it’s gone or how to get it back, can someone please help? thanks.

    All of a sudden, the sound/volume icon on my Taskbar at the bottom, will not open. The last time it was, I had turned the volume up…now I can’t even open it up. I have tried everything which has been noted and still, will not open up. I have Windows 8.1 and using an HP laptop.

  32. Volume mixer
    Could you update this information for Windows 10? Every time this does an update, it removes the mixer from the icon and I can’t get to it. Have to go through all the search processes to find it. W 10 only shows speaker, system sounds and your Internet, like explorer. It used to show more and used to allow me to make changes. This time I’m really stumped. I can’t seem to put the mixer control back on the bar, although the sound “speaker” icon is showing on the taskbar. Help??? I’m sure many people are having the same problem. (also it only shows Navigation instead of Notification too).

  33. No “Notification Area” tab.
    I do not have a notification area tab, therefore I cannot resolve this problem, although it may have to do with Windows 10.

  34. sound icon
    I have found if I restart my computer if not the fist time the sound icon is back. That is as long as you didn,t do anything. I hate it because it happens to often and Microsoft should fix it.

  35. Volume Icon
    Because I have Windows 10 I found nothing to help me so I just did my own detective work. This is what I had to do for Windows 10.

    I right clicked on the taskbar, then I clicked on ‘Settings’ which is at the very bottom of the list. In the small window that popped up I clicked on ‘taskbar’, then I scrolled down to where it says, ‘Notification Area’, underneath it says, ‘select which icons appear on the taskbar’. Scroll down until you see where it says ‘Volume Icon’ and switch it on. Voila! Now it is showing on my taskbar!

    All the instructions for Windows 10 tells you to click on ‘Properties. In my Windows 10 taskbar there is no ‘Properties’. That’s what confused me.
    ‘I’m glad I did my own detective work.

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