Today when I started my computer I noticed something that I never experienced before. Everything looked normal, except for the System Tray area in the Windows Taskbar. The System Tray was missing, and I first thought that I had hit a switch or something to hide it from the taskbar. All I saw in the System Tray area was the clock, and nothing else. Since I did not make any changes to the operating system, or ran a tweaking software for that matter, I was not really sure what caused it.
Regardless of that, I knew that it had to be a switch or policy that was causing this. After some digging around in the Windows Registry, I found the key that was responsible for the missing System Tray.
NoTrayItemsDisplay was the only REG_Binary value in the Explorer key in the Registry, which made it look terribly out of place. The fix on the other hand was really easy. I simply deleted the key parameter entirely from the Registry, and restarted the explorer.exe process afterwards to see if it resolved the issue. Please note that you can alternatively log off and on again, or restart your computer to see if this recovered the System Tray.
Here are the steps outlined again:
This resolved the missing System Tray issue on a 64-bit test system of Windows 7. It should work for other versions and editions of Windows as well.
Please note that you may also find the item under HKEY_Local_Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.