After using Windows 10 for a while, and installing/uninstalling programs, you may end up with many unwanted icons showing up in Settings -> Taskbar. There is no way to remove these icons from the list; certain icons remain there even if you have already removed their app. Another issue which users commonly report with the notification area (system tray) is that System icons like Network, Sound, Power get turned off and the 'Behaviors' dropdown which allows turning them on is greyed out. Let us see how to fix these two problems - both issues have one solution.
In Windows 10, tray icon management has moved to Settings -> Taskbar. This is the case since at least build 14271, which is part of Windows 10 "Anniversary Update" (Redstone 1) branch. The notification area icons page looks as follows:
If it gives you some unexpected behavior or you need to clean up the list of icons, do the following.
- Press Win + R keys together on the keyboard to open the Run dialog and type the following into the Run box:
This will open the Registry Editor app for you.
- Now, press and hold Ctrl+Shift and then right click the taskbar. You will see a new item Exit Explorer. Click it.For more details about the command Exit Explorer, refer to the following article: How to properly restart the Explorer shell in Windows.
- Now, return to Registry Editor.
Go to the following Registry key:
- In the right pane, delete the IconStreams Registry value.
- Now delete the PastIconsStream Registry value.
- Close Registry Editor.
- Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open Task Manager.Use File -> Run new task menu item in Task Manager. Type Explorer in the "Create New Task" dialog and press Enter to restore Desktop.
This will fix your tray icons issues. The Registry values mentioned above represent the notification area icon cache which stores the tray icons for all apps. If this cache is corrupted, it may also prevent system icons from appearing in the tray.
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