The Taskbar is a staple element of every Windows’ user interface and it is where you’ll find the shortcuts to your favorite applications and other customization icons, such as the volume control.
The volume icon is usually located at the right end of the Taskbar, along with Wi-Fi, date and time, battery, notification, language, Bluetooth, and people icons. Anytime you want to adjust the volume of your system sounds or you want to edit your computer’s sound settings, just click on the volume icon to make the changes that you need.
Though the Windows operating system has evolved over the years, the volume icon has remained in the same spot in the Taskbar. If you can’t see the volume control icon on Taskbar, then there’s something going on with your computer.
There are several scenarios that could make the volume control icon disappear from the Taskbar, such as:
- The system tray was not loaded during startup
- The Taskbar was set to auto-hide
- A corrupted or incomplete Windows update
- Missing drivers or changed hardware
- Changes in the settings
Even though the volume control icon has disappeared from the Taskbar, it doesn’t mean that the functionality is gone. You can still access the sound preferences via the Settings app. It’s just that the shortcut is gone and you need to navigate through the maze that is Windows to adjust your computer’s volume settings.
Instead of just clicking the volume icon from the Taskbar, you now need to navigate to Settings > System > Sound. So, if you need to turn the volume up, you have to do three more clicks instead of just one. It’s not really a critical issue, but just imagine how much hassle it would bring every time you need to adjust your volume.
What do you do if the volume control icon is not in Taskbar? We’ve listed down some workarounds you can try below to bring the volume icon back where it should be.
How to Fix Volume Icon Not on Taskbar
A missing volume icon can be frustrating, because it is a hassle to click through Settings for something as simple as adjusting the volume. If you can’t see the volume icon on the Taskbar, here are some things you can do to bring it back.
Fix #1: Do Some Housekeeping.
A house full of junk is a haven for bacteria and viruses that could get the people living in there sick. The same is true for your computer. The junk files on your computer can cause a wide range of troubles, such as missing apps, shortcuts, and icons. Get rid of all unnecessary files and give your system some breathing room by using an app such as Outbyte PC Repair. Sometimes, your computer just needs a little cleanup to resolve minor problems, such as missing volume control icon.
You might also need to run your antivirus program to remove possible virus or malware on your computer. Once done, restart your computer and check if the volume icon has returned.
Fix #2: Enable System Tray.
The System Tray is what you call the group of features located at the right side of the Taskbar or the Notification Area. This is where you usually find the volume icon. But sometimes the System Tray fails to load during startup, causing the Taskbar to malfunction and some icons to go missing or be grayed out.
To fix this, you need to re-enable System Tray or SysTray.exe and make sure it loads during startup. To do this:
- Click the Start menu, then open the Run dialog.
- Type in msconfig in the dialog box, then hit OK.
- Click on the Startup tab and tick off System Tray (SysTray.exe). Doing this will ensure that the process will load every time the system boots up.
- Click OK then restart the computer when prompted.
This should fix the missing volume icon button and other errors with the Notification Area.
Fix #3: Restart File Explorer.
Sometimes the Taskbar gets affected by a misbehaving File Explorer, causing various issues such as missing icons. Restarting File Explorer can easily resolve this problem.
Here’s how to restart File Explorer:
- Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete and choose Task Manager.
- Click on the Details tab.
- Look for explorer.exe and right-click on it.
- Select End Task. This should kill the File Explorer process.
- In the menu bar, click File > Run a new task.
- Type in explorer.exe in the task field, then hit OK. This should restart the File Explorer process.
- Click View from the top menu, and then choose Refresh now.
The volume icon should reappear after refreshing File Explorer. If not, proceed to the other fixes below.
Fix #4: Allow the Volume Icon to Show in the Taskbar.
One of the reasons why the volume icon may disappear from the Taskbar is because some of the Taskbar settings may have been changed. To check if the volume icon is included in the list of icons allowed in the Taskbar:
- Right-click on the Notification Area, then click Taskbar Settings.
- Click the Select which icons appear on the taskbar link.
- Make sure Volume is set to on.
- Close the window and restart your computer.
Fix #5: Uninstall and Then Reinstall Your Sound Card Drivers.
When your volume icon goes missing, it could be because of an outdated or corrupted driver. Instead of simply updating your sound card driver, it is more practical to uninstall it and then reinstall the latest version of the driver.
Follow these steps to uninstall your sound card driver:
- Bring up the Power menu by pressing Windows + X.
- Click on Device Manager.
- Expand Sound, Video and game controllers.
- Look for the Sound card and right-click on it, then choose Uninstall.
- Restart your computer.
Windows automatically detects if there are missing drivers during startup and attempts to download them. You can also download the updated driver from the manufacturer’s website and install it manually on your computer. Restart again after installing the driver for the changes to take effect.
The volume icon on the Taskbar makes it easy for users to adjust the sound settings of their computer. But when the volume control icon is not on Taskbar, users have to work their way around the Settings app just to make some changes to the volume settings. This extra work is very inefficient and can be exasperating. If your volume control icon has disappeared from the Taskbar, follow our troubleshooting guide above to save yourself from the headache.