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Windows 7: Permissions issue? No desktop icons or system tray icons.

09 Apr 2011   #1

Windows 7 x64 Home Premium
Permissions issue? No desktop icons or system tray icons.

Im a first time poster and I hope I have selected the correct category in this forum.

I have Windows 7 Home Premium, pre-installed on a new laptop ive purchased in the last month. I had it set to automatically download and apply all updates.

Within the last couple of weeks, at some point suddenly my desktop icons stopped appearing and I noticed there are no system tray icons, ie volume, network, Power.

Ive searched these forums and found instructions on how to access the "Turn System Icons On Or Off" and the only option I can change is for 'Clock'. The remaining options Volume, Network, Power, Action Center are all greyed out.

I cant understand why I dont have 'permission' to do this and I wonder if it is connected to me not seeing anything on my desktop in so far as icons.

Also, I noticed I cannot 'right-click' my desktop space, which normally would have allowed me to access display options.

In searching these forums I found some references to Administrator permissions, but my User management area says I am an administrator.

Does anyone have any feedback for something I can check/fix?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2011   #2
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit SP1

Have you scanned for viruses and/or malware? What Anti-virus program are you running?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2011   #3
Borg 386

Win 7 32 Home Premium, Win 7 64 Pro, Win 8.1, Win 10

Here is a link that may help:

System icons do not appear in the notification area in Windows Vista or in Windows 7 until you restart the computer

There is a "fix it for me" on this page, but be sure to read the article before you apply the fix.

When you start a computer that is running Windows Vista or Windows 7 for the first time, one or more of the following icons do not appear in the notification area in the lower-right corner of the screen.
  • The Network icon
  • The Volume icon
  • The Power icon
You may also notice that the check boxes for the related system icons are not selected on the Notification Area tab of the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog box. However, the network, volume, and power features function correctly even though their associated icons do not appear in the notification area. You can access these features by using Control Panel.

If you gave your computer enough time to finish the startup service initializations before you restarted it, and one or more of the system icons still do not appear in the notification area after the restart, you can make them reappear by deleting two subkeys from the registry.

To have us do this for you, go to the “Fix it for me” section. If you’d rather do this yourself, go to the “Let me fix it myself” section.
Also as Jacee suggested, it never hurts to do a virus scan
My System SpecsSystem Spec

09 Apr 2011   #4

Windows 7 x64 Home Premium

Thanks for the quick replies. Im running AVG Free Edition. Decided to do a deep whole computer scan, and we will see what that results in. Is there a preferred virus/malware tool of choice or is AVG sufficient?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Apr 2011   #5

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Hello Steve, and welcome to Seven Forums.

In addition, you might see if these may be able to help enabed them.Hope this helps,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2011   #6

Windows 7 x64 Home Premium


Wanted to report all is working for me now. This is what I did.

Imported the reg files for 'enabling' icons from here:

System Icons - Enable or Disable

Imported the reg file for enabling windows explorer:

Windows Explorer Context Menu - Enable or Disable

Imported the reg file for enabling changing of icons.

Manually changed themes under Control Panel -> Appearance and Personalization -> Personalization.

Im not sure if the themes changed reset some settings or if it was the reg files but all is working now.

Thanks again

My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2011   #7

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

That's great news Steve. Thank you for posting back with your results. :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Feb 2014   #8

Windows 7 64 8gb

To go start and type MSCONFIG

Make sure the little box is ticked that says 'Load Startup Items'

Select 'Normal Startup' tab

Ensure all are ticked, unless you see something that is irrelevant to the issue (i.e printer drivers, adobe etc)

Restart computer
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Permissions issue? No desktop icons or system tray icons.

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