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Vanishing system tray icons

An icon has dissapeared from my system tray. What has happened to it and how do I get it back?

(Windows XP only)

by Tom Cumming


Windows XP has a feature that monitors the amount that each of the system tray icons is used. When it notices that a certain icon has not been used for a while, it hides it, to save space on the taskbar. So if an icon seems to have dissapeared, it has most probably been hidden.

To view the icons that have been hidden, click on the double arrow on the far left of all the icons.

If you wish to stop this from happening for this icon, goto:

Control Panel
Taskbar and Start Menu

Then for each of the icons you can select to have it always hidden, always shown, or to let Windows decide for itself as normally happens. To change an item, simply find the icon you wish to change, click on it, and then the current setting will be shown in a drop-down list box to the right, which you can change. When you have got them all set as you wish, then click OK and OK again.

If you wish to get rid of this feature for *all* icons, and have them all visible all the time (as happened in previous versions of Windows), goto:

Control Panel
Taskbar and Start Menu

Then untick the box that says "hide inactive icons", and click OK.


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