How to resolve icons missing from taskbar issue on Windows 10?

September 24, 2018 |

greater than 2 minutes

If you want to fix the missing taskbar icons issue on Windows 10, you should follow the instructions given below. Depending on the severity of the issue, you will spend up to 30 minutes on the task. Hopefully though, this problem will be resolved quickly. Here are some of the options that you have:

  • You can ‘unhide’ the taskbar on your desktop if it became hidden at some point.
  • You can repopulate the taskbar if Windows image was corrupted.
  • You can try restarting your Windows Explorer in Task Manager, kick-starting the default taskbar to appear again.
  • You can update your drivers. Sometimes unupdated drivers are the cause of such annoying malfunctions.

So, how to restore taskbar icons on Windows 10? Pick the fix that is appropriate for your device, and follow the instructions.

Solution 1. Unhide the taskbar

The taskbar could be hidden from the desktop, and that is the reason why you don’t see it. Try these steps to unhide the taskbar:

  • Step 1. Use the shortcut Win key + R to open the Run box.
  • Step 2. Type the word ‘control’ into the box and hit Enter.
  • Step 3. Open Taskbar and Navigation.
  • Step 4. Set the toggle for Automatically hide the taskbar in desktop mode to off. Do the same for tablet mode.

NB: In previous versions of Windows such as Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, the toggle you need to turn off is called ‘Auto-hide the taskbar’.

  • Step 5. Use the Win key + D shortcut to display the Desktop. Check if your taskbar is now visible.

Solution 2. Repopulating the taskbar is necessary if the missing taskbar is caused by the corrupted Windows image

An automatic repair with the DISM command should do the trick. Here’s how you do it:

  • Step 1. Open the Start Menu – you can access it by pressing the Windows logo key.
  • Step 2. Type ‘cmd’ into the search bar.
  • Step 3. Right-click the Command Prompt option and select ‘Run as administrator’ from the drop-down menu.
  • Step 4. Copy and paste the following command into Command Prompt:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

  • Step 5. Give DISM some time to repopulate the taskbar and then check your Desktop to see if it has appeared there.

Solution 3. Use Task Manager to restart Windows Explorer

If none of the fixes above worked for you, you should try this one. Windows Explorer is the program that controls the desktop and taskbar, and problems with it will affect the taskbar.  See the instructions below to get the result you want:

  • Step 1. Press and hold the Shift and Ctrl keys at the same time, then press Esc. This command will open the Task Manager.
  • Step 2. In Task Manager, navigate to the Processes tab and select Windows Explorer with a right-click of the mouse.
  • Step 3. Select the Restart command from the drop-down list.
  • Step 4. Now check if your Desktop is displaying the taskbar.

Solution 4. Updating your drivers doesn’t necessarily have to take a long time

If your computer is suffering from minor malfunctions such as the taskbar  missing from the Desktop, then it may be time to update some of your drivers. You can do it manually, of course, or you can employ a special tool like Auslogics Driver Updater to do it for you. We suggest the latter because it ill save you a lot of time. Also, with this tool, you will forget about having to keep track of drivers and compatible versions for them: the background scan will do that for you, along with downloading and installing the appropriate updates for your available drivers.

Hopefully, this article helped you to fix the missing taskbar icons issue on Windows 10 and you have resolved all connected issues as well.

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