Taskbar Icons Not Showing on Windows 11? Try the 4 Fixes!

This post will introduce 4 ways for fixing Taskbar icons not showing in Windows 11. With the comprehensive guide, you can effectively solve it without data loss.


By Irene / Updated on November 16, 2023

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User case: Taskbar icons not showing in Windows 11

The widespread issue of  Taskbar icons not displaying in Windows 11 has been widely reported, similar to the scenario described by the user seeking assistance below:


Some Taskbar icons disappeared at some point a couple of days ago and nothing brings them back. The problem only occurs in the non-admin account on my laptop. What I tried so far:

• Install the latest Windows updates

▪ Uninstall the latest Windows updates

• Removed IrisService as indicated here

I suspect it has to do with a corrupted user profile. Any help is greatly appreciated since it drives me crazy.

- Question from Microsoft Community


The problem can show up in different situations, but the most common ones are when all Taskbar icons disappear together or when some icons, especially for Windows apps like Outlook, PowerShell, and Spotify, go missing in Windows 11. Fixing this issue is not a difficult task. Let's go through it step by step, starting by exploring the possible reasons.

Why is my Taskbar not showing icons in Windows 11?

Getting to know the potential reasons can help identify and resolve the problem causing the Taskbar icons not showing in Windows 11. Now, let’s see together for the question “Why is my Taskbar not showing icons in Windows 11”.

• Explorer.exe Issues: The Windows Explorer process (explorer.exe) manages the Taskbar. If it encounters errors or glitches, it may lead to the disappearance of icons.

• Taskbar settings: Incorrect settings in the Taskbar settings, such as hiding icons or Taskbar, can result in icons not being visible.

• Graphics driver problems: Outdated or incompatible graphics drivers might cause display issues, impacting the visibility of icons on the Taskbar.

• Corrupted system files: Corruption in system files can disrupt the normal operation of Windows features, including the Taskbar.

• User profile Issues: Problems within your user profile, such as corruption or misconfigurations, can affect the display of Taskbar icons.

• Malware or viruses: Malicious software might interfere with system processes, causing anomalies like missing icons.

What to do when task icons disappear in Windows 11?

Now that we've identified potential causes, it's time to troubleshoot the problem. In this part, we will share step-by-step guidance.

Creating a backup before fixing Windows 11 Taskbar icons missing

Fixing the issue of the Windows 11 Taskbar not showing icons often involves making changes to the system, which can carry a risk of data loss. To safeguard against errors or accidents, it's a wise idea to create a backup of your computer using AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.

This is a comprehensive computer management tool crafted to address a variety of computer issues. Among its robust features, Clone Disk stands out, enabling users to transfer all data, including programs, files, and even the operating system, from a device to an external hard drive, creating a complete backup. Once accidents happen, you can easily make the recovery with that.

Download Pro Demo Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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After creating a backup, you can try these methods to troubleshoot Taskbar icons disappear in Windows 11 with ease.

Step 1. Download this powerful software, then install and open it. In the top pane, click “Clone” and select “Clone Disk”.

Step 2. Here, choose a suitable method according to your needs (here we choose the first method as an example).

Step 3. Select the disk where the original data is located.

Step 4. Here, select the target disk you plan to clone to. If your target disk is an SSD, you can tick “Optimize the performance of SSD”.  The purpose of this is to improve the SSD read and write speed.

Step 5. In this step, you can adjust the size of the target disk partition. If it is cloned to a smaller hard drive, then the first item is not selectable.

Step 6. You can preview all operations this time in this window. Click “Apply” to submit for execution.

Method 1. Restart File Explorer and your Windows PC

Rebooting is often the simplest step in resolving computer problems. Begin by restarting File Explorer and then proceed to reboot your Windows PC. Afterward, check to see if the problem of Taskbar icons not showing in Windows 11 has been resolved.

Step 1. In the Search box, enter “Task Manager” and open it.

Step 2. Find Windows Explorer. Right-click the icon and choose Restart.


Step 3. Then reboot your Windows PC to see whether the problem of the Windows 11 Taskbar icons missing still exists.


Method 2. Disable Controlled Folder Access in Windows Defender

Some settings in antivirus software may probably cause conflicts, leading to the problem of Taskbar icons disappear in Windows 11. You can try to turn off Controlled Folder Access to fix the issue.

Step 1. Press the Win + I key simultaneously to open Settings. Select Update & Security.


Step 2. Go to Windows Defender. Choose Open Windows Defender Security Center.


Step 3. In the pop-up window, select Virus & Threat Protection. Scroll down to locate Virus & Threat Protection settings and click on it.


Step 4. Next, in the pop-up window, scroll down to find Controller folder access and switch it to Off.


Method 3. Run System File Checker

Corrupted system files will cause Windows 11 Taskbar not showing icons, you can check them with CMD and solve the problem.

Step 1. Type Command Prompt in the Search box and choose Run as administrator.

Step 2. In the window, input sfc /scannow and hit the Enter key to continue.


Step 3. Wait for the process to complete. Please do not close the command line window until you see the verification message at 100%.

Step 4. Then, input DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth in the window. This will initiate the download of corrupt files from the Windows Update Servers and replace the damaged ones.


Once all the steps are completed, restart your computer and check if the issue of Taskbar icons disappear in Windows 11 has been resolved.

Method 4. Reinstall Windows 11 programs

If the issue of Taskbar icons not showing in Windows 11 persists, and especially Windows utility icons missing, you may consider reinstalling Windows application using PowerShell. However, be cautious, as this process carries the risk of data loss. It is not recommended for computer novices or those who haven't created a system backup beforehand.

Once the accident happens and you suffer from data loss, you can try the Recover Data feature of AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional to get them back.

Step 1. Type "PowerShell" in the Windows search box and select the best-matched result. Right-click on it and choose "Run as administrator".


Step 2. Input the following command, which will reinstall all default Windows applications:

Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}

Step 3. Once the process is complete, restart your computer and check if the problem of Taskbar icons disappear in Windows 11 is resolved.

Final words

With the help of clear guidance, Taskbar icons not showing in Windows 11 can be solved. However, do not forget to create a backup before fixing with AOMEI Partition Assistant to avoid data loss caused by accidents. Windows Server users can choose the AOMEI Partition Assistant Server edition to effectively manage Windows PCs.

Irene · Staff Editor
Irene is an Editor of AOMEI Technology. She devotes herself in giving insightful thoughts on common computer problems with simple and clear guidance. Irene loves to help people solve problems and explore more solutions on relevant issues. She loves reading, singing and travelling.