Taskbar Icons Missing on Windows 11? Here are 6 Easy Fixes! (2022)

Windows 11 is an excellent desktop OS, no doubt about that. However, some classic Windows issues do pop up pretty often, and that makes the experience jarring for an average user. Recently, we learned that Wi-Fi was not showing up in Windows 11 for some users, while others found the Start Menu was not working for them at all. Now, we are hearing of taskbar icon issues, so we will explain how to fix the Taskbar icons missing issue on Windows 11 in this guide. We have included basic solutions to advanced methods to restore the Taskbar icons. So if you are also facing the same issue and Taskbar icons are missing on your Windows 11 PC, follow our guide to resolve it right away.

Fix Taskbar Icons Missing on Windows 11 Issue (2022)

In this tutorial, we have added six easy methods to fix the Taskbar icons missing issue on Windows 11. You can use a method as simple as restarting the Explorer to extreme methods like uninstalling the last update. Expand the table below and move to any section you want.

Table of Contents

1. Restart Windows Explorer

If Taskbar icons are missing on your Windows 11 PC, you should restart the Windows Explorer before trying anything else. It’s one of the easiest solutions that can fix any issues related to the Taskbar, Start Menu, or Action Center. So let’s look at the steps.

1. First, press the Windows 11 keyboard shortcutCtrl + Shift + Esc” to open the Task Manager.

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2. Here, under the “Processes” section, scroll down and look for “Windows Explorer“. Now, right-click on it and choose “Restart”.

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3. All open windows, the Taskbar, and the Desktop will disappear for a second, and then everything will appear back almost immediately. This time, the Taskbar icons should also appear and work as intended.

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4. If the Taskbar icons are still missing, go ahead and restart your PC. Make sure to restart the system rather than shutting down the PC and subsequently turning it on. The Taskbar icons should be restored after the reboot.

2. Delete the IconCache.db File

As the name suggests, the “IconCache.db” file is responsible for handling all the icons on Windows 11 PCs. However, if the file is corrupted due to some unknown issues, you may end up with no icons on the Windows 11 Taskbar. So, the simple solution is to delete the file so that Windows rebuilds the icon cache from scratch. Let’s see how it works:

1. Use the “Windows + R” shortcut to open the Run prompt. Now, type %localappdata% in the text field and hit Enter.

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2. Under this folder, enable hidden files and folders on your Windows 11 PC. To do so, click on “View” in the top menu bar and select Show -> Hidden items.

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3. Now, scroll down and look for the “IconCache.db” file. Right-click on the file and delete it from your computer. And that’s it.

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4. Once you have deleted the file, restart your Windows 11 PC. The Taskbar icons should now appear on your computer.

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3. Delete Taskbar Icons

Another way to fix the Taskbar icons missing on Windows 11 PCs is to delete the Taskbar icons through a string of commands executed by a batch file. Here is how to do it.

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1. Open Notepad on your computer and paste the entire command below. It basically removes the icons from the Taskbar and deletes the relevant Registry entry. After that, it ends the Windows Explorer process and restarts it automatically.

DEL /F /S /Q /A "%AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar\*"REG DELETE HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Taskband /Ftaskkill /f /im explorer.exestart explorer.exe
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2. Now, click on “File” in the top menu on Notepad and select “Save as“.

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3. Here, choose “All files” from the “Save as type” drop-down menu and give it a file name. For example, I used the file name – “Taskbar“. Next,add.batat the end of the file name to create a batch file. Finally, click on “Save”.

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4. Now, move to the folder where you saved the batch file. Right-click on it and choose “Run as administrator“.

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5. A Command Prompt window will open up, and within a few seconds, the Taskbar icons should start appearing on your Windows 11 PC. If the issue persists, try restarting the PC.

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4. Enable and Disable ‘Hide the Taskbar’ Option

If the Taskbar icons are still missing on your Windows 11 computer, you may have to play around with some Taskbar settings to re-enable the icons and have them working again. Here is how to do it.

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1. Press “Windows + I” to open Windows Settings. Here, move to the “Personalisation” menu from the left sidebar and click on “Taskbar” in the right pane.

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2. Next, click on “Taskbar behaviors” at the bottom to expand it.

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3. After that, enable the checkbox next to “Automatically hide the taskbar“. After a few seconds, disable the checkbox and see if the icons reappear on the Taskbar. If they don’t, try another method on this list.

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5. Delete Windows Iris Service

In September 2021, Microsoft identified an issue that resulted in Taskbar icons going missing on Windows 11 PCs. The culprit was the Iris service, which generally handles wallpapers for Windows Spotlight and lock screen suggestions. So if you’ve been affected by the same bug, this is how you can fix the Taskbar icons missing issue on Windows 11.

1. Press the Windows key to open the Start Menu and search for “CMD”. Command Prompt will appear on top in the search results. In the right pane, click on “Run as administrator“.

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2. Before you run the command, make sure to save all your work before executing the command as it will automatically restart your PC. Now, go ahead and paste the below command and hit Enter. For your information, the command basically deletes the Iris-related Registry entry and restarts the PC.

reg delete HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\IrisService /f && shutdown -r -t 0
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3. After logging in, you should now see the Taskbar icons on your Windows 11 computer and be able to click on them to access programs and files as desired.

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6. Uninstall the Last Windows 11 Update

If the Taskbar icons are missing after a recent Windows 11 update, I will suggest uninstalling the update as a last resort. This will definitely fix the issue for you. Do not worry, this process will not delete any of your files or undo any changes made to files and folders. On that note, let’s begin.

1. Press “Windows + I” to open the Settings app. Here, navigate to the “Windows Update” menu from the left sidebar and click on “Update history” in the right pane.

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2. Now, scroll down to the bottom and click on the “Uninstall updates” option.

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3. Here, look for the latest Windows 11 update and click on “Uninstall” next to it.

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4. Follow the on-screen instructions and let your computer uninstall the last Windows update. After the reboot, the Taskbar icons should be restored on your PC.

Taskbar Icons Missing on Windows 11? Here are 6 Easy Fixes! (22)
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Restore the Taskbar Icons on Windows 11

So these are the six sure-shot ways to fix the missing Taskbar icons issue on Windows 11 PCs. We have mentioned both basic and advanced methods so that you don’t have to reinstall Windows 11 to get the icons back on the Taskbar. That’s pretty much it for this guide. If you wish to enable Taskbar Overflow on Windows 11, head to our linked guide. And to customize the Taskbar on Windows 11, we have an exhaustive tutorial for that as well. Finally, if you have any questions, let us know in the comment section below.

FAQs

How do I get icons on my Taskbar Windows 11? ›

Change your taskbar settings

If you want to change multiple aspects of the taskbar at one time, use Taskbar settings. Press and hold or right-click any empty space on the taskbar, and then select Taskbar settings. In the Taskbar settings, scroll to see the options for customizing, choosing icons, and much more.

How do I restore my Taskbar icons? ›

Restore Icons to the Desktop
  1. Right-click the desktop and click Properties.
  2. Click the Desktop tab.
  3. Click Customize desktop.
  4. Click the General tab, and then click the icons that you want to place on the desktop.
  5. Click OK.

Why did all my Taskbar icons disappear? ›

Check the Taskbar Settings

Click Start, then head to Settings > Personalization. From the left-hand menu, select Taskbar. Turn off the toggle below Automatically hide the taskbar in tablet mode. From the Notification section, click Select which icons appear on the taskbar.

How do I enable icons in Windows 11? ›

Re: "Show all icons in system tray" option in windows11

Right click your clock on your taskbar and choose "Customize notification icons". A window will pop up. Select "Always show all icons and notifications in the taskbar" in the lower left corner.

Where did my icons go Windows 11? ›

After you click on Show desktop items, the desktop should refresh automatically and the icons should re-appear on your screen. If the refresh doesn't happen automatically, right-click on a free space on your desktop again and click on Refresh from the context menu.

How do I show all apps in Taskbar? ›

Here's how to customize what you see on the Start menu and taskbar: To see a list of your apps, select Start , then select the arrow next to All apps to expand that pane. Scroll through the alphabetical list.

Why have my icons disappeared? ›

Right-click on an empty space on your desktop. Click on the “View” option from the context menu to expand the options. Make sure that “Show desktop icons” is ticked. If it isn't, simply click on it once to ensure it wasn't causing issues with displaying your desktop icons.

How do I restore my icons back to normal? ›

To reset a desktop icon to default, start by selecting it. Then, click or tap the Restore Default button and press OK or Apply to save your changes.

How do I fix taskbar icons not working? ›

A quick first step when you have any taskbar issue in Windows is to restart the explorer.exe process. This controls the Windows shell, which includes the File Explorer app as well as the taskbar and Start menu. Restarting it can thus clear up any minor hiccups, such as your taskbar not working.

Why did all my desktop icons disappeared Windows 11? ›

Right-click anywhere on the desktop and expand "View". In the pop-out menu, look to see if there is a check mark next to the "Show desktop icons" setting. If this is missing, this is exactly why you suddenly cannot see your desktop icons. The good news is nothing is lost, you just need to re-enable the setting.

How do I reset the icons on Windows 11? ›

Select Settings from the menu. Click on Personalization and then select Themes on the right. Scroll down the Themes section and click the Desktop icon settings option. On the Desktop Icons Settings screen, select the system icons you want to show on the desktop and click OK.

How do I reset the icon cache in Windows 11? ›

Step 1: Press the Windows key along with the E key to open File Explorer. Step 2: Navigate to the following location: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer. You can just copy the location and paste it to the address bar to find it quickly. Step 3: Delete all the files beginning with iconcache.

Why did my desktop icons disappeared Windows 11? ›

Right-click anywhere on the desktop and expand "View". In the pop-out menu, look to see if there is a check mark next to the "Show desktop icons" setting. If this is missing, this is exactly why you suddenly cannot see your desktop icons. The good news is nothing is lost, you just need to re-enable the setting.

Why are my app icons not showing Windows 11? ›

Sometimes just logging out of your Microsoft account and then logging back in could help restore the icons of pinned apps. To do so, press the Ctrl + Alt + Delete tkeys together, and then select Sign Out from the menu. The Startup screen will open, so just Sign in to your account again.

Why did my icons disappear? ›

How to Fix Disappeared Desktop Icons by Turning on Desktop Icons Visibility. The commonest fix for this issue is to turn on desktop icons visibility. Right-click on an empty portion on your desktop. Hover on "View", then make sure the "Show desktop icons" option is checked.

How do I find icons that have disappeared? ›

How to Restore Missing Desktop Icons on Windows 10/11
  1. Open "Settings" and click on "Personalization".
  2. Click "Themes", then click "Desktop icons settings".
  3. Select the icons you want to see on the desktop, like Computer (This PC), User's Files, Network, Recycle Bin, and Control Panel.
  4. Click "Apply", then "OK".
18 Jan 2022

How do I fix icons not displaying? ›

Simple Reasons for Icons Not Showing

You can do so by right-clicking on the desktop, selecting View and verify Show desktop icons has a check beside it. If it's just the default (system) icons you seek, right-click the desktop and choose Personalize. Go into Themes and select Desktop icon settings.

How do you reset icons on Windows 11? ›

To restore all desktop icons on Windows 11:
  1. Right-click an empty area on the desktop and select View > Show desktop icons from the menu.
  2. All of your icons should now show up on your desktop.
31 May 2022

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