Feb 142008

After the computer started, not all icons that should be present in the system tray of the task bar is showing. Often, one or more icons are missing and disappearing from the task bar notication area.

This behavior can be caused by the Simple Service Discovery Protocol (SSDP). This service discovers Universal Plug and Play devices on your network.

Solution 1

To resolve this behavior, follow these steps to disable the SSDP feature:

Right-click My Computer, and then click Manage.

Click Services and Applications.

Double-click Services.

In the Services list, right-click SSDP Discovery Service, and then click Properties.

On the General tab, in the Startup type drop-down list, click Disabled.

Click OK.

Note When SSDP Discovery service is disabled, new devices on the network cannot be found automatically.

If it doesn’t work, the alternative would be disable both SSDP Discovery Service and Universal Plug and Play Device Host. Repeat the above steps for both services.

You may try to choose Automatic at drop-down list instead of Disabled, as it’s reported some people has success with this.

Solution 2

If you need Universal Plug and Play services and wouldn’t want to disable it, Francesco Ostuni suggested Ostuni Workaround which does not disable the uPNP service. The steps as below (only applicable on Windows XP with Service Pack 2):

1. Open My Network Places.

2. Click Hide Icons for Networked uPnP Devices at the Tasks panel.

3. For Windows Classic theme users, click Tools and the Folder Options in Windows Explorer, and then select Show Common Tasks in Folders to see the option specified in step 2.


1. Open Control Panel.

2. Click Add or Remove Programs.

3. Click Add/Remove Windows Components.

4. Select Networking Services.

5. Click Details button.

6. Uncheck (remove) the UPnP User Interface.

7. Click OK.

Now you need to logout and then login again to Windows XP.

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  9 Responses to “Fix for System Tray Icon Missing in Windows XP”

  1. This information was very helpful and solved my problem with missing icons. Thanks very much.

    I had to set my SSDP to automatic to solve my problem.


  2. This was what I was looking for. Selecting to not show uPnP devices solved the icon problem. I did have to adjust windows firewall to allow uPnP to communicate for my HP J4680 to work.


  3. create the following StartPNP.bat file. Save to a folder in your default path. Run it. Add it to the Startup menu:

    @echo Please wait 30-60 seconds while the PNP processes start!
    @echo .
    @sc config upnphost start= demand
    @sc config ssdpsrv start= demand
    @net start SSDPSRV
    @net start upnphost
    @sc config upnphost start= disabled
    @sc config ssdpsrv start= disabled

    @echo MS PnP has started Press any key to remove this window.
    rem pause

    Run the .bat file. Once you run it once, re-boot and your missing icons will appear if you have installed the .bat file in the Startup menu.

  4. I found that if this issue occurs in regards to USB/Flash/Thumb drives that the following works best:

    1) Click on My Computer
    2) Right Click on the icon for the ‘Removable Disk’ you want to stop/safely remove
    3) Select ‘Properties’
    4) Click on the ‘Hardware’ tab of the ‘Removable Disk Properties’ dialog box
    5) Look in the ‘All disk drives:’ list window for the name of your removable ‘Disk Drive’ and select it
    6) Click the ‘Properties’ button at the bottom of the ‘Removable Disk Properties’ dialog box
    7) Click on the ‘Policies’ tab in the ‘[your device name here] Properties’ dialog box
    8) See if ‘Optimize for quick removal’ is selected and decide if you prefer being able to simply remove this device without stopping it –OR– you prefer the ‘Safely Remove Hardware’ icon in the taskbar for it
    9a) Click the ‘Safely Remove Hardware’ link on the ‘[your device name here] Properties’ dialog box
    9b) Select your device in the ‘Safely Remove Hardware’ dialog box
    9c) Click the [Stop] button at the bottom of the ‘Safely Remove Hardware’ dialog box
    9d) Click [OK] on the bottom of the ‘Stop a Hardware device’ dialog box
    9c) Click the [Close] button at the bottom of the ‘Safely Remove Hardware’ dialog box

    10) Check ‘Optimize for performance’ on the ‘[your device name here] Properties->Policies tab’ and then click [OK] on the bottom of the ‘[your device name here] Properties’ dialog box — (‘Safely Remove Hardware’ icon will APPEAR IN THE TASKBAR FOR THIS DEVICE WHEN YOU REMOVE AND REINSERT IT NOW)

    • THis works for me, but it’s not pernament. I have to go through the ritual each time I start the machine. How do I fix the registry?

  5. My network connection icon was missing from the system tray right after I got a Trojan horse virus.
    After removing the virus it would not come back.
    I spent many hours trying all the suggestions I could find and none would work.
    After many frustrating hours I decided to see if I could get the volume icon to show up.
    I normally don’t have it set to show up in the system tray.
    As soon as I did that, bingo, the network connection came back.
    I unchecked the volume icon so it wont show up anymore and the network connection icon still remains. 8)

  6. All icons gone in notification area at times except for Synaptics touch pad.I used solution 1 and restarted a few times and all seems OK.Bad thing is I can’t really remember what made it start. Must have been a Windows update. Dell Inspiron 1100 XP SP3

  7. How can you do this if you cant log in!
    because the admin logo account is missing!

  8. I tried everything suggested above but nothing seemed to work. Then by chance I tried the following:

    Go to:

    then Control Panel
    then Network connections
    then right click on your LAN connection. This will open in its “General Tab”.
    You will note two boxes at the bottom of this tab which you can tick on and/or off.

    Tick this box on:

    “Show icon in the notification area when connected”.

    This this one too (although may not be necessary:

    “notify me when this connection has no connectivity or limited connectivity”.

    Easy does it! :)

    NB This applies to Windows XP Professional version 2002 service pack 3

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