Is your taskbar not showing icons on Windows 11?
As famous as Windows 11 is for its useful and convenient features, the bugs found in the OS version have only contributed to its popularity. In fact, many users have complained that resolving the issues in their system after the Windows 11 update has become a norm for them.
One such example is the taskbar not showing icons on Windows 11. It is pretty annoying as the taskbar has always been one of the best quick access tools in the Windows system. You could easily pin programs and launch them whenever without having to keep jumping back and forth on the desktop.
Conversely, when the pinned shortcuts suddenly stop showing on the taskbar, your productivity is greatly hindered. For this reason, we have concluded this detailed guide for you that lists some of the most common and effective solutions for the issue.
So, let’s jump straight in!
1. Restart Windows Explorer.
Windows Explorer is an application responsible for components such as the taskbar, Action Center, and even the Start Menu. When anything goes wrong in the program, the repercussions would be evident in any of the listed components.
At times, simply restarting Windows Explorer works to resolve the issue. Hence, it should be your immediate reaction when facing the issue of the taskbar not showing icons on Windows 11.
Below are the steps you need to follow:
- Start by launching the Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys on your keyboard.
- Next, click on Processes from the left sidebar.
- Locate Windows Explorer from the list of processes and right-click on it.
- Then, select Restart.
2. Re-Login to Windows.
Similar to how logging out and back into applications resolve minor glitches in the software, re-logging into your Microsoft account will hopefully fix the taskbar-related issue.
The method works because when you log out, you delete the temporary memory associated with your account, alongside deleting the minor bugs causing your system to act up.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Press Ctrl + Alt + Del keys from your keyboard.
- From the options given, click on “Sign out“.
- Next, sign back into your account and check if icons appear on the taskbar or not. If not, go to the following method.
3. Uninstall Recent Updates.
At times, Windows’ latest updates bring unresolved bugs, resulting in issues like the taskbar not showing icons on Windows 11. This mostly occurs in Beta or Insider builds. Since a new update is not to be released any time soon, it’s best to downgrade your system.
Follow the steps below to do it:
- Open Settings on your PC by pressing Win + i keys.
- After that, select Windows Update from the left pane.
- From the right side of the screen, click on Update History.
- Now, scroll down and locate Uninstall updates on the right side of the screen. Then, click on it.
- From the list of updates that appear, select the Uninstall option next to the most recent ones.
Once you’re done uninstalling recent updates from your computer, restart your PC to check if it resolved your problem.
4. Disable Automatically Hide Taskbar Option.
Windows features an option called Automatically Hide Taskbar, which hides the taskbar on certain occasions, such as when you enter a full screen in a program. While the option is supposed to provide a neater display, things can sometimes take an unexpected turn and cause it to behave strangely.
Many users have reported that their taskbar either gets frozen and stops displaying icons or disappears entirely after exiting the full screen. In such a case, you may want to disable the Automatically Hide Taskbar option or re-enable it to see if it fixes the issue.
- From the Windows Settings, click on Personalization on the left pane.
- After that, click on Taskbar from the right side of the screen.
- Next, expand Taskbar behaviors and uncheck the box for Automatically hide the taskbar.
5. Change Date & Time Settings.
When the taskbar does not show icons, try changing the Date & Time settings. Incorrect date and time often results in issues with your system settings. But don’t fret, as it can easily be resolved by simply correcting it.
These are the steps you need to follow:
- Press Win + R keys to open the Run command box.
- Copy and paste control timedate.cpl into the search bar and click on OK.
- From the Date and time tab, ensure that the time zone and the date and time are correct. If not, you may change them by clicking on Change time zone and Change date and time, respectively.
6. Delete IconCache.
The IconCache database in Windows systems stores icon files of all applications. If, unfortunately, any of the application’s icons gets damaged, it may corrupt the whole database. The best way to deal with this situation is to delete the entire folder and have the system recreate it from blank.
Follow the steps below to do it:
- Open the Run command box by pressing Win + R keys on your keyboard.
- Type in %UserProfile%\AppData\Local and press the Enter key.
- From the top bar, click on View and choose Show.
- Next, select Hidden items.
- Now, look for the IconCache.db file and click on it.
- Lastly, select Delete from the top bar.
8. Delete IRIS Service.
Although the exact function of the IRIS Service on Windows 11 is unknown, users are undoubtful about it being the culprit behind most of the issues they encounter. For the same reason, we recommend you delete it and check if the issue gets resolved afterward.
- Launch the Run command on your computer by pressing Win + R keys.
- Afterward, type in cmd and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys to open Command Prompt with administrative privileges.
- Copy and paste the following command to delete the IRIS service and hit Enter:
reg delete HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\IrisService /f && shutdown -r -t 0
Your computer will restart automatically. Now check if the taskbar is showing icons or not.
9. Run SFC Scan.
Occasionally, your system files can get damaged, causing the entire computer or its OS components to function incorrectly. When that happens, you need to run a System File Checker, a utility offered by Microsoft that aims to diagnose and repair corrupted files.
Here’s how to do it:
- Open Run by pressing Win + R keys on your keyboard.
- Type in cmd into the search bar and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys to launch Command Prompt.
- Type the following command and press the Enter key:
This was it! Here is our guide on how to fix the taskbar not showing icons on Windows 11. Try out different methods mentioned in this guide to get your icons to appear in the taskbar. In case of further queries, use the comments section below. We’ll be more than happy to help.
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