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Today when I was using the computer as usual, the running applications and pinned application icons which normally appear in the taskbar were gone suddenly. At first, I thought a restart will help but unfortunately it did not. It's weird because I did not install any application recently, which may be the cause of the problem.

As it can be seen in the screenshot:

1

I have Chrome opened and there is no Chrome appearing in the taskbar, not to mention the pinned application icons are missing as well. I now have to use Alt+Tab to switch between applications.

Things I have tried:

  1. Boot in Safe Mode (running applications and pinned application icons still missing)
  2. Changing taskbar properties (problem still there)
  3. Running sfc /scannow (it said some problems were detected but it's only able to fix some but not all)
  4. Running the latest Microsoft Malicious Removal Tool (no malware found)
  5. End explorer.exe process and then run it again (problem still there)

I already googled around and it seems the only thing I am left to try is to fix my current user profile by following the instructions here:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-ie/windows-vista/fix-a-corrupted-user-profile

I would like to know if there is some other possible solution before I try this.

UPDATE:

I have found someone who suffered the same problem:

http://windows7forums.com/windows-7-support/78023-taskbar-icons-missing.html

He solved the problem by some windows registry modifications but no detail was provided. I am now digging in this direction and will report back if I find something.

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1 Answer

up vote 0 down vote accepted

I finally solved the problem by running the following vbs script. It does some modifications to the windows registry. Although it's originally designed for Windows XP, fortunately it also works in Windows 7, at least in my case. My task bar has now come back but I still have no idea what actually causes such problem.

'xp_taskbar_desktop_fixall.vbs - Repairs the Taskbar when minimized programs don't show.
'?Kelly Theriot and Doug Knox - 8/22/2003

Set WSHShell = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")

Message = "To work correctly, the script will close" & vbCR
Message = Message & "and restart the Windows Explorer shell." & vbCR
Message = Message & "This will not harm your system." & vbCR & vbCR
Message = Message & "Continue?"

X = MsgBox(Message, vbYesNo, "Notice")

If X = 6 Then 

On Error Resume Next

WshShell.RegDelete "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StuckRects2\"
WshShell.RegDelete "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StreamMRU\"
WshShell.RegDelete "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Streams\Desktop\"

WshShell.RegDelete "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Explorer Bars\{32683183-48a0-441b-a342-7c2a440a9478}\BarSize"

P1 = "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\"

WshShell.RegWrite p1 & "NoBandCustomize", 0, "REG_DWORD"
WshShell.RegWrite p1 & "NoMovingBands", 0, "REG_DWORD"
WshShell.RegWrite p1 & "NoCloseDragDropBands", 0, "REG_DWORD"
WshShell.RegWrite p1 & "NoSetTaskbar", 0, "REG_DWORD"
WshShell.RegWrite p1 & "NoToolbarsOnTaskbar", 0, "REG_DWORD"
WshShell.RegWrite p1 & "NoSaveSettings",0,"REG_DWORD"
WshShell.RegWrite p1 & "NoToolbarsOnTaskbar", 0, "REG_DWORD"
WshShell.RegWrite p1 & "NoSetTaskbar",0,"REG_DWORD"
WshShell.RegWrite p1 & "NoActiveDesktop",0,"REG_DWORD"
WshShell.RegWrite p1 & "ClassicShell",0,"REG_DWORD"

p1 = "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Group Policy Objects\LocalUser\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\"

WshShell.RegWrite p1 & "NoCloseDragDropBands", 0, "REG_DWORD"
WshShell.RegDelete p1 & "NoMovingBands"

p1 = "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Shell"

WshShell.RegWrite p1, "explorer.exe", "REG_SZ"

p1 = "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Explorer Bars\{32683183-48a0-441b-a342-7c2a440a9478}\"
WshShell.RegDelete p1 & "BarSize"
WshShell.RegWrite p1, "Media Band", "REG_SZ"

On Error Goto 0

For Each Process in GetObject("winmgmts:"). _
    ExecQuery ("select * from Win32_Process where name='explorer.exe'")
   Process.terminate(0)
Next

MsgBox "Finished." & vbcr & vbcr & "?Kelly Theriot and Doug Knox", 4096, "Done"

Else

MsgBox "No changes were made to your system." & vbcr & vbcr & "?Kelly Theriot and Doug Knox", 4096, "User Cancelled"

End If

The script can also be downloaded in this page:

http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/taskbarplus!.htm

Just click on "Taskbar is Missing".

Good luck.

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