So you’re using your Windows PC, and you want to turn the volume up to better hear the characters in the movie you’re watching, only to discover the missing volume icon. Where did it go?
Before you start stressing out about a potential virus or some malware infecting your PC, take a look at this article! Your sound icon could go missing for a variety of benign reasons, none of which have to do with malware.
To find out more about the volume icon, why it may have disappeared, and how you can get it back on your taskbar, keep reading!
Volume Icon Missing? Where did it go?
The easiest and most convenient way to turn your volume up and down is the volume icon in your taskbar. Most Windows computers and PCs have these icons, and they can be used to manipulate the sound level of the playing multimedia.
But sometimes, the volume icon is missing. What’s that about?
Some possible explanations include:
- Windows loaded improperly. Windows 7, Vista and 10 are particularly heavy software, and a glitch during their loading process could impact certain features in the GUI.
- While your computer boots, it might fail to load sound drivers. If your sound drivers are not loaded, the Windows file responsible for managing your sound settings (SndVol32.exe) and displaying your volume icon will assume no sound hardware exists. Your sound icon will be missing because the file will presume that there are no sound settings to manipulate.
- If you update from Windows 7 to Windows 10 (or a similar situation), the sound card drivers of your old operating system might not be compatible with the new one. Hence, your new operating system will not register the sound card, and the volume icon will be missing.
Note that these tips are only applicable to the latest versions of Windows. If you’re using an ancient relic from the past like Windows XP (the tutorial for which can be found here) we’d recommend getting rid of the entire OS instead of just fixing your missing sound icon problem.
Getting your missing sound icon back
Method 1: For Windows 10
- Right-click on your homepage.
- Click “Personalize” in the drop-down menu.
- Press “Taskbar.” Scroll down and click on the “Turn system icons on or off” tab.
- Turn the “Volume” setting to “On.”
- Your missing sound icon should have reappeared by now.
Method 2: For Windows 7 or Windows 8
- Right-click on the bottom of the screen on the taskbar, a thin bar stretching across the screen. Choose “Properties” in the drop-down menu.
- Press the “Customize” button to customize the notifications area.
- A new window will have opened up. Look for “Volume” in the list of icons.
- Out to the right, press on the drop-down menu and click, “Show icon and notifications.”
- Press “Okay” in your windows and close the Properties tab.
Method 3: Reinstall sound drivers
This method applies when you’ve just changed your OS from one to another. Here’s what you can do.
- Press Windows/Start + R on your keyboard.
- Type hdwwiz.cpl in the dialog box that opens. Hit enter.
- At this point, the device manager will open. You will find a device listed under the “Sound, video and game controllers” option. Right-click the name of the device listed under the tab. Select “Update Driver Software.”
- Press “Search automatically for updated driver software” in the new window that just opened. Your computer should finish the installation on its own. (In case the correct driver isn’t found, you’ll have to visit your computer manufacturer’s website and find the correct drivers).
- Restart your computer if you have to.
Method 4: Restart your PC
Before you try to update your PC or reinstall your drivers, there’s a more straightforward way to try to get your missing volume icon back; try restarting your PC as soon as you notice it’s gone. This might work; it might not. But it’s definitely worth a shot!
There you have it!
If your missing sound icon still isn’t back, it’s probably indicative of a bigger issue. You might want to give it to a trusted software engineer or a manufacturer’s shop.
Does your sound icon go missing often?
If so, have any of these tips been useful to you?
Let us know in the comments!
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