Friday, April 10, 2015

How to get the battery icon back on a Windows 7 laptop

You can set up a Windows 7 laptop to show a power icon in the lower right corner of the screen, to let you know the status of the battery (how much power it has left and whether it's currently being charged or not).  If you used to see the battery icon in your taskbar, but suddenly it's gone missing, this article can help you to get the icon back.  A glitch in Windows or an application sometimes causes the icon to disappear, and you have to "kick-start" the operating system to get it back.

Right click on an empty area of the taskbar.  When the context menu appears, select the Task Manager option.  The task manager window will load, showing all of the currently running programs and services.  Click on the Processes tab, and look for "explorer.exe" on the list.

Once you've found that entry, select it to highlight it and then click the End or End Process button in the lower part of the task manager window.  You should see your taskbar disappear, and the screen might flicker for a second.

Now you'll need to restart the Explorer process.  Click on the File option in the task manager, and from the menu, select Run.  Type "explorer.exe" and click OK.  Your taskbar should reappear, complete with the battery icon.  (Once the taskbar reappears, it may take several seconds for the system notification tray to repopulate with its icons.)

If the battery icon still does not appear, you may have another issue going on with your computer.  Check to make sure you have the power icon enabled (right click on an empty area of the taskbar, select Customize, then select the option for system icons and scroll down until you see the power icon setting).  Also check the taskbar settings to make sure the power icon isn't set to be hidden when it's inactive; if it is, you can disable this option and the icon should reappear.

These instructions can also be applied to Windows XP or Windows Vista computers with the same symptom, although the exact links and settings may vary.  On a Windows XP laptop, sometimes enabling another taskbar icon (such as the volume icon) will allow other icons to show up as well.  If none of the solutions here help you to get your power icon back, run a spyware scan or virus scan to make sure your computer has not been infected with any malicious software.

(Originally published on, April 2012)

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