When you’re installing the latest version of Windows, the first thing you’ll notice on the brand new operating system is the system tray. Microsoft has completely redesigned the taskbar and placed app icons and the start menu in the middle. What’s the point of the redesigned taskbar if it doesn’t work at all? Let’s fix the Windows 11 system tray not working issue.
Many users have reported that Windows 11’s taskbar is blocked or inactive when you click on it. It’s confusing because the taskbar is at the heart of the Windows 11 operating system and you want it to work as expected with a single try.
This post lists solutions that you can use to restore system tray functionality in Windows 11. Without further ado, let’s get started.
1. Restart the PC
First you can restart your PC. This is the most common way to fix common Windows 11 problems without going into advanced solutions.
Since the Windows system tray is not working, you will not be able to access the new Start menu to restart the Windows 11 PC. Instead, you can use the Alt + F4 keys and restart the computer from the drop-down menu.
After the restart, check the Windows 11 taskbar. If it still doesn’t work, move on to the next solution.
2. Restart the taskbar services
The Windows 11 taskbar is part of the Windows Explorer services in the operating system. You can restart the service using Task Manager and try to access the taskbar again.
Step 1: Use the Ctrl + Shift + Escape keys to open Task Manager on Windows 11 (since the Windows key won’t work with a disabled taskbar, you’ll need to use keyboard shortcuts to access these apps on Windows 11).
Step 2: Switch to the Processes tab.
Step 3: Scroll down to Windows Processes.
Step 4: Find Windows Explorer in the list.
Step 5: Right click on it and choose Restart.
Restart the PC again and the taskbar should now work.
3. End the system files task
If the Windows 11 taskbar is still not working, you need to end some system files on your PC. Here is how.
Step 1: Press Ctrl + Shift + Escape keys to access Task Manager on Windows 11.
Step 2: Go to the Details tab in the menu bar.
Step 3: Right click on each service and finish the task for them.
4. Repair system files
Next, we’ll use the command line terminal to repair system files on Windows 11. Some corrupted system files are interfering with the Windows 11 system tray. Go through the following steps.
Step 1: Use Windows + R keys and open the Run dialog box.
Step 2: Enter cmd and open the command terminal.
Enter following commands and press Enter after each one.
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
Windows 11 runs these commands and repairs corrupted files on the computer. Close the command menu and try again to access the system tray.
5. Run the Windows security scan
If you have a habit of installing apps and media from unverified sources on the internet, you have likely infected your Windows 11 system with viruses and malicious files. These files can mess up the core functionality of Windows 11 like the taskbar, Microsoft Store, and file manager.
The Windows 11 taskbar not working may be due to damaged files on your PC. You need to scan the PC with an antivirus program. Don’t worry though. You don’t have to invest in third-party antivirus software. You can use Microsoft’s excellent Windows security tool to remove malicious files on PC. Make the changes from the following steps.
Step 1: Use Windows + I keys and open the Windows Settings menu.
Step 2: Go to Privacy & Security and open the Windows Security Menu.
Step 3: Open Windows Security from the following menu.
Step 4: Go to Virus & Threat Protection and do a quick scan on your PC.
Let Microsoft remove malicious files and fix Windows 11 system tray not working issue.
6. Update the Windows operating system
An outdated build of Windows 11 can mess with the functionality of the system tray on your computer. You need to update Windows 11 to the latest version and bring the taskbar back to life.
Use Windows + I keys and open the Windows Settings menu. Go to the update menu and install the latest build on your computer.
Use the taskbar on Windows 11
The taskbar plays a huge role in the Windows 11 experience. Taskbar malfunction can frustrate you with Microsoft’s new operating system. The steps above should help you resolve the issue.