System tray icon issues on Windows 11 Insider Build 22581.1 in Beta Channel

Brass Contributor

So far I have run into two new issues with the system tray icons with the Windows 11 Insider Build 22581.1 released in the Beta Channel.


1. I'm not able to move system tray icons around as before

2. System tray icons are not being removed after closing the app or killing the process (*workaround is to restart the explorer.exe process for icon to be removed from tray).


I'm hoping these issues will be resolved soon.

46 Replies
Same here It is very annoying


Apparently you can't move icons by design (including dragging to the hidden icons area): (feedback hub link)


We'll be continuing to monitor this feedback, but with the updates we made for the new tablet-optimized taskbar in Build 22563, we're no longer supporting dragging icons between the system tray and the show hidden icons flyout. Instead, you should use the Settings > Personalization > Taskbar > System tray section to manage these icons.


Same here. If this was really by design, it was a terrible decision.
My system tray has become empty. No icons, clock, notifications button, nothing.... How do we fix this?

@plokert I think all you can do is stop / restart explorer.exe (Windows Explorer) in task manager and hopefully the icons will come back. I'm sure I saw some people mention this problem in the feedback hub.

Absolutely. I haven't seen anyone post a positive comment about the change. Hopefully it gets reverted and there is a rethink about how to deal with tablet mode. Irrespective of the mode you're working in how can this change be beneficial?
I've tried "stop / restart explorer.exe" several times today. I've tried adjusting every setting in the "settings/taskbar" area as well. Nothing seems to be able to restore the System Tray.
just after doing the "Stop/start explorer.exe" the icons appear for a few seconds then vanish.
Might pay to search in the feedback hub, there may be a workaround, otherwise it's probably a fix for a new build.... I did see a post somewhere about deleting two keys in the registry for the system tray icon cache as soon as you stop explorer but I'm not sure it would help in this case.
Well (5 hours later) I downloaded Windows 11 media creator onto a USB and installed a new OS. Everything is apparently working fine now. Thank you for your input.

@plokertThink I might need to do that at some point too. Glad it worked but hope that's not the solution when it gets to final release... ;)


Same here. Can't view hidden icons on the system tray, can't drag them after updating to this version.


Found a solution to moving the order of the icons. If you go to Settins/Personlization/Taskbar/Other System Tray Icons, then turn off all the icons that are not hidden, at that point turn each back on, but turn them on in the order you want them to display and they will stay in that order. Haven't tried restarting yet, though, to see if it holds. Maybe later today.

Great tip! (although I had to turn them back on in reverse order, so the last one I turn on is the most right-aligned icon... mental gymnastics), If you could re-order the icons on the settings page by dragging the bars that would be an alternative. I'll try a restart now. Thanks!

@DrBobNZ The order resets after a restart though, right?


I also don't like the new change and wish for the icons to be draggable again.

The spacing is also larger than previously, which is undesirable.


Furthermore, and perhaps unrelated, whenever the location icon displays, the entire task bar jiggles across to the left, and then back to the right, which is very distracting.

I've moved the start menu position to the left instead of centre to resolve that.


Stop making this a tablet OS!


We do not all use tablets. I use a keyboard and mouse!


Keep the operating system so it is usable for these people.


You should make a separate OS for tablets if there is such a need for all of these changes.

When I updated, it shows "Evaluation copy" on the bottom right. Some say this is because this update is just an Insider build, & will eventually fall off. Nevertheless, THE DEVS NEED TO SEE THAT WE HATE WHAT THEY DID.

Taskbar is just a mess icons wont go away when closing the application, need to kill explorer and restart, cant drag icons and if i choice to show all icons the expanding icon is empty but still there. Just pull this change back its not convienent or good, allso when pressing on the clock i wish to see the clock with seconds counting not just minutes, im Stock trader i really need Seconds showing, why making this Windows less user friendly then it is, the the rest of the changes are good and on start button let me remove recent and recommended part completly noone uses this like EVER it does not help us. We will put programs we like on the Start meny and use them. 

@knight117 I'm unable to open windows... windows button on my task menu also doesn't work... nor does it work on my keyboard.  All apps on my taskbar (bottom) work, but windows button does not... so cannot lock or anything...

while i understand it's to "unify the pc and tablet experience" i don't see why being able to drag the icons was a bad thing on a tablet anyway? or why they'r alienating most if not all of their pc user base for the much much smaller percentage of users who use windows on a tablet? like, afaik most tablet users use either ipads or android tablets, its only business or the odd personal users who use surface tablets that "benefit" from this change, and even then it's hardly a benefit. as others have said, I hope they rethink it. maybe adding it in like how windows 10 had a tablet mode? if that's turned on then no icon movement, but when in pc mode it works how it always has.