The Windows system tray is a helpful feature that gives us little icons to tell us which software is currently running. It allows us to get a quick idea of what’s going on without having to open the task manager and check what’s going on manually.
Antivirus software is a particularly important one, as we need to know it’s both turned on and working correctly to feel safe that our computer is protected while we use it.
However, many users of Avast Antivirus software have experienced the quite common problem of the system tray icon disappearing for no apparent reason.
If this is happening to you, don’t worry! You’re in the right place. We’re going to explain to you both why this happens and how you can go about fixing it.
Why is Avast Icon Disappeared from Tray?
One important detail to keep in mind is that the absence of the tray icon does not necessarily mean the software is no longer running. Your system is still under Avast protection, and technically everything is functioning as normal.
With that being said, it’s still quite disconcerting to not have the presence of the system tray icon and that peace of mind that everything is fine.
Here are some of the primary causes that will prevent the Avast icon from displaying.
Not turned on in the taskbar settings
By default, the icon should always be turned on within the internal windows taskbar settings. However, sometimes this may turn itself off, whether by accidental user error or just Windows being buggy.
Going in and manually turning this on, or if you find that it’s already on, turning it off and then back on can oftentimes knock it back into action and restore it to the system tray.
Not turned on in the Avast software
In addition to our Windows taskbar settings, there’s also the option within the Avast software itself to not display a system tray icon. This may need to be double-checked to ensure it’s not ticked, which will prevent the system tray icon from displaying.
Activity prevented through a third-party software
Certain startup processes can be withheld by third-party software, such as StartupSpybot, AdAware, SpySweeper, etc. These can take control of the system tray with the intention of giving you more control over what’s being displayed there.
If you have one of these software packages, you may need to go in and manually allow Avast Antivirus before it can display in the tray.
Blocked by a firewall
Sometimes firewalls can be a bit overzealous with blocking software. Things like Windows Firewall in particular can prevent an app or piece of software from displaying correctly by blocking it.
In these scenarios, a manual exception will need to be added in order for it to display correctly. This may also affect things like programs and games running correctly, so ensuring your firewall settings are correct is very important.
Bugs or glitches
Often, this can be a temporary issue caused by a software bug or glitch, which can be eliminated with some simple troubleshooting steps, such as rebooting the computer, repairing the software, or perhaps fully uninstalling and re-installing the Avast suite.
How to fix Avast icon disappearing from the system tray
This is a very solvable issue and can usually be fixed quite quickly with the following basic troubleshooting steps.
Reboot your computer
Your first port of call should be to simply restart your computer. As obvious as it might seem, many users have reported that simply restarting their computer has re-enabled the Avast icon displayed in the system tray.
If this doesn’t work at first, you can also power off your computer completely, wait for 60 seconds, and boot it back up.
Enable the icon in the Windows taskbar
The most common cause of this issue occurring is that it’s actually been disabled within the Windows taskbar settings. This isn’t always your fault as a user and can sometimes occur simply through a bug in Windows.
Here’s how to go about restoring it:
- Right-click on your Windows taskbar and select “taskbar settings.”
- Under “notification area,” click on “select which icons appear on the taskbar.”
- Locate the Avast Antivirus software and change it to “on.”
It may be the case that it’s already turned on, in which case turning it off and then back on can help reset it, and it should display correctly.
Enable the icon in the Avast Antivirus software itself
Much in the same way as the Windows taskbar, there is an option to enable or disable the system tray icon directly within the Avast software.
Both Windows and Avast need these set to “enabled” in order for the icon to display correctly.
To do this, open the Avast software and navigate to “settings.” There will be an option called “show icon in the taskbar.” This option needs to be ticked, but just like before, if it’s already ticked, you can try unticking it, saving this option, and then opening the software back up and re-ticking it.
Allowing the icon through a third-party software
Many security software suites take control of startup items and can potentially block Avast from displaying in your system tray.
There are many types of software that can cause this, but it’s generally anti-spyware and system protection programs such as SpySweeper, Spyware Doctor, WinPatrol, ProcessGuard, etc.
If you have any of these on your computer, you will need to manually add Avast Antivirus to their exceptions so they cannot prevent the icon from displaying within the system tray.
Blocked by a firewall
Much in the same way a program can block the icon from displaying, so too can a firewall, particularly things like Windows Defender Firewall or other antivirus software suites that have an inbuilt firewall.
If you have any of these installed and working, you will need to create a new “rule” within them that allows access to Avast Antivirus software, which should then allow the system tray icon to display.
If your software is not up to date, it can be prone to bugs or glitches that may prevent the icon from displaying.
Generally speaking, these updates should happen automatically. However, if you need to do this manually, you can do so within the Avast GUI by clicking on “settings,” then navigating to “general,” then “update,” and clicking the “check for updates” button.
Give the software some time to check for, download, and install any updates, and then restart your computer.
This may also solve issues with other parts of the Avast software suite, such as the VPN module slowing down your internet.
If the software has encountered an error or a file has been corrupted during the installation process, you may need to repair or fully re-install the software.
- In your Windows search bar, type “apps & features.”
- Then, on the right-hand side, click “programs & features.”
- Navigate to Avast Antivirus and click the “repair” button.
If this doesn’t work, you may need to completely wipe the software to remove any bad registry entries and re-install the software.
This is best done with some uninstallation software such as IObit Uninstaller, which will help you automatically remove all residual files and registry entries that may present an issue during a re-installation.
Once the software is completely wiped from the system, simply re-download it and install it as normal.