The volume icon on the Windows taskbar is very handy to quickly change the volume of the sound on a Windows computer, or to completely mute the volume. Normally it is displayed in the notification area of the taskbar on the bottom right-hand side.

If the volume icon is missing in Windows Vista or Window 7, you can easily bring it back. Right-click the Start menu icon, and the select Properties in the popup menu. Select the Notification Area tab, and then select the checkbox called Volume. Click OK and the volume icon is back.

Restore the volume icon in Vista

In Windows XP the steps are a little different. Follow the directions below:

  • Click the Start menu and select Control Panel.
  • In the Control Panel, click the Sounds and Audio Devices icon.
  • Select the Volume tab.
  • Select the checkbox called Place volume icon on the taskbar and click OK.

Enabel the volume icon on the taskbar in XP

In Windows XP it can happen that the volume icon cannot be restored, and you get and error when you try the above steps:

Windows cannot display the volume control on the taskbar because the Volume Control program has not been installed. To install it use Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel.

This means that there is a problem with the sndvol32.exe program file. The sndvol32.exe file might be missing or corrupted, so the easiest way to solve this error is to reinstall the program file from the original Windows XP installation CD.

Once the CD is inserted in the CD/DVD driver, follow these steps:

  • Open up a command prompt window (“cmd” at the Run option in the Start menu).
  • Type: E: followed by Enter.
  • Type: CD i386 followed by Enter.
  • Type: EXPAND  sndvol32.ex_   c:\windows\system32\sndvol32.exe followed by Enter.

Note: These instructions assume that your system drive is C: and that the CD/DVD drive is E:. Please modify the instructions based on your drive configuration.

Now that the sndvol32.exe file is restored, you can restore the volume icon to the taskbar with the earlier instructions.

Be careful not to download the sndvol32.exe program file just anywhere from the Internet, but use a Windows XP setup disk. You can use any Windows XP setup disk, so borrow one from a friend or neighbor rather than experiment with online downloads and risk a virus or spyware.

Showing a sound volume icon is of course only possible if a working sound device is installed in Windows, so if you are still having problems, check the Device Manager to see if the sound device is installed and working. If not, you might need to install or update the audio drivers.

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