The system tray is home to two types of icons; system icons such as the speaker, WiFi, touch keyboard, and battery icon, and icons added by apps such as the Dropbox, Skype, and Slack icons. The battery icon has been a staple on Windows for years now, and it can be found in its usual place on Windows 10. Windows 10 users also have a neat battery slider they can use to change their power plan settings without going to Power Options but you need the battery icon to be present in the system tray to access it.
Battery Icon Missing in Windows 10
If the battery icon is missing from the system tray on your Windows 10 system, try the following to get it to show up.
1. Drag the battery icon from the overflow menu
Excessive icons on the system tray are hidden in the overflow menu. It’s possible the icon has been hidden in this overflow menu.
- On the system tray, click the dropdown arrow.
- An overflow menu will open showing you all the icons hidden from the system tray.
- Look for the battery icon, and drag & drop it out of the overflow menu and onto the system tray.
- The battery icon will now remain visible on the system tray and indicate the system’s charge/discharge state.
2. Enable battery icon
The battery icon is a staple of Windows but Windows 10 gives users the option to enable or disable it. If you do not see the battery icon on the system tray, and in the overflow menu, it may need to be enabled.
- Open the Settings app and go to the Personalization group of settings.
- Select the Taskbar tab, and scroll down to the Notification area section.
- Click ‘Select which icons appear on the taskbar’.
- Turn the Power icon on. This is your battery icon.
3. Update battery driver
The battery, like all other hardware, is only detected by Windows 10 because the right driver for it is installed. This driver can become outdated over time, with new Windows 10 updates, or if you happen to replace your battery.
- Open the Device Manager.
- Expand the Batteries group of devices.
- Right-click the Microsoft AC Adapter device, and select Update driver from the context menu. Install any updates that are available.
- Repeat for other devices under Batteries e.g., the Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method battery device.
- Restart the system after installing updates.
4. Disable/Enable battery
If you’ve recently replaced the battery, you may need to ‘install’ it again.
- Make sure your system is connected to a reliable power source. Close all open documents so you do not lose anything if the system crashes or shuts down.
- Open Device Manager.
- Expand Batteries.
- Right-click Microsoft AC Adapter, and select Uninstall Device.
- Accept the on-screen prompt.
- Repeat steps 4 and 5 for the Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method battery device.
- Restart the system.
- Open Device Manager again, and expand Batteries.
- Right-click both Microsoft AC Adapter and Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method battery device, one-by-one and select Enable Device.
- Restart the system one more time and the battery icon will appear in the system tray. Repeat solutions 1 and 2 after this.
5. Uninstall proprietary battery apps
Some device manufacturers, particularly Dell, are very restrictive about the use of unofficial/third-party hardware. What this means is that if you’ve replaced your battery and the battery wasn’t an original one purchased from the manufacturer of your device, it may not register. If that’s the case, this fix may or may not work but it is worth trying.
- Open Control Panel.
- Go to Hardware and Sound.
- Look for any proprietary battery or power management apps that have the same name as your laptop manufacturer. Note down the name.
- Return to the main Control Panel screen. Go to Programs>Uninstall a program.
- Look for the power management app, and uninstall it. In some cases e.g., with Dell, the app may be part of a driver or an enhancement suite. You will need to uninstall the entire suite in order to get rid of the app.
- Restart the system.
6. Run system check
Corrupted system files may be responsible for the battery icon not showing in the system tray.
- Open Command Prompt with admin rights.
- Run the following command.
- Allow the scan to finish and repair any problems it finds.
- Restart the system.
7. Create a new user
Some bugs plague user accounts and often, the easiest way to fix them is to create a new user account. Try creating a new user account and see if the battery icon shows up. If it does, switch over to the new account, and delete the old one, after migrating your settings and files to the new user.
The battery icon is hard to live without since it delivers critical system information.
Even if you run your laptop from a power source most of the time, you may still need the battery icon to make sure the system is plugged in. It’s normally easy to get it back.