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System Tray Icon Missing


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Earlier today I installed Malwarebytes for the first time on my Windows 10 laptop. I noticed that an icon appeared in the notification area (what used to be called the System Tray) at the right hand side of the task bar. After I turned my machine off and then on, that icon was missing. I did a Web search and found several mentions of this issue.

Someone suggested that the icon could be reinstated by signing out then in again “fixed” the problem - it did but only until the machine was turned off and then on again. Others suggested turned off “Fast Start” in the Power Options - this works, and seems to be a permanent “fix”.

I have other icons in the notification area (e.g. Avast AV) which do not have the problem. To me, it seems that there is a bug in the Malwarebytes software. 

The software seems to be working in background whether or not the icon is visible (I can see activity in the process in Task Manager), but I like having the icon visible as confirmation.

Does anyone know if Malwarebytes have acknowledged this problem, and if they are working on a fix?

Many thanks.

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  • Staff

By default, Windows 10 hides new icons in the notification area/tray and clicking the small arrow pointing up in the tray area will reveal the hidden ones and you can drag any of them that are hidden onto the taskbar to keep them displayed.  If that is not the cause of the issue then please do the following so that we may take a look at what's going on (be sure to replicate the issue where the icon is not visible before running the tool so that we can see what it is doing when the issue is occurring):

  1. Download and run the Malwarebytes Support Tool
  2. Accept the EULA and click Advanced tab on the left (not Start Repair)
  3. Click the Gather Logs button, and once it completes, attach the zip file it creates on your desktop to your next reply

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Thank you for your reply.

Just to reiterate the problem, the system tray icon appears after a signing out and then signing back in. After the next power down, power up the icon does not appear. Disabling the FAST STARTUP in the power options causes the icon to appear all the time i.e. after a power down, power up. I am running the software in Windows 10 Pro Version 2004 OS Build 19041.50 Experience Pack 120.2212.31.0

I have attached the zip files you requested (one with icon and one without icon), screen shots of the system tray area (with and without icon) and a screen shot of the notification area icon settings showing that the Malwarebytes icon is switched on.

I look forward to hearing your analysis of this problem.

With thanks, Steve.

Notification area icons.png

System Tray With Icon.png

System Tray Without Icon.png

With-Icon-mbst-grab-results.zip Without-Icon-mbst-grab-results.zip

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I certainly can, however they are well aware that countless users are impacted by this issue.  Unfortunately it is a very common problem, however I believe the only ones capable of providing a solution would be Microsoft, not Malwarebytes.

Basically, at least as I understand it, this issue occurs because Malwarebytes uses its service to start its tray component, but with fast startup enabled, Windows keeps certain processes (including drivers and services) stored in memory as though they are already running while terminating all user mode processes (user mode processes such as the tray).  Because of this, when the PC is started with fast startup enabled, it causes the tray to fail to load again since the service is already active in memory running in the background so it never goes through its normal startup phase which would normally include starting the tray.

If Microsoft were to either A) keep all user mode processes stored in memory the same way it does services and drivers (similar to how sleep mode in Windows works), it wouldn't be a problem, or B) if Microsoft would terminate the services rather than keeping them active/loaded, the service could restart normally and would launch the tray as it is supposed to.  Either way, short of completely rewriting how Malwarebytes works, I don't see how they can fix it, and even if they did, there are other problems that can occur with fast startup due to its hybrid nature.

Edited by exile360
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If Microsoft were to provide an API/function for third party developers to specify that their service(s)/driver(s) should be shut down normally when fast startup is active so that they are launched normally when the PC is started again, that too would likely allow for the problem to be solved.  Until then, it is unfortunately necessary to disable fast startup on affected systems (that's another thing; it's pretty inconsistent and not all systems are affected by the issue, likely due to differences in how fast startup and hibernation work on certain hardware; this is also why many users have trouble with some systems not properly waking from sleep or hibernation).

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