Windows Security Icon Missing from Tray and the Task Manager Startup Tab

The Windows Security tray icon provides a convenient way to run a quick scan, check for definition updates, or launch the Windows Security app quickly. However, in some systems, the icon may be missing from the notification area.

windows security tray icon missing

Let’s see how to restore the missing icon.

Restore the Windows Security Tray Icon

SecurityHealthSystray.exe is the module responsible for displaying the Windows Security icon.

Right-click Start, click Run, type the following file name, and click OK.


The “Windows Security” icon should now appear in the notification area.

Auto-starting the program

Option 1: Using the Startup folder

To automatically launch the program SecurityHealthSystray.exe at every startup, create a shortcut to it and place the shortcut in your Startup folder. The Startup folder of your user account can be opened by typing shell:startup in the Run dialog.

(You’d like to see the other useful shell shortcut commands.)

Option 2: Using the Registry

Other than the “Startup” folder method, here’s another option for you. The following method works for all user accounts.

You can auto-start the program via the registry run key.

Open an Admin Command Prompt window. Copy the following command and paste it into the Command Prompt

reg add "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run" /v SecurityHealth /d "%windir%\system32\SecurityHealthSystray.exe" /t REG_SZ /f

That’s it. The Windows Security tray icon should load automatically whenever you login to your account.

(The startup registry entry or the shortcut added to the Startup folder will appear in the Task Manager Startup tab.)

One small request: If you liked this post, please share this?

One "tiny" share from you would seriously help a lot with the growth of this blog. Some great suggestions:
  • Pin it!
  • Share it to your favorite blog + Facebook, Reddit
  • Tweet it!
So thank you so much for your support. It won't take more than 10 seconds of your time. The share buttons are right below. :)

Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded in 2005.

3 thoughts on “Windows Security Icon Missing from Tray and the Task Manager Startup Tab”

  1. Ramesh
    Thank you for the help. I wasn’t comfortable using the registry, so I used the start-up folder which was easier for me to understand.
    I am using Windows 11 Home, version 22H2, OS Build 22623.1037 and Windows Feature Experience Pack 1000.22638.1000.0 on the beta channel and have been queued for months to be unenrolled from the insider program. The missing tray icon only started with the last insider update, which also removed all the start-up apps in the task manager. I am guessing this problem is related to the update.
    I will be happy when I finally get unenrolled with a stable release.
    Again, thank you for the fix.

  2. Ramesh Srinivasan, you are a genius! You said that you are not employed by Microsoft but, you should be!!! I am not computer savvy at all; not one bit but, you made computer Error Code 0x80072F8F0x20000 just melt away; even a young child can follow your instructions with ease. I was so confused, didn’t know what to do. I thought that I had to buy a new PC or pay high prices to install Windows 10 or pay for repairs since I was not allowed to download the upgrade from Microsoft. You will never totally appreciate how much time, headache, and money your article has spared me. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! May God bless your generosity!!!!!!

  3. Had this issue for a while in Windows 10 22H2 as well as Windows Defender Security Service not running at all I finally got Defender fixed but still had no tray icon.

    I ran the suggested cmd for Restore the Windows Security Tray Icon above and it opened to the taskbar immediately.

    I right clicked taskbar > Taskbar Settings > Notification Area > Select which icons appear on the taskbar and switched on the Windows Security Notification Icon (which was not listed until I ran the above cmd line).

    Created a shortcut to the desktop for the tray app SecurityHealthSystray (located in C: Windows/System32)

    and copied it to my user startup folder located in:

    C:\Users\yourusernanme\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

    All good and thanks a lot for your help.


Leave a Comment