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  • Windows Update “New updates are available” notification balloon and icon missing

    Posted on October 20th, 2015 at 10:55 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Several of you have written to me, saying that the “Update” icon that used to appear in the system tray in Windows 7 isn’t there any more. Here’s a particularly detailed analysis from reader GM:

    I have had the same disappearance of the Windows Update notify icon from systray on all 3 of my Windows 7 Home Premium systems.

    My own diagnosis is that the problem was first introduced by KB3065987 in the JUL 2015 updates (but went unnoticed until August when I wondered why no notify appeared for updates then – manually checking WU showed there really were updates).

    In AUG 2015, KB3075851 (apparently superseding KB3065987) did NOT fix the missing notify problem.

    Likewise, in SEP 2015, KB3083324 (apparently superseding KB3075851) also failed to fix the missing notify problem.

    I had hoped maybe KB3083710 in OCT 2015 might have the missing notify fixed, but not according to what I have read in some forums.

    My circumvention back in AUG 2015 was to restore to a system image I had taken in JUL 2015 before the problem was introduced by KB3065987 (doing so put me at Windows Update at KB2990214 -or- KB3050265 either of which provided a working Windows Update with a working notification icon). Going forward, I then made sure I did not install any of KB3065987/KB3075851/KB3083324 (or likely KB3083710).

    I can not say with certainty, but I believe all of the “offending” WU fixes (KB3065987/KB3075851/KB3083324 and maybe KB3083710) had to do with adding logic for Group Policy settings for Windows Update for upgrading to Windows 10 (eg the DisableOSUpgrade registry setting as one likely example).

    I have seen a post in the WindowsSecrets forum that claims that adding the DisableOSUpgrade registry setting (via regedit) will cause the missing Windows Update notify to return even with any of the offending WU fixes installed. I have not tried or verified this yet myself, but I consider it likely credible. Ironically, as a WIN7 Home Premium user, there is no GPEDIT function in that version of WIN7.

    So yes, I am 99% certain the missing WIN7 Updates notify is because of tweaks Microsoft is making because of Windows 10 to the Windows Update mechanism in WIN7.

    The lack of clarity on the problem is because of the missing notify icon not being noticed until AUG 2015 – a month after the problem was introduced in JUL 2015 by KB3065987 – as well as the roll-out of Windows 10 and the “Get Windows 10” campaign and its notifies.

    Can anybody else confirm GM’s observations?