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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?

    If that helped, take a second to support AskWoody on Patreon

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

    This topic contains 30 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Jacquie 1 year, 1 month ago.

    • Author
    • #49542 Reply

      Da Boss

      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 pa
      [See the full post at: Windows Update “New updates are available” notification balloon and icon missing]

    • #49543 Reply


      Woody –

      I just found in an article in the July issue of CONSUMER REPORTS: page 47, ‘Easy DIY fixes: “Also set Windows for automatic updates so that you get the latest security patches.”

      Maybe you could give them a heads-up? (I think they’d listen to you better than me)

    • #49544 Reply

      Da Boss

      @Jacquie –

      I’m always mystified by Consumer Reports’ choices and recommendations. Add another one to the list. 🙂

    • #49545 Reply



      I can confirm that I have KB3065987 installed and I no longer have the New Update Notification balloon. I also can confirm that after the July 2015 updates, the Notification went missing and, going forward, I did not install any further WU “patches” based on the various AskWoody patch analysis from month to month. However, I can still check for updates manually and will find the new updates on my system late on the 2nd Tuesday of the month or the next day.

      Once I lost the update notification, and not installing any further WU patches, I never received any offer(s) to upgrade to W10. As a result, I have not encountered any of the W10 upgrade ads/problems others have run into including the 5Gb download that includes the W10 update files…

      W7 SP1 x64

    • #49546 Reply

      Da Boss

      @Louis –


    • #49547 Reply


      I did not install KB3065987, but I did install KB3075851, which killed my WU notification icons. Uninstalling KB3075851 restored the notification icons, although the uninstall also wiped out the list under “View update history”. Previously installed patches, however, were still listed under “Installed Updates”, so I didn’t worry much about losing the list under “View update history”.

      I believe that the WU Update Client patches should be viewed with great suspicion; they carry no useful descriptions.

    • #49548 Reply

      Tony H

      Well, there’s a thing!

      My main Win7 x64 system is patched up to September with important-updates-only per your MS-DefCon advice, minus the ‘snoopy six’ listed here previously. I lost the ‘New updates are available’ notification many weeks ago (probably in August after applying the July updates). Without doing anything else, I just now ran GWX_Control_Panel to set the DisableOSUpgrade word, then rebooted. The ‘New updates are available’ pop-up is back – woo!

      And so far, there’s no sign of GWX banners or large download folders, mostly by following ongoing advice here – thanks Woody and Josh!

      P.S. A recent call to fix a Win7 Enterprise PC revealed no sign of GWX despite many of the snoopy patches having been installed. So Microsoft does honour _some_ of what it says.

    • #49549 Reply

      AskWoody Lounger

      As I detailed in a long comment to an earlier post, the old (normal, non-Win10-related) Windows Update icon that had disappeared in late July returned to my Win7 Notification Area last week after I ran GWX Control Panel for the first time and switched “Is Get Windows 10 app enabled?” and “Are Windows Update OS upgrades enabled?” from Yes to No. (The other settings were already “No”.)

      I’ve been following Woody’s recommendations in terms of which updates not to install, and have yet to see any Win10-related notice or dialog on my PC.

    • #49550 Reply


      I also installed KB5075851 (because AskWoody didn’t say not to) and it also killed my Update Notification icon. But I still know that updates are there so I don’t really miss it. Is this some ploy on Microsoft’s part to get us to switch back to Automatic Updates?

      I did not install KB3083324 for September (because AskWoody said don’t).

      I’m ready to stop patching completely at this point.

    • #49551 Reply

      Thom R

      I went through the entire list of do not download kb #’s. I found 2 that had snuck through including307 5851. once I deleted them and restarted, the updat icon was back and has been returning each day.
      Like Marty , I lost history but thats ok.

    • #49552 Reply

      AskWoody Lounger

      For what it’s worth, I lost the Update Notification icon after the July updates (which I installed on July 23, after Woody gave the go-ahead).

      According to my update history, I didn’t install 3075851 until Sept. 3rd, so it was an earlier update that killed the icon on my system.

      (And as I noted in an earlier comment, GWX Control Panel has now brought the icon back.)

    • #49553 Reply


      My scenario is a combination of posts above but I will absolutely confirm that running Josh’s GWX Control Panel and disabling the GWX app and OS Upgrades does indeed return the notification icon to the tray.

      In regards to losing my update history I encountered that problem back in July also and mentioned this in numerous threads here, but in my case I did nothing more than VIEW the updates I had hidden. I neither checked or unchecked any of them nor did I uninstall anything, I simply VIEWED the hidden updates and then clicked “Cancel” after confirming KB2952664 was still hidden. Immediately after that I manually checked for updates and everything I’d had hidden was now listed as available (including the ump-teen Language packs that had been hidden since the initial install back in 2009). Upon seeing these all listed as available I closed the update panel & restarted my computer and immediately looked at my update history – which was now totally blank. All updates I’ve installed since then show up there now but everything before that are gone.

    • #49554 Reply



      My system is W7 SP1 Home Premium

      I received an optional update KB3095649 published yesterday, the thing that confuses me is that it states it is Win32k.sys for 8.1 and Windows Server 2012! which I definitely am not. I never download optionals.

      Can anyone explain why I would’ve received this? I really don’t know why…

    • #49555 Reply


      Same I have disable from group edit, turn off WU and remove all gwx and now decided to stop patching altogether unless there is some urgent and valid and verified security patches

      @ThomR @marty
      Same gone history list so what? I would change OS the next time MS p*ss me off with such unethical (pos illegal) crapware the brand has turn dark and evil no longer the 4 primary colors

      thank again for the list and reply and yes manually removal is prob the best… but doing it thro regedit kill way too much time we shld all bill the bill for zillions for compensation and psychological stress and interruption for family time and EVERYTHING!

      HA HA 😀

      thanks for initiative just as tim rip and apple has gone ‘differently’ what happen when this head is gone? Karma man karma is the REAL law not from man’s directive and making.

      if i want to switch away from OS W7 what would you recommend a old non-techie person to easily transit thro (pref able to move all the personal data across as effortlessly as possible) and is safest among the OS-type out there?

      Thank you all 🙂

      Peace of I

    • #49556 Reply

      Da Boss


      Strange, but it seems to jibe with what others are reporting about the disappearing update history….

    • #49557 Reply

      Da Boss

      @Nd60 –

      If you’re not concerned about privacy, and don’t need to run Windows programs, I’d suggest a Chromebook.

      If you’re concerned about privacy, and don’t need to run Windows programs, try a MacBook or even an iPad or Android tablet — which one depends on how you’re going to use the machine.

      If you’re not concerned about privacy and want to run Windows programs, look at the new cheap Windows 10 machines.

    • #49558 Reply

      Da Boss

      @GTS –

      3095649 is for both Win8 and Win7. But don’t install it yet – wait for the MS-DEFCON level to go down.

    • #49559 Reply


      On one of my Win 7 systems for which the update notification icon had disappeared (3075851 is installed) I used group policy to enable the “DisableOSUpgrade” setting. After rebooting the machine, the notification icon returned.

    • #49560 Reply


      So now they release “Removes the Touch Hardware Quality Assurance (THQA) certification verification check in the Win32k.sys driver in Windows 8.1.” for Windows 7. Someone in Redmond should get fired.. It’s probably the same guy who forgot to send out this memo http://www.pcworld.com/article/2452702/dont-panic-yes-windows-7-is-leaving-mainstream-support-but-it-isnt-being-abandoned.html In short, after January 15, there should not be any updates except SECURITY UPDATES. Instead we are bombarded by recommended updates for wrong OS and Windows 10 related updates disguised as security updates. Dear Mr. Nadella read this: After January 15, the only update that should ever appear in the recommended list is the full Windows 10 install. Microsoft have lost their minds.

    • #49561 Reply

      Da Boss

      @Eric –

      Fascinating! Perhaps that’s at the root of it….

    • #49562 Reply


      hmmm… looking at ms business-tactic history and how xp was being ‘treated’ recently and now w7 underhanded unapologetic ‘offer’… surely something will try again in deeper and darker ways… animal habitual patterns dont change easy… especially when they think they are at the top looking down… who knows if theres a killswitch somewhere…???

      think the writing on the wall is glaring for me… but again im not the optimistic type personality…

      will move to non-ms as soon-ish as possible… need to correct this unhealthy animal-habit of surrendering security for perceived comfort and “user-friendly” of mine… oouch but should be better for the long run… another 40-60 years for the left of me?!

      Thank you all… just my opinion here… be well

    • #49563 Reply


      @woody @GTS,


      Are you certain about this?

      5649 is listed as an optional update on my W7 x64 and the “More Information” page on MSFT’s support site lists this update as “This article describes an update that fixes some issues in Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2.”

      Why would they offer a W7 machine an 8.1 / Server optional update? WTF is Richmond doing??

    • #49564 Reply


      I can confirm Eric’s findings: disabling OS upgrade via Group Policy setting resolves the issue, but only after a new search for updates has been done. The exact same is true for disabling OS updates with GWX Control Panel. I have all the above mentioned KB’s related to Windows Update installed. And man, have I spent a lot of time over the last months to solve this issue 🙁

    • #49565 Reply

      Da Boss

      @Louis –

      I’m posting a blog about that right now.

    • #49566 Reply



      An FYI…

      As I described in other comments, I have KB3065987 installed, haven’t installed any other WU patches and when KB3065987 was installed [July/Aug] I lost the notifications balloon.

      Yesterday, despite no notifications balloon since the summer, never having reserved a copy of W10 because I have no W10 invitation/adware on my machine of any kind, no W10 update folder anywhere to be found, I decided to run the new GWX program to see under the covers.

      GWX revealed there was no GW10 App Found, or enabled, it said Windows Update OS upgrades WAS enabled, and it did not find a W10 download folder.

      I proceeded set to Disable WU OS upgrade, did NOT clear the Windows Update Cache and rebooted as suggested.

      This morning after booting up, Windows checked for updates and, voila, the Notification balloon appeared.

      Checking update history and hidden updates, everything is status quo.

      Talk about opaque.

    • #49567 Reply

      Da Boss

      @Louis –

      Yeah, really. I think disabling the OS upgrade may turn the notification balloon back on. No idea why.

    • #49568 Reply


      @ louis, @ woody
      I didn’t installed any ‘offending’ patches not even the KB3065987 or the others Win10 related, but me too, nothing balloon.

      Reading the posts here, I tick the “Turn off the upgrade to the latest version of Windows through Windows Update”, in the Group Policy (gpedit.msc), following this MS article: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3080351 (scroll to “Computer Configuration” section).

      At the first manual check, still no balloon.
      The next day (today), voilà! the icon reappeared! The mysteries of Microsoft!

      I suppose the same action GWX program’s “disabling the OS upgrade” option does.

      I hope it’ll be useful to someone.

    • #49569 Reply


      Windows Update Notifier was developed for Windows 8.x and just happens to work on Windows 7.


      File size is 615Kb and there is no installer. After download, I created a folder within “Program Files (x86)” and placed the EXE there. When executed, you are given the option to load on startup. If you elect that, the program creates a startup task (Task Scheduler) that runs at user log on. There is nothing related to WUN in “Run” in the registry or in startup folders. The system should be rebooted after “Start Windows Update Notifier on system startup” is checked under “Settings”. That creates the task and related registry entries. “Settings” also allows selection/de-selection of the metro interface and provides a “Search for updates every [minutes]” option (default is 60). After that, the task resides in the notification area and exhibits expected behavior. I have set my first machine to “Show icon and notifications”.

      If it hadn’t worked perfectly, I wouldn’t have posted this. Looks to me like a winner for those who lost the update icon and notification bubble. I un-hid the Skype update to test and got the notice immediately. Re-hid the Skype update, ran the manual update check, passed again. This won’t affect any Win10 pests, but should allow “normal” once more.

      Separately, sent @woody an email with this info.


    • #49570 Reply

      Da Boss

      Interesting discovery. I’ve been trying to find the time to confirm on my machines, but this looks good.

    • #49571 Reply


      In my search for the “lost” update icon, I bumped into this and saw it was built for 8 and (hurriedly) didn’t delve. Second time, I read it and thought … maybe.

      I have it running on three x64s. Each machine was tested. Had to flush the icon cache on one to allow the WUN icons to function. [My fault for leaving too many old icons for too long. And that’s another Windows uninstall gripe.]

      The task can be edited to “At startup” rather than “At log on”, if desired.

      I don’t know how much overhead this task takes. It seems to be a monitor of wupdate and, unless I get a bite (according to the settings), I don’t see it … except where I want it: in the tray, and with standard balloon notifications. I have not seen any hit on performance nor any conflicts/errors thus far.

      I don’t think the developer had any idea he might be making a bunch of Win 7 users very happy with this code. Knowing what is going on in the updating service is important. NOT getting a flag and knowing what is in the queue is unacceptable.

      I’m at the point now (even before nvidia) that anything below “security” gets blocked, including drivers.

      Anticipate what you have to say about this.

    • #49572 Reply

      Da Boss

      I don’t know first-hand, as I don’t have the problem on any of my Win7 machines. There have been some excellent suggestions around here, including yours.

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

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