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Customize the System Tray

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011 by | Filed Under: Desktop Enhancement

Mike from Nebraska writes:

I have too many icons in my system tray. How can I get rid of the ones I do not want or need?

Hey Mike, I don’t blame you for trying to get rid of icons from the System Tray. It can be quite distracting to see the notifications pop up. Let me show you how to unclutter the System Tray.

Since, you haven’t specified the Windows operating system you are using, I’ll provide the steps using the Windows XP operating system. The steps for other Windows versions are similar, though the screen shots may differ. Let’s jump right into it by accessing the Taskbar and Start Menu dialog box.

To access the Taskbar and Start Menu dialog box, either right-click the task barĀ  and click Properties, as shown below, or go to the Start > Control Panel > Taskbar and Start Menu.

Task bar right-click menu

Click the Customize button under the Notification area heading.

Task Bar and Start Menu Properties

The Customize Notifications dialog box appears. The list of items in your System Tray are listed under the Current Items heading. Next to each item, is a drop-down list box. The default option for these boxes is Hide when inactive. Since you want to permanently hide the icons on your Systems Tray, go to the drop-down list box next to each item and select the Always hide option.

Task Bar Menu

After you’ve selected the Always hide option for the items you don’t want to see in your System Tray, click OK to save and close the Customize Notifications dialog box.

Click OK to close the Taskbar and Start Menu dialog box.

That’s it! This will reduce the clutter in your System Tray.

~Rupen Sharma

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3 Responses to “Customize the System Tray”

  1. Tim Simmons says:

    Great tip. Been working computers for 42 years and am still learning new tricks from you guys ALL the time.

  2. K.Vee.Shanker. says:

    Hi Rupen,
    What you’re suggesting is just hiding the icons. May be, Mike wants to ‘get rid of’ those that he doesn’t use everyday. Many programs mark ‘Start with Windows, by default. They unnecessarily occupy the memory all the time whether the user wants them or not and hinder the programs being used. So, the best way is to deselect that default loading option. Mike has to search in menus such as ‘General options or Connections’, or some thing like that in program window.

  3. Bill Leach says:

    Another really well written tip… and another one that told me something that I did not know! Thanks!

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