I recently wrote how to use a Registry hack to hide all icons in the Notification Area (Task Tray), and I realized that not everyone knows how to use the Notification Area in the first place!
The Windows Notification Area is used to store icons for the programs that are running in the background of your machine. In the past few years, many programs have begun to accumulate in the Notification Area and it can grow to be very large! This tip will show you how to hide some (or all) of these icons.
- Right-click your Taskbar and click Properties
- At the bottom of the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog box, tick the Hide inactive icons checkbox and click the Customize button.
- Now, in the Customize Notifications dialog, you will notice a few items:
- Current Items – Programs (and notifications) that are currently running (in the Notification Area)
- Past Times – Items that have appeared in the past
Under Behavior, click and choose what action you’d like for each item (programs & notifications). You have a few options to choose from:
- Hide when inactive
- Always hide
- Always show
- Click OK in all dialogs and changes will be immediate!
I’ve noticed a bug in the Customize Notifications dialog, sometimes when you choose the “Always show” option, it changes to “Hide when inactive” – but it does actually keep the “Always show” behavior. Hopefully this will be one of the many things addressed in Service Pack 3!