This step-by-step article describes how to remove items from the notification area. The notification area is incorrectly called the "system tray" by many people. Many software companies design their programs so that they display an icon in the notification area to increase the accessibility and visibility of their products. Although notification area icons can offer a convenient way to access and control programs, you may not be using some of these icons. They may also needlessly occupy space in the notification area.
Hide the Notification Icon While Allowing the Host Program to Run in the Background
Many programs that provide a control in the notification area give you the option of hiding the notification icon without stopping the actual program. Three common examples of this include the system clock, the volume control, and network status.
- To prevent the clock from appearing in the notification area:
- Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Taskbar & Start Menu.
- Click to clear the Show Clock check box, and then click OK.
- To prevent the network connection icon from appearing in the notification area:
- Right-click My Network Places, and then click Properties.
- Right-click the network connection, and then click Properties.
- Click to clear the Show icon in taskbar when connected check box, and then click OK.
- To prevent the volume control from appearing in the notification area:
- Double-click the Sounds and Multimedia tool in the Control Panel.
- On the Sounds tab, under Sound Volume, click to clear the Show volume control on the taskbar check box, and then click OK.
Quit the Notification Area Program
Some programs (such as messaging programs) continue to run a notification area program even after you quit the main program. In such cases, you will need to quit the notification area program either by using the Exit
command that may be built into the notification area program, or by ending the process by using Task Manager.
To quit a notification area program by using the notification icon:
- Right-click the notification icon you want to remove.
- If a menu appears, click Exit or Close.
If a notification area program persists after you quit the main program, and you cannot quit the notification area application program by using the notification icon.
You can quit the notification area program by using Task Manager:
- Press CTRL+ALT+DELETE, and then click Task Manager.
- On the Processes tab, click the name of process for the program you want to quit, and then click End Process.
NOTE: If you are not sure which .exe file runs the program you want to quit, contact the program manufacturer.
- Quit Task Manager. The icon of the program should no longer appear in the notification area.
Prevent a Program from Automatically Starting When Windows Starts
Some programs that use notification icons start automatically when Windows
starts. To prevent a program from automatically starting when Windows starts, use any of the following methods:Use the program's Options/Preferences menu or command
Remove the Program Shortcut from the Startup Folder
- If the program has a menu bar, browse the menus to see if an Options or Preferences command exists, and if it does, click it.
- View the various settings to determine if there is a way to prevent the program from automatically starting when Windows starts. If such a setting exists, enable that setting.
- Quit the program.
Delete the String Value That Is Associated with the Program from the RegistryImportant
- Click Start, point to Programs, point to Startup.
- Right-click the program shortcut, and then click Delete.
This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
Use Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe) to locate and click the following key in the registry:
If the program appears in the details pane (right side), right-click the program, and then click Delete
. Quit Registry Editor.