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I'm looking for a utility for Windows that will, with a keyboard shortcut send an application to the system tray, and hitting the same keystroke (or even a different one) to restore it. This behavior is very similar to Apple + . when using Tweetie to show/hide the app in OS X.

I know of applications like Tray it!, and Autohotkey, but I wanted to know if there was one that did it all.

Does anyone have a solution for this that they have found?

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5 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted
+100

4t Tray Minimizer will do the job.

enter image description here

To minimize any application to the task bar, simply left click the minimize button as usual or press keyboard shortcut. You can configure 4t Tray Minimizer to automatically hide/restore specific applications by pressing specific keyboard shortcuts.

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This is probably not the exact answer your looking for but you can force most apps back into the systray, that used to be in vista and below like Live Messenger and Skype, by running them in vista compatibility mode. This will also turn off other win7 features for that app like task items in the taskbar but it may get you what you need. Again the app must be an app that would run in the tray if it were run on Vista or XP.

I too feel like all long running service apps and IM apps should alway be in the tray when minimized as you do. So I am interested in what others come up with. Good post +1

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TrayEverything, a free and portable product, compatible with Windows 95/98/Me/2000/XP :

  • You can minimize to tray ANY window
  • You can completely hide the window, that is, no icon in the tray
  • You can hide the window and protect it with a password
  • You can group icons of the same application in one single icon - let's not overfill the tray too!
  • You have FIVE different ways to minimize an application into tray:
    • Double click on the window's caption in the TrayEverything main window
    • TrayEverything can add a new button in the title bar of each window to minimize it
    • TrayEverything can catch the click on the minimize button of the window and minimize it - no buttons added to the title bar
    • You can choose an hotkey to minimize windows with a single key press
    • Or you can let the application go by itself in the tray with the Autominimize feature - inactive windows will be autominimized by TrayEverything
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Homepage states: Compatible with Windows 95/98/Me/2000/XP - Not tested with Vista, question is tagged with "windows-7". Installing and running it on Windows 7 produced a hang in in relatively short order, crashing several running programs when force-quitting TI. –  Sathya Mar 5 '11 at 11:51
    
@Sathya: Thanks. I have edited your comment into my answer. –  harrymc Mar 5 '11 at 14:42
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Check this simple script from AutoHotkey

http://www.autohotkey.com/docs/scripts/MinimizeToTrayMenu.htm

When you find a way to do with hotkey you should find autohotkey first :)

Copy that script to your autohotkey script and reload . Hit Windows + H to hide active window and Windows + U to unhide the last hidden window :)

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Try eXtra Buttons. It includes many other features, but specifically for your question can minimize any window to the tray on a hotkey being pressed.

enter image description here

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