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"Hide inactive icons" is checked. But the arrow to slide the hidden icons in/out of view moves very slowly ( >2 seconds to reveal, about the same to hide them again ). Is there any way to tweak the speed?

Windows XP. CPU usage minimal (2% or less). 19-22 icons average.

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How many icons do you have there? – Matthew Steeples Oct 12 '11 at 17:48
@MatthewSteeples: Answered via edit above. – Unsigned Oct 12 '11 at 19:43
Twenty two icons? Asking 22 programs to draw their icon indeed takes more than 2 seconds... – Tom Wijsman Oct 12 '11 at 21:39
@TomWijsman: Wouldn't hiding the icons again be faster then? The delay is seen both on show & hide. – Unsigned Oct 13 '11 at 12:55
@Unsigned: I'm not entirely sure, but there is probably something memory related involved like deallocating the memory or paging it to disk. It might even enumerate all the program to tell them that the icon isn't shown anymore to the user, to be sure you would have to look into the Windows API and Windows Internals. But one thing is sure, it does something that is costly on both show/hide... – Tom Wijsman Oct 13 '11 at 15:43

Another question would be is there a CPU hog running? Check this by opening Task Manager and checking the CPU rate. The rate of use will vary from moment to moment but generally it should run pretty low, like 5% or 25%. If it consistently runs very high, like 75% or 90% then that will slow everything down, even the movement of that arrow. If you find high CPU use you can get more details by installing Process Explorer or PerfMon. All are good, but Process Explorer also shows DPC's and hardware interrupts...

OK, since CPU use is normal and you have a lot of icons...

Seems like there should be a way of getting rid of icons rather than just hiding them. Most of mine are called "Past Items" in the Customize button of Notification Area of taskbar properties (right click taskbar>Properties). I think I just closed all those programs. Only icons of active programs appear or are hidden. Do the icons in your notification area represent programs that you are using? There are a few ways to stop them from opening if you aren't using them...

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Procexp is a regularly running, and no, CPU usage is minimal. – Unsigned Oct 12 '11 at 19:43

I would question the number of icons that you've got there! Do you need all of them to be running as icons? Eg some laptop trackpads have a tray icon option that can be disabled. I would imagine that the best way to limit this problem is to a) reduce the number of icons and b) make it so that the ones that you always want visible are always visible.

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Except for 2-3 (pretty much the difference between the 19-22 figure in the question), they are all essential. Process Explorer dumps 3 (by configuration, Network, Disk & CPU). The core temperatures take up another 4, antivirus is another, volume, VPN, Sandboxie, AutoHotkey, Safely Remove Hardware, etc. – Unsigned Oct 13 '11 at 12:58

You said:

They are all essential. Process Explorer dumps 3 (by configuration, Network, Disk & CPU). The core temperatures take up another 4, antivirus is another, volume, VPN, Sandboxie, AutoHotkey, Safely Remove Hardware, etc.

Essential means "of the utmost importance", but I don't think you need to be able to watch most icons:

  • Process Explorer

    High CPU can be noticed by a slow computer, high memory produces a warning by the OS and high disk can be heard by grinding (with a HDD) or shouldn't matter much (with a SSD).

    As for being able to see the actual graphs, you can configure Process Explorer to not draw them but rather show up as a single flag. The graphs can then be accessed by clicking through the flag and getting into the System Information in Process Explorer.

    This has an impact on opening the show/hide as it needs to draw all three graphs into an icon.

  • Core Temperatures

    Why not just schedule a warning when your cores reach a certain temperature?

    This has some impact as it needs to print 4 strings into 4 icons.

  • Antivirus, VPN, Sandboxie, AutoHotkey, Safely Remove Hardware, ...

    Check whether these programs have a static icon, if not, configure them as such. For example, some virus scanners show their scanning activity through their icon.

    You might actually want to consider that you don't need some of these running all the time, cutting down on those gets me down to only some icons and I run them on demand in a feasible way...

    Drawing that has some impact too, but less than actually generating an icon.

I wonder what the other icons are for...

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Did a clean boot and brought it down to just the icons listed plus Network Status. I appreciate your answer however. Personally I like having the core temperatures visible at any time, but on Process Explorer, how does one change the graphs to flags? I did a quick check through the configuration menus but in the current version (v15.x) there does not seem to be any such option... – Unsigned Oct 13 '11 at 16:46
Essential wasn't the best term. But nonetheless all icons I would rather have (even with a speed hit) than go without. – Unsigned Oct 13 '11 at 16:47
@Unsigned: Disable everything under Options -> Tray Icons, seems in recent versions it no longer minimizes to the tray. That makes sense given that the program does not need to notify the user... – Tom Wijsman Oct 13 '11 at 17:17
It does minimize to tray using Options > Hide when minimized I currently have it set to do this on startup, and display the CPU/Network/Disk graphs as I mentioned before. – Unsigned Oct 13 '11 at 17:28
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Seems to have been related to system I/O...not CPU. Higher I/O (even if CPU remains under 1-2%) causes slowdown, lower/zero I/O makes for nearly instant display. Go figure.

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