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I am talking about applications that are minimized to system tray (notification area) in Windows. Many a times I find that although Windows Task Manager > Processes show my application, I cannot find it in the system tray any more. How do I retrieve the application? Is there an enhanced process/task manager that can help me open my hidden application?


I am using Windows 7 and an example of program is Dynchronize. I had problems with other programs also such as Thunderbird.

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What version of Windows, and what is an example of one of these programs? – maxwellb Jan 8 '13 at 18:08
Program icons don't simply disappear from the tray, at least for me. Did Explorer crash? Often when that happens, many icons don't return because the apps don't refresh them. – Karan Jan 8 '13 at 22:15
No Explorer did not crash – Stat-R Jan 8 '13 at 22:16

I have found this behavior in all versions of windows since NT. What I seen evidence of is that there is some type of lock placed on the system tray when it is being updated, if another application tried to put its entry there and can't it times out instead of hanging the application. I have found no way to restore the system tray icon other than killing the program and starting it again. This could be due to startup where many processes are competing for this lock, what has sometimes worked is to use the startup delayed on some of the processes to ensure that my system tray icon makes it.

Of course, it is sometimes just due to errors in the developers code.

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Actually, the problem can be solved by a proactive method. We can stop the program from hiding if we can enable allow only one instance in the program.

Now, suppose we started the program and it vanished from the system tray. Then when we restart the program (e.g. by double clicking on the application icon) the program will unhide itself. I did this and it worked excellently.

If someone has a better answer, I will accept that.

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Doesn't work for programs that are multiple-instance, such as my (disappeared) game servers – Mark Jeronimus Oct 7 '13 at 19:52
Yeah, my solution is a partial one and I mentioned allow only one instance. It worked for me though – Stat-R Oct 7 '13 at 19:56

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