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I'm using an Chrome extension ("Chat for Google") which places an icon in the system tray. If I drag it from the little pop-up box to the main tray, the icon for Chrome comes with it. Any way I can show just the extension icon and hide the chrome icon?

EDIT: I'm using Chrome 25.0.1364.172 m on Windows 7 SP1. This is the icon, next to the Chrome icon:

system tray

This is how they appear after clicking customise. Changing either dropdown instantly changes the other to the same value:

customise screen

share|improve this question
It might help if you posted some screenshots. – harrymc Mar 28 '13 at 20:08
Is this the Windows 7 system tray? – Seth Mar 28 '13 at 23:05
Which chrome? Which operating system? Screenshot? – terdon Mar 29 '13 at 13:46
@Colin Pickard: Bounty says "This question has not received enough attention". You could give your own post some attention and answer our questions. – harrymc Mar 30 '13 at 11:59
With the new Hangout Chrome client, this comes back to bite us again, especially now that there is no separate client for it, like it was for Google Talk. As I see from answers, there is still no working solution, except running the Talk client instead of Hangout... – Saxtus May 20 '13 at 9:20
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Edited since you updated the question which addressed my answer.

I did some research. It looks like they've been playing with the system tray icon functionality since before version 17. (, Even then they had the issue with the icons being tied to the chrome icon. I think the reason is that the extension runs through chrome.

There's obviously a way around this since the chrome icon can go away and leave the chrome icon if the chrome task manager icon goes away when you disable background tasks.

You could use the native app:

(It doesn't seem like it has the same functionality and for some reason can't connect to the service even though I can get there through the browser, but it doesn't have the same systray issues with the chrome task manager icon)

And/or submit a bug report to google:

There are other third party solutions like the minimize to tray solution which doesn't seem to do exactly what you want it to, but it's possible to probably throw something together from that code to make it happen.


In windows 7 and 8, click the up arrow and go to customize, find the chrome icon and change the setting to never show.

In earlier versions of windows, right click task bar, properties, customize. You can tell various icons to never show there.

share|improve this answer
I'm afraid this doesn't work, it works exactly the same as dragging to /from the popup box, i.e. you can have both visible or neither, and changing one dropdown instantly changes the other. – Colin Pickard Apr 1 '13 at 8:20
+1 for the update. Reading the links you posted, it suggests that each extension is a chrome.exe process and Windows enforces the grouping, therefore this is not likely to fixable. – Colin Pickard Apr 2 '13 at 16:12
I am a little curious as to why the icon can be hidden if you disable chrome running in the background. Since you can get to all the settings that the icon gives you from Chrome's settings menus you'd think they'd give you an option to hide that icon. – Snowburnt Apr 2 '13 at 16:16
interestingly, if you uncheck "Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed" then immediately recheck it, then the chrome icon will autohide, leaving only the extension icon. That is actually what I'm after, but the effect only lasts until you do a full exit from Chrome or reboot. – Colin Pickard Apr 2 '13 at 16:20

If you using Windows, I've found that you can right click the Chrome icon and uncheck the option "Keep Chrome Open in Background".

share|improve this answer
this kinda works, but doesn't really do what I'm after. The chrome icon is completely gone, rather than hidden. The big drawback is that the extension will then close when you close the chrome window. Since this extension is a chat client, it's much more useful to keep it running when the chrome window is closed. I guess it's probably not possible to hide just the chrome icon since Windows sees them icons for the same program. – Colin Pickard Apr 1 '13 at 8:27
I guess I fail to see where the "-1" comes in seeing as how this does do what he wants, albeit while the application is open. The initial query did not specify whether Chrome would be open or closed. Let's also not fail to realize this is a Chrome extension, not a chat client. If the intention is to have a chat client, why not use something that is actually meant for that purpose e.g. Trillian. – Qwilson Apr 3 '13 at 22:27

A wild idea is to use the Minimize to tray extension with the option "Hide tray icon if no minimized Chrome windows".

If this also affects both icons at once, then I'm not sure whether your problem has a good solution.

share|improve this answer
Haha, this does work, but in the most useless way possible :) It does allow you run chrome with the "keep in background" off, so the chrome icon is gone, with the extension icon still visible. But it adds it own icon, which looks identical to the chrome icon, and has the same behaviour too. So net result is back to square one! thank you anyway but no upvote I'm afraid – Colin Pickard Apr 1 '13 at 8:53
You might try to contact the author of the extension and ask for a "Hide traybar icon" option. That might be the fastest solution... – harrymc Apr 1 '13 at 11:34

If you don't bother to run another programm, give Tray-It a try. Its own icons can be hidden completely:

  1. Install & start Tray-It
  2. Start Chrome + Chat extention
  3. In Tray-IT:
    • right click the corresponding entry -> Place in Systray
    • Edit -> Profiles
    • Config according to screenshots (you had to adopt the Window title)
  4. Hide Tray-It itself and start it with windows (Edit -> Options)

config of trayit

I don't use Chrome, so you probably have to experiment a little bit yourself, if "Window Title" or "Window Class" is better to separate Chrome Window from Chat Window.

share|improve this answer
Maybe I've not understood, but I don't think this will help. It will give me another icon in the systray for chrome, effectively the same as the "Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed" tickbox does. Based on Snowburnt's links, the processes are all created with "chrome.exe" so the grouping effect will be the same. – Colin Pickard Apr 2 '13 at 16:40
@ColinPickard: Yes, sorry, now I was able to install Chrome in a VM to test it myself: Looks like Tray-It can't hide Chrome completely, although it works fine for other programs. – mpy Apr 2 '13 at 17:05

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