I've searched for an answer to this one and I haven't found one yet. How do i remove a single item from Windows' System tray? I'm targeting Windows XP.

Edit: This is not about preventing items from starting up. I want the program to keep running, I just need another script/program to remove the first one's entry from system tray.

Second Edit: One approach that I can think of is to try to hide the intended app by modifying registry keys. On several test machines I've found some registry entries that match the System tray information at

HKEY_USERS\something-that-looks-like S-1-5-21-682003330-1563985344-725345543-1003\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\TrayNotify

with BalloonTip, IconStream and PastIconsStream containing systray information. The important one is IconStream.

On other machines, these are found at


I'm quite sure there's no danger in changing those specific registries, but I don't know how to write code for that. Can anyone help me with the code and with confirming if this has the desired effect of hiding the systray icon for an active program?


From a similar question on SU.

PS Tray Factory may be of some use:

PS Tray Factory is a powerful and handy tool meant to flexibly control ALL the other icons in the system tray of the taskbar. PS Tray Factory will help you to manage all the applications that place their icons in the taskbar tray. When you have installed PS Tray Factory, you will forget about the problem of lack of space in the system tray, and will also get an easy, fast and handy tool to handle those applications. In short, ALL Windows users will get this handy and powerful tool at their disposal, whereas only Windows XP users have an idea of it. For the latter, we have made a nice surprise, as the features of PS Tray Factory exceed the standard built-in ones of this OS. With PS Tray Factory you can quickly hide system tray icons and easy manage them.

  • If you want to skip the trouble writing the code, just use one of many pieces of software like this one. – Sergiy Belozorov Mar 15 '10 at 18:36

Just click Start Menu > Run, and type msconfig. On the Startup tab, you can see the programs which start together with Windows. You can clear ticks of programs that you don't want to run in system tray.

Another way to remove the programs from system tray is, you can go to Options of the relevant program and find the option to disable starting with Windows. Some programs do not have this option intentionally, so you have to try msconfig or any of 3rd party startup management programs.

  • msconfig is the way to do it, +1 – Nicu Zecheru Mar 11 '10 at 14:49
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    Sorry, this is not what I asked. I want to delete the systray entry and the program to keep running. – Valentin Brasso Mar 11 '10 at 14:50
  • Sorry, original question was not very clear... – Nicu Zecheru Mar 12 '10 at 14:14

Right-click on Start button >> Properties >> Taskbar tab >> Customize.

Select the Tray icon you don't like. Under Behavior set to "Always hide".

Repeat as needed.

The icons will still be visible if you expand the Tray but hidden for 99% of your usage.


Icons in the notification area always belong to a window. This may be hidden but in any case it belongs to a single process. So closing the related process also removes the notification icon. If you want it permanently removed, just don't start the respective program.

  • Are you absolutely positive that you can't delete/hide a system tray icon without terminating the process? Have you ever right clicked the taskbar, chose Proprieties, and next to Hide inactive icons clicked the Customize button, then chose Always hide option for an item that's running and showing in systray, only to see it dissapear? Well that's what I want, only that it must be in a script or program and target a specific app. – Valentin Brasso Mar 11 '10 at 15:00
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    @alt: You could have made your question clearer, in that case. And hiding inactive icons is shell functionality which can be controlled by the user. So you have the option already as a user (provided XP behaves similarly to Windows 7 in that regard). From a program it's intentionally not possible (or only by jumping through some hoops). – Joey Mar 11 '10 at 16:03

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