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I'm using Signal for instant messaging and have installed the desktop app on Windows 10.

When I hit the Close (X) button in the window's title bar, it exits the application.

How can I make Signal minimize to the Windows system tray (aka notification area) instead of closing?

I've checked the preferences but there's no option for it. I'd prefer not to run any additional programs if possible.

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You can have Signal create a system tray icon by passing --use-tray-icon as a command line parameter to Signal.exe (see relevant source code). If you do this, then:

  • Signal will start with an icon in the system tray.
  • Hitting the Close button in the Window's title bar will cause Signal to be minimized to the tray instead of exiting the app (and you can click the tray icon to show the Signal window again).
  • When you receive a message, the Signal tray icon will display a small red visual indicator.
    • Unfortunately, Signal won't display any desktop notifications when minimized to the tray and it won't be able to flash its window frame like it normally does when it receives a message, so you might want to also turn on the Play audio notification setting in File > Preferences so that you don't miss messages.

You can also have Signal start in the system tray by passing --start-in-tray as a command line parameter, in which case the window will start minimized to the system tray (see relevant source code).


To set --use-tray-icon as a command line parameter for Signal so that it uses a tray icon by default, follow the following steps:

  1. Press the Windows key to open the start menu, and search for Signal
  2. When you see the Signal menu entry appear, right click on it to open up the context menu, then click Open file location.
  3. In the Explorer window that opens, right click on the Signal shortcut to open the context menu, and click on Properties
  4. In the Signal Properties window that opens, change the Target field to C:\Users\Admin\AppData\Local\Programs\signal-desktop\Signal.exe --use-tray-icon then click OK.
  5. Now exit Signal if it's already running and start it again, and you should see it use the tray icon.

Credit to one of the answers for Ask Ubuntu's How minimize Signal messenger to system tray (top-right corner)? for putting me onto the right path here.

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  • 7
    Why must it be this complicated? ICQ does this by default 20 years ago.
    – Rosdi
    Jan 13 at 16:19
  • 4
    First of all, thank you! And just an update, I can see notifications with Signal in the system tray. I don't need the notification sound (just tried both, and it showed the notification on both cases, and I have the --use-tray-icon and --start-in-tray parameters).
    – DADi590
    Mar 30 at 16:50

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