Is there any way to find out what process created a given icon in the system tray? A new icon has appeared that I don't recognize and I would like to find out what process spawned it.

  • 1
    Process of elimination by ending tasks started by the user is the only way I know.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 14:47
  • 1
    What is the name of the icon? You can either hover over it or go into customise and see what it says there? Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 14:59
  • if you need to automate you could try to follow this advice: social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/vstudio/en-US/…
    – wmz
    Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 17:35

1 Answer 1


You can right click on the clock and choose Customize Notification Icons. You can then scroll through the list and find the icon in question with its respective program name beside it.

You could also try one of the tools mentioned in this article (I have not tried them personally): http://www.raymond.cc/blog/find-out-what-program-are-running-at-windows-system-tray/

Anvir: http://www.anvir.com/download.htm (It shows any tray icons created by a process, so you would have to hover over all the processes to find it)

Windows System Tray Scan Utility: http://exodusdev.com/products/windows-system-tray-scan-utility

If none of those methods work, perhaps you can update your question to include a screenshot of the icon so someone can identify it.

  • 1
    When you provide a link to an article, make sure to quote the most relevant bits too, in case the target site is unreachable or goes permanently offline.
    – and31415
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 11:54
  • Sometimes it's a Windows Store (Metro) App, so that the process table will only show the framework host WWAHost.exe.
    – BaseZen
    Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 22:21
  • FWIW both suggested options failed to find my tray icons on Windows 11 - both showed none. Commented Nov 7, 2023 at 20:39

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