What i really want to do here is make some icons disappear (or block them from appearing at all) while the app will still be running in the background. Some of these include nvidia and optimus icons, as well as dropbox and USB safe remove. These apps work fine without my intervention, therefore their icons are just clutter to me.

To be clear, i already know how to hide icons (but it doesn't feel like icons are gone with this method since they are just a click away) or how to disable all of the system tray at once (using the registry), i was just wondering if i could block completely some of these icons only.


  • 5
    Unless the program itself offers an option to show (or not) the system tray icon, the answer is "No", since you say you already know how to selectively hide the icons & that's not what you want.
    – Debra
    Apr 27, 2014 at 17:07
  • It's not beyond the realms of possibility. Such an application could run at an elevated privilege and intercept the windows API calls that register the icon in the system tray.
    – RJFalconer
    Jun 9, 2015 at 16:51

6 Answers 6


I think the question is a very good one. And there is also a solution, though one that doesn't work reliably. Check out https://www.raymond.cc/blog/stealth-or-hide-running-program-from-appearing-in-taskbar-or-traybar/ – I think only "Tray It!" and "Taskbar Hide" even theoretically work, however for me Tray It did not work at all (Edit / Shell Icons didn't work). And Taskbar Hide looks extremely old and that's probably why it doesn't work properly. However, I was able to completely hide a tray icon with that (one by one, even if the icon is part of a group). But it is very buggy. But a proof of concept.

  • 1
    Why would anyone downvote that ? That's a beginning of an answer (and it works with some effort apparently), it's not his fault if some of this software is buggy. Well I gave up on windows altogether since my post, so I can't test it, but I'll still upvote because I don't think this deserves a -1. May 5, 2016 at 20:43

I actually tried using the Taskbar Hide 2.0 software (http://www.eusing.com/hidewindows/bosskey.htm), and it works ok on my Win7 x64!

Two other possible solutions are PS Tray Factory (http://www.pssoftlab.com/) and Easy Window and System Tray Icons Hider (http://easy-window-and-system-tray-icons-hider.soft112.com/) (haven't tried myself).


If you have Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate or Enterprise, you can go to the start menu, type in 'gpedit.msc,' and open it. Enter the admin password, then, go to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar. Then double click anything you want to get rid of. Set the State to 'Enabled' or 'Disabled' depending on what the description of the setting says - ie. "Enable this setting to hide notifications" OR "Disable this setting to hide notifications" I don't think this will remove some things like Dropbox but other things can definitely be disabled. By the looks of it, you practically want to remove everything, so you could just disable the whole area.

This does completely block the feature you select, as you wished.

Make sure you read the descriptions of the settings before you enable or disable, although you can easily change the setting whenever you want.

Hope this helps

  • True there are some toggles in this list that seem to completely disable some icons. But those are mainly Microsoft icons, and none of those i actually want to disable. And disabling everything isn't an option for me either, because of all the other icons there i really do use. But still your answer could be useful to others, therefore the little +1. Thanks. Apr 27, 2014 at 19:23
  • This is just an over-complicated way to set through GPO what can be set through the user interface.
    – Debra
    Apr 27, 2014 at 19:38
  • @NicolasM Ok, I thought the programs you listed were almost everything in the notification center, sorry. Apr 27, 2014 at 19:38
  • @Debra It kind of is, but for future users who might come to this page, if they want to disable the entire notification area, then this might help, or even disabling things like the system clock, you can use this instead of the UI. But I get your point, for some cases it could just be over-complicated if you can do it through the UI. Apr 27, 2014 at 19:40


Create an application that runs at an elevated privilege and intercepts the windows API calls that register the icon in the system tray.

As far as I know, no such application has been written.


Right click on the arrow which show the tray icons, then select "customize notification icons". There you can hide the icons/notifications for each application.

  • 2
    I already knew this method. But it still shows an arrow, and the hidden icons are still displayed there. Not that i can't live with this if it's the best solution available, i would just prefer it my way. Thanks anyway. Apr 27, 2014 at 17:35
  • I see. I don't think you will be able to make them totally disappear.
    – drkblog
    Apr 27, 2014 at 17:43

Your question doesn't make any sense, the function that ALREADY does this BLOCKS SPECIFIC icons from your system tray. It is exactly what you are referring to.

enter image description here

Uncheck "Always show all icons and notifications on the taskbar.

Goto Each behavior, and either put:

  1. Hide Icon and Notifications
  2. Only Show Notifications
  3. Show Icon and Notifications

If you're looking for some third party software to do this to "BLOCK" whatever that means, it can't be done or I've never seen it, because Microsoft ALREADY created it.

Unless the software has a feature embedded in the software that has an option to disable it's icon from the system tray.

  • 4
    The thing is, with this solution, icons are barely hidden, they still are a click away. I still believe my question makes some sense, since i've seen it asked many times (but never really answered). Anyways i've edited it, if just to be clearer about what i would like. Apr 27, 2014 at 17:44
  • There is a reason it's never been answered, the software you're asking for doesn't exist. I'm pretty sure it also should be illegal, what's stopping you from running a piece of software on another clients computer and them never knowing because you've hidden the icon on their system tray that shows it's activity. All you're basically saying is, yea this works on a widescale to the entire public, but not to my standards. Apr 27, 2014 at 17:54
  • perfect example is setting an FTP server on a clients Windows pc, and constantly having access to their entire hard drive at any time without them knowing because you blocked access to the icon showing in the system tray. Yes it will still be in the processes section in your task manager, but the average user doesn't have a clue how to get there or even how to use it. Apr 27, 2014 at 17:57
  • 3
    Actually nothing (really nothing !) stops you from programming software that's not gonna show up in the tray (just look at all the software and services that are running silently in the processes tab since you obviously know how to). Putting an icon in the tray really is just a choice made by the programmers of whatever software you use. Apr 27, 2014 at 19:28

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