If you are using Windows XP then you must be familiar with the system tray. It is the area where all icons of the programs / applications / processes that are running on to your computers are displayed. It is towards the right of the Taskbar. Almost all the programs provide an option for minimizing them to the system tray instead of taskbar at the time of installation. In Windows XP you have the option to hide those icons when the programs are not active. You can even choose to hide those icons which have not been active since a long time. This helps you to keep your system tray uncluttered and manageable. Moreover if there are more icons on the system tray then it will club into one or may get shorter and create confusion and ambiguity for the user. At this time hiding the unused icons could be the best way out and a great way of resolving any ambiguity.

The procedure to hide the icons is as follows:

1. Right click anywhere on the task bar and click on properties from available option or else go to control panel, click on task bar and start menu

2. Taskbar and Menu Properties window will open.

3. You will find the option Hide inactive icons in the Notification Area section. By selecting the go customize option you can enable it.

4. Click on customize button and a new window Customize Notification will appear.

5. There will be two options to choose from, you can either go for ‘Hide when inactive’ or ‘Always show’ for each of the items that are displayed in the system tray.

This is how you can manage your System Tray and keep it free from all inactive icons that are consuming space and creating confusion.


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