How To: Remove Notification Area Icons In Windows 7

I know many of you don’t like the idea of removing the Sound and Network icons from the Notification Area or system tray but there are many users who prefer to keep the taskbar clutter free. If you fall in the second category, then good thing is that you can easily remove both the icons from the system tray in Windows 7 easily.


In Windows 7, users who have installed tens of programs with system tray icons keep the system tray clutter free without using third party tools. Microsoft has introduced a new handy feature to keep the notification area or system tray tidy and clutter free in Windows 7. Unlike its predecessors, Windows 7 lets you move one or more system tray icons. One can hide an icon by simply dragging the icon from its current position on the taskbar to towards the desktop area. And to view hidden icons, you can click the up arrow that you see on right of the taskbar.

In fact, you can remove any system tray icon like Action Center or any other program icons. If you don’t want to use the above mentioned drag and drop method, uou can hide all those icons in the Start menu properties window.

Complete the given below instructions to hide notification are icons in Windows 7:

Step 1: Right-click on the Taskbar and select Properties.

Step 2: Under the Notification Area, click the button Customize.

Notification area

Step 3: Look for the icons and select the Behaviors as “Hide icon and notifications” to hide icon as well as other related notifications. If you like to get the notifications, then select “Show only notifications” and click OK.

Step 4: Repeat the same procedure for all the icons out there and then close the window.

How to clean notification area icon cache in Windows 7,  remove notification area from taskbar and how to always hide/show notification area icons guides might also interest you.



  1. sam says

    i’m uninstall some program but icons didn’t delete in notification area. i wont to delete them in this area, and not run in the start up. on the other hand there are not in the system configuration.

  2. tomax7 says

    Not sure if the Tom being referred to above “Tom aka Iomegaman” is referring to me, but I’m not him/her/it.

    I’m me 😉


  3. the great says

    Tom aka Iomegaman, thanks again for a helpful tip. Anyone suffers the same issues can solve as above.

  4. tomax7 says

    Nope, the best way to remove is to do it via the regedit

    . Go to the registry editor. (Start/Run/regedit) – If you don’t know what this is, don’t do it!

    2. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\TrayNotify

    3. Delete “PasteIconsSteam” and “IconStreams” keys.

    4. Close the registry editor and then go into Task Manager and kill the “Explorer.exe” process.

    5. Restart your computer and hopefully the uninstalled programs should disappear from your notification area!

    Tom aka Iomegaman (not Tom of Tomax7)

  5. tomax7 says

    …kinda misleading. You are not REMOVING the icons, but hiding them.

    I tried Tray Cleaner, CCleaner and still have the icons showing as well tried looking in the registry.

  6. Rob says

    to the poster above: acpiper

    Yep, it’s very annoying. I hope the final/RTM of 7 manages this better.

    Anyhow, the only solution to reset/remove old icons from the Notification Area Icons (that actually works) is to do this:

    1. Download and install CCleaner
    2. Run it; on the main page near the bottom, check the box for “Tray Notification cache”
    3. Run Cleaner
    4. Close CCleaner
    5. End and restart explorer.exe by starting Task Manager (Ctrl-Shift-Esc), right click “explore.exe”, end process and confirm – you’ll lose the task bar but then just goto File – New Task (run) and type “explorer.exe” without the “” and then enter.

  7. acpiper says

    When an app is uninstalled shouldn’t those taskbar icons go with it? I have a number of icons listed that belong to programs that I’ve tried with Win 7 but didn’t keep. How do I remove (not hide) them?

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