Many taskbar icons are redundant and unnecessarily occupy memory space. You can get rid of those redundant icons and make more room in the taskbar. This is useful if you don’t use taskbar icons often and if you like your taskbar to be free of clutter. To do so,
Right-click on Start bar and open the ‘Properties’ context command.
Use the ‘Customize’ tab under ‘Notification area’ in the ‘Taskbar’ tab of the following dialog under Windows XP. Vista has an independent tab for ‘Notification area’ in ‘Properties’.
Again, click on ‘Customize’.
The ‘Customize Notifications’ and ‘Customize Notification Icons’ dialogs appear under XP and Vista respectively.
Both these dialogs are similar to a large extent, except for their names. Windows lists all the applications on the left which occupy the notification area. You can see their behavior in the notification area on the right. Click on the desired entry and select ‘Hide when active’ or ‘Always Hide’ or ‘Always Show’ in the following combination field to change this.
Note: The ‘Hide when inactive’ option is the most practical alternative, since the icon appears only when the application is actually active. ‘Always show’ will display the icon all the time in the notification area and ‘Always hide’ will permanently hide it.