How to disable the Windows System tray

One of the most frequently accessed places on your desktop will be your Windows System tray. What is good about this little tray is that it gives access to some of your running programs through a tiny icon. But when the installed programs are more it will occupy most of the space in the taskbar. Although there is an option of hiding the inactive icons so that only some are visible , for a person like me who dont use the windows system tray that much often it will be cool to disable it completely.


For this all you got to do is a manual Registry hack :

  • Open the run programs dialog box (either by hitting Win+R or finding the Run icon in the Windows Start Menu)
  • Type “regedit” to open the Windows Registry Editor
  • Find this section: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
  • Create a new 32 bit DWORD Value by right-clicking and selecting new DWORD or clicking Edit, then New, then DWORD
  • Name your DWORD Value NoTrayItemsDisplay
  • Set the value to 1

And it is done. After Next time you log out of Windows or reboot your system tray should be gone. All of your programs will continue to run, but you won’t see any icons at the bottom right of your screen. You can even remove the clock by right clicking on the tray and disabling the clock.

This hack will not disable the applications , it just disables the tray. The useless applications should be disabled individually

To remove the hack, just delete the key, or change the value to 0. Note that the same registry key may exist in more than one location, so if you are trying to reverse this hack, you should search the registry for NoTrayItemsDisplay.

NOTE : you can use this hack in the reverse way that is if your system tray is disabled and you don’t know why, you should check this registry key.

ref: How to Geek

Filed under: How To's,Windows XP

February 16, 2008 by: Prasanth Chandra

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