Controlling the Display of System Icons in the Notification Area

by Barry Dysert
(last updated July 11, 2016)

Windows has various system icons that can be displayed in the notification area (otherwise known as the systray). If you are using Windows 7 or Windows 8, the available system icons are Clock, Volume, Network, Power, and Action Center. Windows 8 added a sixth possible system icon (Input Indicator) and Windows 10 added a seventh (Location). You can easily control which (if any) of these system icons are displayed.

  1. Right-click the date and time display at the very right of the systray. Windows displays a Context menu.
  2. Choose the Customize Notification Icons option. Windows displays the Notifications Area Icons portion of the Control Panel (Windows 7 and Windows 8) or the Notifications & Actions portion of the Settings (Windows 10).
  3. Click the Turn System Icons On or Off link. Windows displays controls for the available system icons. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. Changing the behavior of the system icons.

For each of the available system icons (there are up to seven of them, depending on your version of Windows) you can click the drop-down list in the "Behaviors" column to indicate whether that icon will be displayed (turned "On") or not (turned "Off"). After you've set the behaviors to what you want, click OK and close the Control Panel if it is open. The new behaviors go into effect immediately.

 This tip (11882) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 30 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer.  He is currently a senior software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. ...

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