Minimize Programs to System Tray with TrayIt!

Jorge Sierra 28-02-2009

minimize-programs-to-system-tray TrayIt! is a very small but powerful tool for helping you manage your Windows task bar and system tray. Basically, it offers a simple solution to keeping your windows taskbar clean by letting you minimize programs to system tray where they only appear as a tiny icon. Neat!


TrayIt is only about a 300k download and only about 600k installed. There’s no installer, you just download the zip and extract the contents to wherever you want to “install” it.

Since there’s no need to really install TrayIt!, it also makes a great portable app 100 Portable Apps for Your USB Stick for Windows and macOS Portable apps let you take your favorite software anywhere via a flash drive or cloud storage. Here are 100 of them to cover your every need, from games to image editors. Read More . Just unzip the contents to your portable USB drive and you’re ready to launch it. When you first launch TrayIt!, you’ll see a list of all the programs that are on your task bar.

trayit- minimize programs to tray

There are a few ways minimize programs that are on the taskbar into the system tray. If you only want to minimize a program to the system tray, the quickest and easiest way to do that is to just hold the Shift key while you click the minimize button. To restore the window, you can just double-click the tray icon.

There are two ways to put a program into the system tray without minimizing it at the same time.  You can either right-click on the minimize button in on program window you want to put in the tray and select Place in System Tray, or you can select the program in the TrayIt! program list and click the Place in System Tray button.



When you place an app into the system tray in this manner, you will see it both in the taskbar as well as the system tray.  TrayIt! creates a profile for the application. You can edit the profile to change the way the application will interact with the taskbar and system tray. To edit the profile, select the application in the TrayIt! list and click the Edit Current Profile button.


You’ll see that you can perform many customizations for the application. A few of note:

  • Basic tab > Startup section > Minimize window on creation / when TrayIt! is started
  • More tab > Application section > Hide application from the taskbar all the time, keep tray icon only
  • Advanced tab > Startup section > Do not create Tray Icon – minimize and hide window completely

These options allow you to control the way the applicaiton interacts with the taskbar and system tray when it is launched.  If you have programs that just sit in the background and don’t require any interaction, you will probably want to take advantage of some of these options.

TrayIt! also has some application options you might want to take a look at as well. To change the TrayIt! options, you can click the Modify Application Options in the TrayIt! window. Two options I like in particular are creating a tray icon for TrayIt! and using single-clicks for the tray icons.


Another important thing to mention is that when you close TrayIt! with the X in the upper right corner (like you would any other application), it still keeps running in the background. If you don’t have the task tray enabled for it, you can still get back to TrayIt! by right-clicking on the minimize button for any program you are running, and click on TrayIt! Application ….


Minimize Programs to System Tray with TrayIt! if trayit disappears

To actually exit TrayIt!, you’ll have to click on File > Exit or click on File > Uninstall.  What’s the difference?  Exit closes TrayIt! but it maintains your settings in the Windows registry. The Uninstall option will exit TrayIt! and also remove all the options from the Windows registry. This is a useful feature if you are using TrayIt! as a portable application and you don’t want to keep the settings in the registry.

Minimize Programs to System Tray with TrayIt! exit trayit

What do you think of TrayIt!? Do you use any other cool features that weren’t mentioned in the article?


Related topics: Portable App, Windows Taskbar.

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  1. Clain Dsilva
    December 21, 2009 at 2:25 am

    Very good application.. really interesting... it should help to solve the messy taskbar

  2. Vladimir Tess
    July 31, 2009 at 8:09 am

    I understood everything. Great program. Can't live without it now!

  3. merik
    March 1, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    @Jorge: I like this page, bookmarked it and everything. Partly because of the casual and personal writing style!

    @marc: hehe, yeah i scan everything. I worked on AwesomeMobility (feel free to youtube) and since then I "have to keep up with my fast paced life" =D
    I never figured GoogleReader - I could not find filters so I just got lots of news, which I did not even care about. Probably a scanning issue again =P


  4. merik
    March 1, 2009 at 4:22 am

    Hey Marc,
    sorry I didnt mean to be a bitc* about it. It was supposed to somewhat more of constructive critic, because I noticed that it happens with many posts.

    Within the first two paragraphs it does not state anything about the system tray and these are the only ones that show up on the main page. I did read the full article, well rather scanned it (what most people do on the web) and must have not noticed the difference between task bar and system tray.

    The official webpage of TrayIt has a nice introduction which makes it understandable within a couple of sentences:

    "TrayIt! allows to save precious Taskbar space for minimized windows. For each application which applies TrayIt! it creates a small icon in the System Tray. (System Tray area is located near the Clock). When application's window is minimized this icon represents the application on the Taskbar instead of the regular "minimized rectangle".

    It is particularly useful for background tasks you typically keep running on your PC all day long like your favorite E-mail client, Real Player, etc.."

    You must agree that it is more descriptive than the first two paragraph of this post.


    • Jorge Sierra
      March 1, 2009 at 10:55 am

      Thanks for your perspective. You're right, I probably could have done a better job of explaining what it does as the TrayIt! webpage does. Sometimes when putting together these articles, you get so deep in the weeds that it's hard to see the forest from the trees.

    • Marc
      March 1, 2009 at 4:03 pm

      Fair point meric. I agree that the official webpage does a better job of explaining it.

      Not to nit-pick though (and quality of the intro aside), but it clearly does mention "helping you manage your Windows taskbar and system tray" within the first sentence which is what I was getting at in my first comment.
      Maybe you scanned my comment too ;)

      I haven't been visiting this site long enough to get used to the blogger's writing styles just yet... that said, so far I've been impressed and already added the feed to my Google Reader!

  5. Marc
    February 28, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    merik, how much of the intro/article did you actually read?

    You only need read for 15-20 seconds to get the idea...
    Within the first 10 words you'll see that it says "helping you manage your Windows taskbar and system tray" and immediately after the first image it says "you can put programs that are on the taskbar into the system tray".

    While I know that doesn't explain all the details of the program, you certainly shouldn't be left missing the point.

    Great post Jorge, going to have a little play with it now :)

  6. merik
    February 28, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    I seem to completely miss the point of this program.
    What does it actually do?
    Yeah I know, just download and try, but I noticed that your intro texts are nice but not very informative, so I thought Id mention it.