Minimize Programs to System Tray with 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 . 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.
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 ….
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.
What do you think of TrayIt!? Do you use any other cool features that weren’t mentioned in the article?