When using our computer with Windows 10 there is an element that we do not take much notice but that we use very often almost without realizing it. This item is the taskbar. Every time we minimize a program or application, it goes to the taskbar, so that we get quick access to change when we need to maximize it to make use of it again.
Sometimes it may happen that we do not need a program to be in charge of cluttering our taskbar since it is usually quite busy. This can happen if we only want a program to run in the background or we want to download files from our browser. In these situations it may be a good idea to be able to send the programs to the system tray .
This feature is built-in by default in some programs, although others do not. Unfortunately, Windows does not natively support minimizing a window to the system tray or notification area.
To do this, make use of third-party tools developed to send any Windows 10 program to the system tray using a hotkey for the minimize option. Likewise, it is also a great option if what we are looking for is to hide a running program from prying eyes, so it is effective as a privacy measure.
- Lightweight, portable and free programs
- Payment programs with greater control options
- What programs is the most recommended?
Lightweight, portable and free programs
Next, we are going to proceed to show a series of free applications with which to minimize applications to the system tray, usually in a simple way. They are ideal to test and see which of them best suits us.
Minimize to Tray, discreet and with hotkeys
We are talking about a portable application, quite simple that will allow us to send any window to the system tray to be able to restore and maximize it at any time. It is extremely discreet, and allows us to perform the function with the help of hot keys . It allows access to a complete list with all minimized applications by just clicking with the right button on its icon.
We can minimize any window in the foreground to the system tray by pressing “Alt + F1”, and restore it by pressing “Alt + F2”. We can also maximize all the elements by pressing “F10” or individually by clicking on any of the elements in the list.
Minimize to Tray is a discreet, portable and very easy to use application that we can download for free from here .
This is a simple application that will automatically send any application to the system tray. It has a 32-bit and a 64-bit version. Once we run it, it will be loaded in the background. From that moment on, every time we want to minimize an application, we just have to do it in a conventional way, but using the right mouse button instead of the left. However, what will happen is that instead of being minimized to the toolbar, it will be minimized to the system tray.
RBtray is software that lacks a graphical interface , free, open source and is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License. We can download it from this web page . Its main drawback is that, as it does not have a graphical interface, in case we want to finish its work it will be necessary to resort to the Task Manager to deactivate it.
Traymond, send apps to the system tray with a combination of keys
Another really simple application with which we will be able to minimize any application that we have open in the foreground to send it directly to the system tray. We are talking about portable software, so it does not require any type of installation to function, and once it is executed it remains active in the background. Also, it will remove any real traces once the app is closed.
Its operation is simple because it will only be necessary to make a combination of quick access to do its function. Just by having the application open in the foreground, we press “Win + Shift + Z” to minimize it directly in the system tray, showing us its icon inside the tray. We can restore the program at any time by clicking on its icon. In the event that we have several saved programs, we can restore them all at once by clicking on the “Traymond” icon and selecting “Restore all Windows”.
We can download Traymond for free from its repository on the GitHub web.
Trayconizer, start applications in minimized mode
This free program will allow us to minimize any program to the system tray, being able to work with almost all the applications that we have open in the foreground. To get this utility to start with a certain application, it will be necessary to enter the Properties of the program’s shortcut. In the “Shortcut” tab we will add a blank space and the path of the application that we want to minimize to the system tray, as shown in this example image.
It has the possibility of starting the application in minimized mode and it turns off automatically when we click on the close button of the menu in the title bar of the program that is using “Trayconizer”. Despite its usefulness, it is a bit more cumbersome to configure than other available options.
We can download Trayconizer for free from here .
Payment programs with greater control options
If we want to go a step further when it comes to optimizing our computer to send applications to the system tray, we can opt for paid applications. With it we will have total control and we will have access to more customization options, as well as extra functions that may be of interest to us.
Actual Window Minimizer, offers total control over applications
This small software is going to be in charge of adding a new option to minimize to each window of the applications that are running in Windows 10. In this way we will have a button to minimize to the taskbar and another button to minimize to the tray of the system or notification area. Therefore with a single click we can send any application directly to the system tray.
The application can be configured to use hotkeys, change the minimize mode and the way to restore windows. It is a more complete option if we want to have total control when it comes to minimizing applications to the system tray.
Actual Window Minimizer is not a free application, so to use it permanently it will be necessary to pay for its license, which is priced at $ 19.95. We can try it for free for 14 days and see if we like it before deciding to buy it. We can download it directly from the developer’s website.
4t Tray Minimizer, lightweight and powerful window manager
We are talking about a small window manager. It is characterized by being light as well as powerful and will allow us to free up space on the taskbar. We can send any application to the system tray, as well as make the window semi-transparent in the foreground. It will also allow us to customize keyboard shortcuts to carry out other options such as restoring or hiding actions.
4t Tray Minimizer starts at $ 19.95 with one year of support, and allows us to download a free trial version from its website.
What programs is the most recommended?
As we can see, we have different tools that will allow us to minimize any application in a simple way to the system tray. Most of them are free and portable applications, so we can choose to try each one in order to check which is the one that best suits us. When it comes to staying with one, Minimize to Tray may possibly be the most comfortable and easy to use, since the entire process is done through configurable keyboard shortcuts.
In the event that we want to go a step further and do not mind paying for it, the option of Actual Window Minimizer must be taken into account, since it allows us a personalization and total control, being a program with an interface in Spanish full of options. In addition, as it has a trial period, we have enough time to see if we really need it or finally opt for a free option.