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How to disable or enable Taskbar icons in Windows 10

How to disable or enable Taskbar icons in Windows 10

by AshwinSeptember 17, 2015

Do you have several icons displayed in the Windows 10 Taskbar ? ( Clock Tray or System Tray as you like to call it.)

Windows 10 System Tray

Want to know how to hide the app icons easily? You have come to the right place.

How to disable or enable Taskbar icons in Windows 10

There are two ways to bring up the options to do this: Directly from the taskbar and running the system app.

1. Right-click on the Windows 10 clock on the bottom right corner.

2. Click on the option which says “Customize notification icons”.

Windows 10 System Tray Notifications

3. This takes you to the Notifications & Actions tab in the System section of the Settings app.

(Alternative method: You can also bring up the Settings app from the Start Menu or by pressing Windows + I, and then clicking on System > Notifications & Actions)

Windows 10 Notifications and actions

4. Now, you will be presented with two main notification options here, listed just below Quick Actions.

Select which icons appear on the taskbar


Turn system icons on or off

Select which icons appear on the taskbar will let you disable or enable the taskbar icons for individual apps. This is useful if you want to have a clean looking system tray. You can disable the icons which you don’t want to see, and they will be hidden under an “Up” arrow, clicking on which would reveal the hidden icon.

Windows 10 Notifications and actions - app icons

If you want to get rid of the “Up” arrow icon, you will need to enable the “Show icons” option for apps which run in the system tray.  For e.g: Antivirus Apps, Instant Messaging Apps, etc.

Turn system icons on or off lets you toggle the icons for the Clock, Volume, Network, Power,  Input Indicator, Location and Action Center.

Windows 10 System Icons

Note: This does not disable the Action Center, it will merely hide the icon and you will still get the notifications from Windows Store apps.

If you want to disable the Windows 10 Action Center completely, you may follow this guide here. Word of warning though, it does involve a small tweak to the Windows Registry.

Remember, just because you disable an app’s icon, doesn’t mean that the app will not run in the background. To do that you will have to dig through the app’s own settings, if any are available. You can use the Windows Task Manager, which you can bring up with the key combo Control + Shift + Escape to see if a particular app is running in the background, by checking the process tab. On a sidenote, for a more detailed list of Windows 10 shortcuts, refer to my previous write up.