The system tray (the area near the clock) contain icons for applications that are running in the background on your computer. Many apps, such as Messengers, try to keep themselves or one of their modules running in your system tray even when you’re not using them. But, what if you want to minimize a program that does not want to sit at the system tray? This was always the case when I was using Windows live Writer or MS Outlook. Keeping this in mind, I’ve picked five best tools that will force any application window to sit in the system tray.
TrayIt is a simple utility that minimize any running program as system tray icon. To send a program in the system tray, simply left click the minimize icon while holding Shift key, or right-click on minimize button to bring TrayIt! context menu and then check “Place in System Tray”. And, to restore the window just double-click its system ray icon, or you can right-click the icon for context menu to close the program.
PowerMenu extremely useful tool and has been around for over a decade. It’s a lightweight utility that add minimize-to-tray functionality to any program.
Right-click the title bar of a program’s window to open the context menu, then you can set windows priority (to give it more processing power than other programs), adjust transparency, keep the windows in the foreground and just minimize that windows to the system tray. The beauty of this small utility is its simplicity. Highly recommended.
4T Tray Minimizer Free
4t Tray Minimizer lets you minimize any program to the system tray by using the keyboard shortcut or by right-clicking its minimize button. This little program also adds new buttons to window taskbar that enable you minimize windows to system tray, roll up or roll down the a window (useful in reducing desktop space), pin the active window and adjust the window transparency.
A Pro version is also available (costs 19.95) with more features but the free version is sufficient for users.
DM2 is my favorite utility among all because it offers a massive set of features. With DM2 you can manipulate windows in different ways: minimize app windows to tray, roll to caption, resize, set the transparency, align screen border, hide all apps, and importantly, minimizing app windows to desktop as floating icons.
To use it, simply right-click the title bar of a program and choose available options from the context menu. And, its furthermore possible to define hotkeys that work without using the mouse at all. DM2 also support custom plugins, which further enhances the program.
xNeat Windows Manager
xNeat is another free minimizer that can minimize almost any application to the system tray to clear up some space on the taskbar. Like any other minimizer its basic features can be accessed by a right-click on the title bar. You can adjust transparency, hide or minimize applications to system tray and make them always on-top over all other windows. Additionally, xNeat also enable you to customize the appearance and behavior of your task bar and system tray.
I’ve tested all these utilities on a windows 7 PC.
Version Tested- TrayIt! 184.108.40.206, PowerMenu 1.5.1, 4t Tray Minimizer Free 5.52, DM2 1.23.1, and xNeat Windows Manager 220.127.116.11.