Quick Tip: Customize which icons appear in the Windows 10 System Tray

Technical Level : Basic


The Notification Area has been a part of the Windows Taskbar since Windows 95. Over the years this small area of the system has evolved and improved. Windows 10 introduces some minor changes for customizing the system tray. In this article, we take look a quick look at how to do that.


Click Start > Settings (or press Windows key + i)

Click System

Click Notification & Icons

Click Turn systems icons on or off

Click the on/off toggle switch to change behavior.

If there are other notifications you would like to customize, click the Back button and click Turn on or off the icons you don't want to see.


Forum Article Info

Last updated October 24, 2019 Views 5,753 Applies to:

* Please try a lower page number.

* Please enter only numbers.

* Please try a lower page number.

* Please enter only numbers.

It would be nice if there was an option for removing the search box from the taskbar.  That thing takes up too much valuable real estate on the taskbar for those of us who have a lot of program icons we use regularly.

Thanks Andre,

Your article was very helpful.

I wish MS would maintain SOME consistency, but if they did, then yet another article wouldn't have been necessary.

Thanks again,


P.S. I just tried your tip and realized it applies only to the WINDOWS System Icons and not the other icons that are in the system tray.  I guess my hunt isn't over yet.  I knew exactly how to do this on several versions of Windows before.  Same task, same steps - until the "New and Improved" came along...

I guess somebody in Redmond misunderstood the old phrase - "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

P.P.S.  In case someone else is in the same boat and winds up here, I've found that you can also drag the icons from the hidden area onto the system tray or back to the hidden tray.

The list of apps with icons is incomplete.
Hi Dee Matters,  if you right click the task bar, hover over Cortana, and then click hidden.  That should hide the search bar.  Good luck, km 
This works for all icons except the volume setting.  It was there but it disappeared recently and I have been unable to adjust the volume except by going to the control panel system settings.  This is annoying and time consuming when a video comes on at max volume.
I had my volume setting disappear too and can't figure out how to restore it. Oddly it disappeared right after I had a windows update - hmmmm - coincidence? I think not. Hopefully someone can explain how to put it back.
Kevin I tried that and it didn't work.  There is no Cortana showing on the task bar to hover over.  I tried (with the start menu open) hovering over Cortana after right clicking on the task bar (as that is the only place I know to find "her") to no avail.  Perhaps I am doing it incorrectly?  It would even help if the search bar could be resized to a minimum to free up space.  (Ah, I miss the old days when you could customize almost everything.)

Kat. If you right click on the taskbar, then hover over Cortana, "hidden" just means that the icon for Cortana is hidden, it doesn't hide the search bar. I've clicked "Show Cortana". Here's an image of my taskbar. What exactly is the "search bar" you're referring to. Do you see it on my image?

This is what mine looks like.  I want the "search the web and windows" area to either shrink to about 1/5 of current size or disappear altogether.  I believe quite a few people find it annoying. [BTW I have large icons because I cannot see the small ones (these old eyes).]  It takes up far too much real estate.  Thanks.

Kat, think I'm making some headway. when I switch to the large icons (that's the clue), Cortana has 3 options, so try this: right click on the taskbar, then hover over Cortana, click on show Cortana Icon, instead of search box. When you want to search, just click on the cortana icon, which is a circle, or just click hidden to get rid of it altogether. Crossing fingers that it works for you.

* Please try a lower page number.

* Please enter only numbers.

* Please try a lower page number.

* Please enter only numbers.