How to Minimize Apps to the System Tray in Windows 10

This step by step guide will show you how to minimize your Apps in Windows 10 to the System Tray or the Taskbar – allowing you to choose instead of having Windows decide for you.

screenshot of multiple Apps in the Windows 10 System Tray Notification Area

Note: Windows 10 now calls the ‘System Tray’ the ‘Notification Area’. It’s the same thing.

  1. OK first things first – download RBTray. It’s small and shouldn’t take much time to download at all. Once the file has finished downloading, right-click it and select Extract All…
  2. Place a check in the box labelled Show extracted files when complete and then click the Browse… button.
  3. Navigate to somewhere on your C: drive where you can install and store the file. A great place is inside your C:\Program Files\ folder. Once you’ve navigated there, click the New folder button (see screenshot below)
  4. In all likelihood you’ll be prompted with a confirmation dialog box – click the Continue button.
  5. Give your folder a name (rbtray or just tray are some examples), make sure that newly created folder is ‘highlighted’ (selected) and then click the Select Folder button.
  6. Once again a confirmation dialog window will appear. Place a check in the box labelled Do this for all current items and then click the Continue button.
  7. You’re almost there :) Open the 64bit folder and then double-click the RBtray.exe file.
  8. Absolutely nothing just happened, or did it? Open any program at all and right-click the minimize button (instead of the normal/regular “left click”).
  9. Ta-da! When you right-click the ‘minimize’ button on an App, it will send that App to the System Tray instead of the Taskbar. If you ‘left click’ – ie. click it as you normally would, it will minimize to the System Taskbar, as it normally would. Now you have the best of both worlds!
  10. If there’s one tiny drawback to RBTray it’s that it doesn’t start on its own each time Windows does. We have you covered though! :) Just follow the steps outlined in this guide and you can have Windows include RBTray in its list of ‘startup apps’.
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