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Poll: How many icons in your Windows System tray?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / September 19, 2008 4:18 AM PDT

How many icons do you have in your Windows System tray (bottom right side of your desktop)?

1-5 icons (Nice! What are they?)
6-10 icons (Not bad. What are they?)
11-15 icons (OK. What are they?)
16-20 icons (Clean up time. What are they?)
21-25 icons (Clean up time. What are they?)
26 or more (How does your system run, anyways? What is it that you have?)
This doesn?t apply to me.

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SysTray Icons
by helljack6 / September 19, 2008 5:05 AM PDT

Including the clock, my home systems have 2, the clock and the Symantec Antivirus 10.1.6 icon.

If you have more than 5 icons in your systray, the place next to your clock in the lower right corner of your screen, that could greatly explain why your computer takes 5-10 minutes to boot up and mine takes less than 90 seconds.

Items in the systray indicate resources being used by the system, even if you're NOT using them. When in doubt, clear them out! You don't need things to load up on system start like your inkjet printer cartridge monitor, because you're not printing the entire time you're using your computer, or the Dell support or any of the other links to software that's running that you're not directly using from the time you boot your system up to the time you stand up and walk away. The less items you have in your systray, the faster your computer is going to boot up and the better it will perform. This is especially important to those users still trying to get buy with 756mb or physical memory and lower.

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Sys tray cleaning
by karenblixn / September 19, 2008 7:52 AM PDT
In reply to: SysTray Icons

ok, so how do I remove some of my 12 icons? Wink

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Removing icons
by helljack6 / September 19, 2008 8:06 AM PDT
In reply to: Sys tray cleaning

Google a program called Startup.exe or Autoruns.exe and download either of them. Both programs give you a very detailed list of all the stuff that starts up when your computer boots up, most of which unless it's like A/V software of something along those lines, isn't at all necessary.

Startup.exe is a small interface that has 3x run tabs that show if anything, everything designated to run from that location upon system startup, you can uncheck (like doing an msconfig from the run line and unchecking items there) or disable or completely delete, the deleted tab shows you everything you have deleted from all the run locations and allows you to do a final delete of these items.

Autoruns is more or less the same type of program, except it gives you way more information than you need. The newest version of Autoruns has alot of tabs, but the one you need to be concerned with is the Logon tab, everything in that tab is set to run when any user logs into the machine, delete at will.

Both programs show you path names of the files that are tagged to run, so you can decide for yourself if you recognize the program or not.

There's one file common to both programs, CTFMON.EXE, don't worry about this file, it's a critical windows system file, just leave it alone.

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Turn off ctfmon.exe
by tallin / September 26, 2008 6:47 PM PDT
In reply to: Removing icons
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sys tray
by JonMD / September 19, 2008 11:37 AM PDT
In reply to: Sys tray cleaning

well what are they?

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What !! Touch the startup programs
by Brenda52 / September 26, 2008 6:36 AM PDT
In reply to: sys tray

To darn scared!!! If I did my PC may meet a black hole

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Same Here/ 1-5 icons
by samusgravity / September 20, 2008 3:53 AM PDT
In reply to: SysTray Icons

I have an Acer Aspire laptop. Here are my tray icons:

1.Wi-Fi connection indicator
4.Acer Launch Manager (For the Media Keys on my laptop)

My laptop takes only 1-2 minutes to boot up! Having less tray icons is obviously the easiest and fastest way to go.


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Well, they're not in my Windows system tray
by anime4christ / September 19, 2008 9:07 AM PDT

They're in my Kubuntu Linux sys tray.

Input Language Switcher
KMix (Volume control)
Klipper (Clipboard manager)
KNotes (Sticky notes)
Pidgin (for everything but MSN)
Mercury Messenger (for MSN)

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LMAO..........ok, the joke is on me
by helljack6 / September 19, 2008 9:21 AM PDT

Well, since it's Linux, I wouldn't even worry about it because Linux handles differently all together. Because of how linux is designed, items in the linux systray don't have the impact that icons in the Window systray have.

Hell, if everyone knew how to use linux, we would have a huge linux party.

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I have 12, all seem necessary
by sharee100 / September 19, 2008 9:27 AM PDT

volume control
network connection
Intel graphics media accelerator driver(?)
super ad blocker
tab launchpad (so I can auto-hide launchpad)
windows sidebar
safely remove hardware
sync center (for cell phone)
component center (for object desktop)
realtek audio manager
Outlook when I have it open (not there on boot)

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Icons in Task Bar
by KiwiEduardo / September 19, 2008 9:28 AM PDT

I have six Icons.
Local Area Connection
Internet Download Manager
PC Tools Spyware Dr with Anti Virus
Key Scrambler

I started our with 512 of ram but that was much to skinny as Spyware Dr took up a lot of resources so I installed 2 Gig of RAM, it was easy peasy, now I have a rocket ship,way to Go.

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icons in task bar
by kacey_45 / September 19, 2008 9:58 AM PDT
In reply to: Icons in Task Bar

One icon (avg)if you don't count the clock.
Turned them off using msconfig, selective start-up
Computer boots up in less then 30 seconds
Using Xp Pro Sp2

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Icons in Task Bar
by KiwiEduardo / September 19, 2008 10:09 AM PDT
In reply to: Icons in Task Bar

oop's I missed one:

Volume Control

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by thebug / September 19, 2008 9:34 AM PDT

I keep icons to a bare minimum!
They all use memory!

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14 Icons
by ranron / September 19, 2008 9:58 AM PDT

Well this post is very specific; it fails to address people with multiple machines. Luckily my other computers are Macs, so there wouldn't be any discrepancies.

1) Bluetooth
2) Airport Utility (to connect to my Air Disk)
3) MobileMe sync
4) Wacom digitizer settings
5) CoreTemp Core #1
6) CoreTemp Core #2
7) Access Connections (Lenovo)
Cool Access Connections Status
9) OneNote side note
10) Intel GMA driver settings
11) Vista power icon
12) Vista network status icon
13) Volume
14) Symantec Client Security

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How many icons in my system tray
by regretela / September 19, 2008 10:01 AM PDT

Well, besides the current time, I have a little red shield that says it's Windows Security Alert when I mouse over it. It is probably red because I want to decide for myself when Windows Update downloads something into my computer. I have the Spyder 3 Utility - a monitor calibration device, Avast Antivirus On-Access Scanner, Windows Defender, Network connection icon, and a sound mixer icon for my speakers. I run Windows Vista Ultimate, with a Core 2 Duo processor and 8gb of ram. I have turned off everything that annoyed me in the OS and the installed software, and the system is sweeet!

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I only have three
by mjd420nova / September 19, 2008 10:41 AM PDT

The important one is the MacAfee virus scan, one for the HP printer and the third is the network monitor icon from the system. I don't like having a bunch of things loaded as it slows down the system and makes for too much clutter. Better to have them on the short cuts than always loaded and running the background.

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systray icons
by mittens / September 19, 2008 12:14 PM PDT
In reply to: I only have three

i have seven on the left (single click) and three on the right (double click). The three on the left are volume on/off, avast, and the panicware popup stopper. I wouldnt even have that except I need to turn it off frequently.

on the right, I have "show desktop", google, windows explorer, Word, a link to my husband's machine, a folder with Yahoo stuff in it, WoW, and Outlook express. Anything else I want to use now and then or a whole bunch is on the desktop. and it takes me about a minute to boot up. In spybot there is a nifty section that allows you to easily disable any running process, and it will usually tell you if it's generally needed or not needed. I have my actual bootup processes down to about seven, maybe less. I dont bother with the sysclock, its a real resource hog and its just as easy to lift mine eyes to the clock on the wall, anyway.

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icons in my sys tray
by floyd680 / September 19, 2008 10:48 AM PDT

I Have 5 icons

1 Avast VRDB
2 Avast On-Access Scanner
3 Network Wireless Connection
4 Volume
5 A Windows update icon that never lets me update.

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SPY BOT is good for this problem
by gringojo / September 19, 2008 11:02 AM PDT

SPY BOY Search & destroy is good for when you remove an item from starting up it will catch it from trying to re add it self & alert you if you wish to stop it or not!

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system tray icons
by pete33315 / September 19, 2008 11:10 AM PDT

Seven................used to be eight until I ditched the sidebar ! completely

Norton protection center
Norton internet security suite/2008
Google accelerator
Synaptic pointing device
Battery/Power level
Net connection

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how many icons
by JonMD / September 19, 2008 11:34 AM PDT

well let's see

kapersky internet security suite
internet connection status

that's it folks

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how many icons in windows tray.
by draculasux2001 / September 19, 2008 11:42 AM PDT

i have five. email, virus scanner,messenger, ytunnel pro volume control and the clock of course.

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Icons in Notification Area
by anges35 / September 19, 2008 11:46 AM PDT

I have 4: Nod32, Network, Volume and clock.
I read through the replies looking for someone to make the point that the 'extra' icons are for programs on Startup and/or 'tray' icons that load for "convenience".

I also looked through the lists some had and clearly some users don't understand that they do not have to have a process start at boot to use it. It can be started manually when needed. And those who complain about slow computers "always" have too much on Startup and a plethora of icons in the Notification Area- which by the way, is what the 'systray' or 'system tray' is now called.

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Icons in System tray
by flugelhorn / September 19, 2008 12:03 PM PDT

I have two, AVG and Safely Remove Hardware I don't need more as I can open what I need when I need it and I don't have lots of progs running all the time. My boot time has shortened considerably

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How many icons in your system tray?
by babarob / September 19, 2008 12:15 PM PDT

5* at startup, 10 at the moment:
*Printer settings icon
*InCD (Controls DVD/CD Drive, formats for "InCD")
*Avast AV
*Universal Clipper (courtesy of Evernote)
*Jet Toolbar (from Cowon, an infinitely better quick- launch bar)
Roboform (Passwords)
Evernote (A marvel)
The World 2.1 Browser (Still my favorite by far..)
Eudora Mail
USB prompt (for the printer/scanner)

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by l5n25 / September 19, 2008 1:35 PM PDT

1. Annoying M$ "Updates are ready for your computer".
2. SpySweeper
3. VPN (for work)
4. Wireless connection status (default Windows one)
5. Performance monitor (OK not a startup item but I'm running it currently)
6. OpenOffice QuickStarter
7. Window Live Messenger (not signed in)
8. HP Digital Imaging Monitor
9. PGPTray
10. Automachron
11. Avast VRDB
12. Avast On-Access Protect (anti-virus)
13. LAN physical cable disconnect
14. Audio Volume Control
15. nForce Tray Options
16. another Wireless connection status icon! (Linksys)

As usual, there's probably more here than I need but they are very easy to collect and time consuming to learn which are hogs, which are harmless, which can be lost, and which are absolutely essential.

For example I don't need two Wireless status icons but does it harm anything? Really?

The nForce Tray Options are probably not needed on continuously but it's more trouble than it's worth to get rid of it.

Audio volume control -- doesn't everyone have this one?

LAN cable disconnect... so I have wireless and cable connection capabilities...

The Avast anti-virus icons can be combined but I don't see the point.

Automachron because I like it better than the M$ time sync.

PGPTray because I'm paranoid.

HP Digitial Imaging Monitor... hmmm... maybe I can get rid of that one; but, I don't know if it will adversely affect my use of the HP printer delivered applications which I do use on occasion. Research area I guess...

Windows Live Messenger... yeah, I'd like to prevent this from automatically invoking frankly.

Openoffice QuickStarter... yes, this one probably is not essential for me. I occasionally will invoke a program from here but there's always the Program menu.

When I run games and such I close the "convenience items" and things that will often interfere like SpySweeper (it gets a little obnoxious at times)

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OK -- down to 8 with a little msconfig work
by l5n25 / September 19, 2008 3:13 PM PDT
In reply to: 16

Ran the update... still another update pending... sigh... sp3 for XP... not ready yet... heard a upgrade horror... need more research...

Combined the Avast icons... tidy up.

Automachron remains -- I like it.

Two wireless status icons (M$ and Linksys)... not messing with 'em... ain't broke... no reason to mess with it.

Disconnected ethernet cable... I'll live with it...

PGPTray because I'm still paranoid...

Audio volume...

So a 50% reduction. Not too bad. Things seem to work, I can print and run HP Director when need be w/o the HPTray. SpySweeper is running as a service but no systray icon for the UI... I can always run it manually. NVidia tray just not needed, there's always the control panel if needed. I got rid of the Windows Live Messenger on startup; again, if I want it, I can find it. Same for OpenOffice.

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is 1 the lonliest number in the world?
by jonah jones / September 19, 2008 1:53 PM PDT

here at work:
symantec endpoint protection

at home:
Kerio firewall

anything i need to run, i access via "Programs"
any program that drops a "run at start up" icon
when i use it is disabled via msconfig



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I've Got Ten Sys Tray Icons
by tonyny77 / September 19, 2008 2:52 PM PDT

Lee ... It's a little surprising to see how many different kinds of apps people have running in their tray. I've got seven (7) plus the Volume icon, the Network icon, the Safely Remove hardware icon, and the clock. My seven optional applications/utilities are:

- Zone Alarm fire wall
- Palm PDA HotSync
- Task Manager (I keep it running most of the time)
- AVG Anti-virus
- X1 Desktop Search
- Windows Home Server console
- Belkin UPS Status Monitor


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