How To Minimize a Window to Tray in Windows 10
Microsoft Windows may not be as tweakable as Linux, but it is fairly customizable. This includes even the simplest and seemingly most trivial stuff that might seem engraved into Microsoft’s latest OS. In truth, if you don’t know where to look, Windows may get a bit overwhelming, but knowing how to set up and use stuff like the taskbar and the system tray properly can show you that staying in control is easily achievable.
You probably know all about the system tray in windows, but did you know that you can make almost any program and windows keep working in the tray? If you didn’t know about this cool customization option, you won’t be able to get enough of it.
Take a Load off the Taskbar
So, as you know, by default, when you minimize a program or a window, it ends up in the taskbar. Once it is minimized, a window can be easily restored via a simple mouse click (or screen tap). As a Windows user, however, you probably already know how quickly the taskbar can fill up – almost as quickly as the browser tabs pile up.
Minimizing some (or all) apps to your system tray area (next to the clock, you know the one) can help a lot here. Don’t let Windows decide your preferences for you, learn how to do it yourself!
Download an App
Unfortunately, this feature is not built into Windows. But workarounds do exist. Here are some useful apps that will help you take the load off your taskbar:
- RBTray – Fairly lightweight and simple to use. Once installed, double-clicking on it will turn it on in the background. Simple as that.
- MinimizeToTray – This one takes some configuration, but the options that it offers are more than worth it. For one, you can make a list of apps that you want to minimize to tray. The others will still minimize to the taskbar, which is pretty awesome for avoiding virtual workspace clutter.
Why Minimize to Tray?
Minimizing an app or window to tray has unique benefits that can directly reflect upon your work performance or that of your own PC. Make no mistake, minimizing to tray can benefit both people who rely heavily on computers for their work, as well as those who use the PC in a more casual manner.
If you mostly work on a PC, chances are that the virtual workspace clutter is a huge problem for you. Even if you have two or more screens connected, the minimized icon clutter can hinder your productivity or reflect upon your work negatively in some other way.
On the other hand, and this is especially true if your work is based on using software that isn’t forgiving to your hardware, minimizing to the tray can and will make your PC work faster. Minimizing apps to the tray will reduce their impact on your system.
As a casual PC user, or someone whose work only partly relies on working on a computer, you might not care about minimizing clutter all that much. But it wouldn’t hurt to keep your computer in tip-top shape and performing at 100% at all times, regardless of you do.
Well, minimized windows are only that – minimized. They continue to burden your CPU and RAM.
This is especially important for the gaming crowd. You may not care about the aesthetics of having lots of opened window, but when your game starts stuttering and lagging, you’ll welcome the option to minimize to the system tray.
Minimize Your Browser Windows
While the mentioned apps are pretty neat, but if the majority of your work revolves around browsing the web, you don’t really need the apps to begin with. Did you know that you can minimize both Firefox and Chrome to the tray using cool extensions for each of the two browsers? You can do exactly that, which is especially awesome for those who aren’t fans of downloading third-party apps to their computers.
Final Thoughts: the Taskbar or the Tray?
It’s up to you, really, but why use only one of the two minimizing solutions? When combined, the two can turn into real clutter breakers, so use them together to make your work go smoothly. Here’s an idea: use the taskbar for apps that aren’t too taxing on your CPU and RAM, and assign the more demanding software to the tray.
Do you have any other cool combos that can help people make the most of their virtual desktops? How do you use the tray-taskbar combo? Feel free to post your own desktop productivity tips and tricks in the comments section below!