Customize Notification Area in Windows 8

Today my colleague Colin Phillips noticed the ridiculous amount of screen real estate my Windows 8 Notification Area was using up. After clarifying that I did not actually want to be drowning in screen clutter (see below), he offered the following suggestion for how to improve my Windows 8 experience.


My original attempt to remove the insignificant icons in the Notification Area failed as I repeatedly right clicked on the screen space around the individual icons (which opens each icon’s menu).

The key is where to click…

Step 1: Position your mouse cursor in the blank space directly to the left of the notification area.
(Note: With my Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga, it’s directly to the left of the Touch Keyboard icon. The icon will be different depending on your computer.)


Step 2: Select Properties.


Step 3: The Taskbar Properties appears. Select the “Customize…” button beside the “Notification area”:


Step 4: The Notification Area Icon menu opens. You will see the checkbox beside “Always show all icons and notifications on the taskbar” is selected. (Note that the Behaviours dropdown menus beside the icons are grayed out and you are not able to change their status.)


Step 5: Deselect that checkbox. (Note that the Behaviours dropdown menus beside the icons are now available to be changed.)


Step 6: As soon as you deselect the checkbox, your Notification Area is now clear of clutter.


The secondary benefit is there is also now more room in your taskbar to display pinned/open Programs and Applications.





(Yes – alternatively, I could have used the Windows 8 Start Screen icon to open my start screen, activate an App Search, select Settings, and start typing “Notifications” and then selected “Show or hide inactive icons on the taskbar” – but why do something in 5 clicks (and several keyboard strokes), when it can be done in four.



Great stuff. Thank you again to Colin for taking the time to make my job, and my life, easier. 🙂