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Clear Past Notification Icons In Windows 7

A few days back I covered a tool called Tray Cleaner that allowed users to remove all past notification area icons, but sadly there was some trouble using it in Windows 7. It did not remove the icons completely. So today I am going to share with you another method that has been tested to work.

This method requires editing the Windows Registry. If you’re using Windows 7, type regedit in Start Search, right-click it to select Run as administrator to launch Registry Editor.

Now, navigate to the following key from the left sidebar:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\TrayNotify

From the main window, delete both IconStreams and PasteIconsStream.


Now hit Ctrl +Alt + Del to open Task Manager and kill explorer.exe process. Once done, go to File > Run, enter explorer.exe and hit Enter, this will start explorer.exe again.

start explorer task manager

Now right-click the clock in the system tray and hit Customize notification icons. You will see that all past icons have now been removed.

notification area icons

For those who don’t know what are past notifications? Go here to learn about it. Enjoy!

Leave a comment

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  • Cosmo Boy

    Windows7 change this address value in registry not like in WindowsXP Thank you very much ^_^

  • Cosmo Boy

    Windows7 change this address value in registry not like in WindowsXP Thank you very much ^_^

  • It works just great πŸ™‚
    Thanks for the tip!

  • It works just great πŸ™‚
    Thanks for the tip!

  • Bruno Ram

    I did it in Windows Vista.
    It works!
    Thank you!!!

  • Paul

    Great many thanks… Worked a treat in Windows 7 Home Premium

  • Swede

    Just ran the steps on Win 7 Professional 64-bit to remove an icon that remained after the program was uninstalled. Worked perfectly….thanks!!!

  • Rapth

    I did it, it works great. But now I can not turn on the Action Center notifications. It just remains off, grayed out. Did I end up deleting it or something?

  • Fernando Dois

    Excellent hint!!
    Works great on Windows 7!
    Finally i could get ride of the unused icons that have been removed from my system!

    Thanks and great job!!

  • ashok1233444

    works tnx

  • Ricardo

    It does the job.

    Unfortunately it deletes all icons, so we must have to customize their behaviors again.

    It solved my problem, so, thank you so much!

  • win7

    after killing explorer.exe process (windows7 x64)
    the start menu disappeared…so i couldnt use the run–explorer.exe

    workaround:- using windows task manager — application tab — click new task and type explorer.exe and click OK…

    • FuzzTone

      I use RocketDock (free) in 7-64 Ultimate. I keep a shortcut there for Kill Explorer:
      C:WindowsSystem32taskkill.exe /f /im “explorer.exe”
      and another shortcut for Explorer
      C:Windowsexplorer.exe C:

      Since the launcher survives the explorer process shutdown, one click and I’m back.
      To summarize, one click out, one click back, in a blink.

      By adding the C: to the Explorer shortcut, it will open the lame default file manager in the root
      drive if it is already active.Β  Leaving it off will open in the lame Libraries instead.

  • Colle-e

    It Works!, Thanks!.
    Finally those tiny bothersome icons are gone!

  • Rose

    TrayNotify is not listed on my registry.

    • Rose

      I found the TrayNotify and did the instructions step by step. When I type explorer on Run the notification list box doesn’t show up. Libraries box shows up instead.

  • thank you very much man i searched whle day how to doit and now i finally found i wil save this page for future if i forgot

  • Hulland

    This does NOT allow removal of the UNNECESSARY desktop icon !!

  • Ritter

    Thank you very much! This is exactly what I needed!

  • Daniel

    Thanks man…this is what I wanted to do πŸ™‚

  • navi

    verry verry good i got cleaned thanks buddy

  • cyrus

    many thanks to you. I always wanted to do this but never found any solution for it. good work

  • djnalom

    Thanks … its work … thank you

  • Jeet

    Thanks … It Worked For Me πŸ™‚

  • Jon

    “Now hit Ctrl +Alt + Tab to open Task Manager”

    Do you not mean “Now hit Ctrl +Alt + Del and open Task Manager”?

  • Muhammad

    Thanks very much it works great

  • Ron

    I have windows 7 sp1 64bit OEM. I found the two registry entries at: Computer\HKEY_Classes_Root\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVirsion\TrayNotify.

  • rampa

    WOW ITS WORKED THANKS i tried so many but didnot
    but the process given by u is FENTASTIC
    thank you so much

  • Mick

    Works great! Thanks man!

  • Ethan

    This is the simplest and best instructions that i have came across.Β  You are the first one that i have even typed a review.Β  Cant help it, but i need to give you a pat on the back.Β  You are even better than Microsoft, they should hire you!

  • Guest

    wow! this works! I found this via Google.

  • Ben Johnson

    Thank You . This registry tip worked.

  • Nrshah7183

    Regedit works perfectly not bad..Try it….

  • Pianorockz


  • Myobb

    Can anybody, tell. why the hell. i need to download “Zoom Downloader”, when iΒ  got my own download program, i mean, if very every-site as it own download program, i have more bloody download program, an MS windows program file’s

  • Ashley

    I tried this and it worked perfectly. This is a great site and I have no doubt that I’d be returning here when faced with technical difficulties.

  • Khristian Torres

    nice it worked thank you

  • Sammy

    Thanks heaps!

  • SetecAstronomy

    Also works for Windows 8 (in desktop mode) but you do not need to restart explorer.exe as it automatically restarts for you.

    FYI, slight typo in above: Should read PastIconsStream not PasteIconsStream.

  • Terry Wing

    The registry method worked perfectly in my Windows 7x 64 bit Home Premium. Thank you to the original poster.

  • Miku

    Thankyou πŸ™‚ great heLp !! :*

  • John Daugherty

    You are a genius. Thank you so much. Arregato.

  • Tipaklong

    thanks so much man, now i got my keyloggers entry removed ^___^

  • ACAS (AllComputersAreStupid)

    Thank you!!! Excellent , it works great in Win 7 64-bit. Just do not close Task Manager after the explorer.exe process is stopped, go back to applications and hit new task button. Then write in the window that pops up explorer.exe and hit ok. DONE πŸ™‚
    In my view the “Tray Cleaner” is a useless tool and it is a bad one to install on any computer!

  • akshay

    It works just great

  • thank you very much πŸ™‚

  • KickRocks2016

    Thank you so much.. this saved me a major headache… all this time I could’ve done this instead of system restore.. You Rock!!