The notification area or the system tray is located on the right side of the Windows taskbar. It displays icons of some programs which are currently active on your PC, and notifications if any.
Typically, to remove an icon from the notification area, you open Taskbar and Start Menu Properties > Appearance and Personalization > Taskbar and Start Menu. Under the Taskbar tab in Windows 8.1, click on Customize. Here you can choose to hide the notification area icons that you do not wish to see.
But this only hides but does not remove the icons. Many a times, even when you uninstall a program, the icon for that program remains, although it may or may not get displayed. Windows 7 or Windows Vista may not remove the program icon of the uninstalled program icon from Notification Area Icons Control Panel applet.
Clear past icons in tray Notification Area
In this case, you can carry out a registry tweak or use freeware to delete or clear past icons in the tray notification area. To do this, open regedit and navigate to the following registry key:
Delete the ‘Icon Streams’ and ‘Past Icons Stream’ values.
Alternatively, you can also use freeware CCleaner to do the job easily.
Restart your explorer.exe process or your Windows computer.
Your clutter would have cleared up.