Remove or Clear past icons in Notification Area in Windows 7

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.

clear past icons tray notification area

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:

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

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.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.