Disable Flashing Taskbar buttons or icons on Windows taskbar

Notifications in Windows are present to draw your attention to programs or areas that require your immediate attention. While this helps in resolving issues quickly it can annoy some. Especially the taskbar icons or buttons which flash, once the program is opened or there is a change in the program. Its icon shows up on the taskbar and begin flashing, becoming golden yellow. It will flash 7 times, after which it will continue to throb gently. In this post, we will see how you can disable the flashing of taskbar buttons or icons or change the count for the number of times it can flash.

Disable Flashing Taskbar buttons

Open the Windows Registry, by typing regedit in Run box. It’s the Windows Registry that stores configuration information about many important parts of Windows operating system. By editing it, you can tune Windows to behave the way you want it. However, modifying the Windows Registry can cause serious problems to your system, so make sure you know what you’re doing and create a system restore point first before proceeding further.

regedit

Locate and then click the subkey that holds the registry item or items that you want to change. For this, browse the following path:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

Desktop

Double-click the ForegroundFlashCount entry and change the Value data field to 0. The default on my Windows 8.1 computer is 7 in Hexadecimal.

value

ForegroundFlashCount specifies the number of times the taskbar button flashes to notify the user that the system has activated a background window. ForegroundLockTimeout specifies the time, following user input, during which the system keeps applications from moving into the foreground. If the time elapsed since the last user input exceeds the value of the ForegroundLockTimeout entry, the window will automatically be brought to the foreground.

So, you may want to also ensure that value of ForegroundLockTimeout is set to 0. The default on my Windows 8.1 computer is 30d40 in Hexadecimal.

Disable Flashing Taskbar buttons

After having done this, restart Windows and you should no longer see any flashing icon in the taskbar on your Windows 8.1 computer.

Change the number of time Taskbar button flashes

If you want to Change the number of time Taskbar button flashes, then you can change the value of ForegroundFlashCount from the default 7, to a number between 1 and 6, and restart your computer.

Let us know if this worked for you.

Read next: Microsoft Edge tab flashing incessantly.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, 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.

37 Comments

  1. DutchPete

    I implemented the ForegroundFlashCount hack in the registry, but it does not work, the apps in the task bar still flash :-((

  2. Did you also change the value of ForegroundLockTimeout to 0?

  3. DutchPete

    No, I did not. Will do so now & check tomorrow to see if it works. Will let you know.

  4. DutchPete

    Yes, it works. Thanks a lot !!

  5. DutchPete

    Update 19 June: it does not work. I put both parameters to zero, it worked once then went back to normal, even though both are still at zero 🙁

  6. I will re-check it in a couple of days and revert.

  7. DutchPete

    Thanks Anand.

  8. RandomGuy

    This solution doesn’t work on Windows 10 Build 10240 🙁
    If you know how to get it working, could you please update the article? Thanks!

  9. DutchPete

    Anand, I also mentioned it does not work – I have windows 8.1. You said 1 month ago you’d check & report back. So far, no news.
    On Windows 10 it does not work either. Should we conclude it does not work on any of the latest windows versions??

  10. Jean-Claude Pires

    I’ve discovered a fix! keep the ForeGroundFlashCount to 0,
    but change the TimeOut value to 1.
    This seems to have worked for me so far! ive struggled with this for ages just like you all have!
    JC

  11. DutchPete

    Thanks for your effort ! Unfortunately it does not work for me :-((

  12. Jean-Claude Pires

    that sucks! ill be able to test it more during the week as ill be receiving notifications all day. until I find a good fix for you i’ll keep at it.
    JC

  13. DutchPete

    Any news, Jean-Claude?

  14. Jean-Claude Pires

    Nothing yet I’m afraid. Been playing with the variables but so far only my music application has stopped flashing. Skype still continues to do it.

  15. Jean-Claude Pires

    Figured anything out yet? I’ve reinstalled windows 10, and now what worked in the past doesn’t even work anymore! so frustrating….

  16. DutchPete

    I think we should just drop it because it is not a big enough issue to spend more time on. In any case I will just let it go.

  17. ciantic

    Great!

    This also fixes a bug in Windows 10 virtual desktops:

    If you quickly change a virtual desktop, it sometimes starts to flash a random program from another desktop in the desktop you just switched to.

    If you set the flash timeout and flash count to zero, this doesn’t seem to happen anymore.

  18. elnator

    I have both flashcount and locktimeout to 1 and 0 respectively… icons still grab attention (They stop flashing after 1 but stay ‘lit’) and the taskbar stays up until I go click in the app. No idea why. It’s really flippin annoying.

  19. elnator

    you can’t put the flash count to 0 it has to be a number other than 0. 0 means always on.

  20. darkko035

    I have the same problem,and nothing of this didn’t work on my win 8.1.I changed the values to 0 and nothing.But,I start the win defender quick scan and when used ALT+TAB I found icon that says do I wan’t to remove malicius software,said yes and then stop blinking.I hope that will work for you.

  21. disqus7138

    i found 2 more ForegroundFlashCount by using regedit find
    use regedit find for ForegroundFlashCount and ForegroundLockTimeout

    i found 2 or 3 in H_key_users…..desktop
    change all of them

    it seems 2b working

  22. disqus7138

    i found 2 more ForegroundFlashCount by using regedit find
    use regedit find for ForegroundFlashCount and ForegroundLockTimeout

    i found 2 or 3 in H_key_users…..desktop
    change all of them

    it seems 2b working

    Addenda
    know its not working
    i must check if something has reset the value

    but then it works again know

    odd?

  23. Zee

    Can you recommend a way for me to stop receiving any notifications? It is currently getting stuck for me, no matter what I do it remains orange until I completely close the entire application and re-open it again! I HATE THIS!

  24. jen

    Worked for me! Thanks so much.

  25. Rehan Gull

    windows 8.1 v6.3 build9600
    changing the ForegroundFlashCount entry to 0 worked for me

  26. It’s working for me, but I never restart it, so no problem, I’m on windows 7 SP1 lastest patch..

  27. Nightshire

    I am kind of late to this article, but it is very helpful. Anyone reading this comment, please reply to let me know I am not alone 🙂

  28. greeeenee

    i’m with you

  29. Garr Godfrey

    Since this is in HKEY_CURRENT_USER, you might need to set it on multiple users. If some applications run with administrator privileges, your admin account may need to have it set. Possibly even the SYSTEM user for things like anti-virus popups.

  30. Max Stern

    same 🙂

  31. #'~A*QXm(>NRmm]w?dU4v!=^

    A lot of people seem to still get the flashing taskbar icons despite Anand’s recommendations. I followed them too and they did not work for me. I dug around the internet a bit more and came up with this:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USERControl PanelDesktop:
    * set ForegroundFlashCount to 1
    * set ForegroundLockTimeout DWORD hexadecimal value to 30d40
    Note: Those are zeros in that value, not ‘o’ letters. There are no o’s in hexadecimal and so they wouldn’t be accepted, but it should be mentioned nonetheless. (https://www.lifewire.COM/how-to-prevent-programs-from-stealing-focus-in-windows-2624453)

    That way a taskbar icon that tries to “steal focus” will turn yellow but not flash. I find that less distracting than a continuously flashing icon.

    I have not been able to find a solution whereby the taskbar icon does not even change colour.

  32. StopS

    Years later and Microsoft still can’t do anything about this. It’s so frustrating that users can change all sorts of nonsensical and really stupid settings, but really annoying stuff remains unaddressed.

  33. #'~A*QXm(>NRmm]w?dU4v!=^

    The colour change remains, but you can get rid of the flashing, which I find more annoying than a continuously lit up task bar icon. You can achieve that if you follow the steps I outlined above. I don’t think it is possible to refine it any further.

  34. StopS

    Thanks and yes, I agree. I did what you suggested and thankfully it made my problem a bit smaller.
    My biggest problem by far is that I have my taskbar up on top and switched to invisible. If someone just sends me even a confirmation thumbs up the entire bar comes down and blocks the commands of the current programme.
    So I first need to go the one hogging the focus, acknowledge the receipt and only hen can I continue working.
    It’s annoying and a shame that I can no longer configure it. It used to be easy to switch off notifications, but today every programmer thinks his programme is incredibly important and requires immediate attention.
    But thanks for your input.

  35. ??????????? ??

    Windows 10 1803 -> still doesn’t work 🙁

  36. JR

    I did that, changing the flash count to 2, because I still like to be alerted. Unfortunately, it still flashed continuously.

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