Move Winamp completely into System Tray

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 23, 2007
Updated • Jun 19, 2013
Music and Video

I like to move most applications that are currently running on the system to the system tray area instead of the taskbar to avoid cluttering the taskbar with program windows that I do not need to access. This is especially true for background programs that do what they have to do without interaction.

One of the programs that I like to move to the system tray is Winamp. I listen to Internet radio most of the time which means I just let it play all day long without having to load playlists or songs into Winamp. There is no need to have it open at all in the task bar.

I would still like to control the song that is currently played and stop or pause it as well. Useful when I receive a phone call or need to talk to someone using Skype. I'm using Winamp 2.95 lite which may behave different than those bloated versions that came out more recently. Well, in this Winamp you can right-click and select Options > Preferences. When you are in there you go to Options > Display and select to "Show Winamp in" system tray only. This ensures that Winamp will not use a window in the task bar.

You need a plugin to add playing controls to the system tray. This is not necessary if you run a new version of Winamp. The plugin that I'm using is called Tray Control Mercury and can be configured in the options under Plugins > General Purpose. Just select the plugin from the list after installation and choose the controls that you want to see in the system tray. I selected play, stop and open file which should be enough for most users. You can also select next and previous track.

Update: The plugin is no longer available, it has been pulled from the plugin repository.  The way you configure Winamp so that the program is displayed in the system tray has also changed. Press Ctrl-P to open the preferences when Winamp is active. Find Show Winamp in under General Preferences and switch from Taskbar to Notification area instead.

show winamp system tray

Make sure you disable the taskbar option here, as you will end up with Winamp showing up in the taskbar and system tray at the same time otherwise.


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  1. Anonymous said on August 1, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Why not make use of the mplayer.conf?

  2. Mike J said on August 1, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Huh, I have never even seen this “font cache” pane; videos play at once for me, using VLC & XP SP3.

    1. Martin said on August 1, 2010 at 3:39 pm

      Mike, in theory this should have only been displayed once to you, at the very first video that you played with VLC. The time this window is displayed depends largely on the number of fonts in your font directory.

      1. Mike J said on August 2, 2010 at 2:30 pm

        huh, I lucked out for a change?? Amazing!!
        Apparently VLC keeps this info through version updates, but I didn’t see this message after a fresh OS install about 8 weeks ago, & a new VLC.

  3. myo said on August 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    yes, yes, i have the same problem. sometimes, VLC crashes when it is playing .mov file.

  4. Kishore said on August 13, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Buidling font Cache pop-up


    Open VLC player.

    On Menu Bar:


    (at bottom – left side)
    Show settings — ALL

    Open: Video
    Click: Subtitles/OSD (This is now highlited, not opened)
    Text rendering module – change this to “Dummy font renderer function”


    Re-open – done.
    Progam will no longer look outside self for fonts

    Source –

    1. Martin said on August 13, 2010 at 3:10 pm

      Great tip, thanks a lot Kishore.

  5. javier said on August 14, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    @Kishore, I’ll try your tips, but does this mean it will no longer show subtitles either?
    I do use subtitles, but the fontcache dialog box pops up (almost) everytime I play a file.

    Could this be related to the fonts I have installed? Or if I add/remove fonts to my system?

    I’ll try to do a fresh install also, if your tips does no work. I’ll post back here later…


  6. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,

  7. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,Dont worry, VLC is currently sorting out this issue and the next version will be out soon.

    No probs @ Martin !! Its my pleasure

  8. Ted said on October 22, 2010 at 3:57 am

    Try running LC with administrator privileges. That seemed to fix it for me

  9. Evan said on December 8, 2013 at 1:48 am

    I am using SMplayer 0.8.6 (64-bit) (Portable Edition) on Windows 7 x64. Even with the -nofontconfig parameter in place SMplayer still scans the fonts. Also, I have enabled normal subtitles and it is still scanning fonts before playing a video. Also, it does this every time the player opens a video after a system restart (only the fist video played).

  10. Mike Williams said on September 6, 2023 at 1:26 pm

    Does that mean that only instrumental versions of songs will be available for non-paying users?

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