Past Icons Flusher

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 9, 2008
Updated • Nov 10, 2017
Windows, Windows tips

I published an article about Long Gone Icons in Windows before and walked you through a manual way of removing those icons from the system.

Any icon that appears in the system tray area is cached by Windows and will remain in that cache even if you uninstall the application completely from your computer.

This may reveal information about those programs to users who have local access to your PC and clutters the Notification Area control panel applet that lets you select which icons to display in the system tray area.

While that is usually not a problem, it can be in certain situations. Icons that encryption software add to the notifications area may reveal that data may still be encrypted on the device.

You can take a look at all cached items on your system if you like to see that they can reveal information about your system even if you thought that you did leave no traces of an application behind.

past icons windows notification icons screenshot

Right-click the Windows taskbar and select Properties from the menu. Now click on the Customize button which opens the Custom Notifications window.

That window is divided into current items which are those that are currently active on your system and past icons which are the icons that are stored in the cache. This includes icons from applications that are still installed on the system but also from those that are no longer installed on the computer.

Past Icons Flusher is a software that clears those past icons automatically which means that you do not have to go into the Registry and remove them manually. The program asks you during execution if you want to flush the Past Icons, a click on Yes starts the process while a click on No cancels it.

Please note that the explorer instance is killed in the process but it should restart just fine after the Past Icons have been removed.

Update: Please note that Past Icons Flusher does not appear to be available anymore. I suggest you use Tray Cleaner instead.

software image
Author Rating
no rating based on 0 votes
Software Name
Past Icons Flusher
Operating System
Software Category

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Jojo said on April 20, 2008 at 11:40 am

    I don’t have any icons in this area (HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\TrayNotify).

    I believe this might be because I have “Hide inactive icons” turned off in the taskbar properties?

  2. Evan said on April 10, 2008 at 11:08 am
  3. Evan said on April 10, 2008 at 6:08 am

    Hmmm, I wonder if CCleaner does this as part of its registry clean? Can’t see that it does.

  4. Yonatan said on April 9, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    Quite a few antiviruses’ heuristics give a warning about this file:

  5. Martin said on April 9, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    Mutant no I do not think so. It’s in my opinion only privacy related

  6. Mutant said on April 9, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    Does flushing of icons adds some benefit to the system?

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.