Hide Windows with Watchcat

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 11, 2008
Updated • Feb 9, 2013
Software, Windows

Watchcat is a tiny Windows application that can be run from any location on the hard drive. Its main purpose is to hide windows from the taskbar and alt+tab window switching display. It does not end the process of course, it simply hides the window to free up space in Windows. I think we all have the problem from time to time that we cannot close a window that we do not need right now or that is running a task in the background. It does not make much sense to display the window all the time if we do not interact with it and that's where Watchcat comes into play.

Simply select the window from the Watchcat system tray icon and it will be automatically hidden in Windows. Now this only works with windows that are not minimized to the system tray. If they are located in the system tray maximize them first and select them afterwards in Watchcat. I made a quick test with Thunderbird which is minimized in the system tray most of the time. I maximized it and used Watchcat to hide the window.

The mail notifications would still appear in the system tray and I was able to view new mail as usual. I personally think that it does not make much sense to hide windows that are already minimized in the system tray. This works definitely best for windows that are in the taskbar.

Watchcat is highly customizable. It's really incredibly what the author packed into such a tiny application. It's possible to password protect the application or unhide all applications on system exit. Even more interesting than that is the extensive list of hotkeys that are available for all sort of purposes in Windows.

Note that Watchcat can also be used to hide windows from other users who are working on the PC. Say your children are playing a game and you are compiling code in the background, converting a video or keeping your messaging application up just in case. You can use the program to hide the window from prying little hands to avoid it getting closed by accident.


Tutorials & Tips

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