How to manage and display all system tray icons in Windows 11

Nov 28, 2021
Updated • Nov 28, 2021
Windows 11 Help

A quick way to access some programs in Window, is by using their shortcut's icon displayed in the system tray. When Windows 10 came out, Microsoft made some changes to the way how the icons were shown, and the same applies to Windows 11.

How to manage system tray icons in Windows 11

The operating system only displays a handful of the icons at a time. To view the full list of shortcuts, you will need to click the caret button, which shows the rest of the icons in a pop-up panel. The idea seems good on paper, your taskbar looks neat with fewer elements on it. And This may not be an issue if you only access the shortcuts occasionally, but if it's the other way around, you may want to have the icons readily available.

With Windows 10, managing the system tray icons was a bit simpler. But, Microsoft changed the right-click menu of the Taskbar in Windows 11, so it takes a couple of extra steps to do the same.

How to display and manage system tray icons in Windows 11

1. Right-click anywhere on the taskbar, and you'll see an option that says Taskbar Settings. You can also get to this page by navigating to the Personalization > Taskbar page in the Settings app.

2. Scroll down the page, and you will see a list of programs that are allowed to display an icon in the taskbar corner overflow, aka the system tray. Go over the list, and decide which ones you'd like to have quick access to.

3. To turn an icon off, just toggle the switch next to the program's name. It is worth mentioning that the list includes Windows system icons such as Windows Security, which is used for opening Windows Defender. So, think twice before disabling the icon.

This is optional, but while you are on the same Settings page, you may choose to toggle the icons for the Pen Menu, Touch Keyboard, and Virtual Touchpad. If you don't use any of the features, why bother having the shortcuts enabled?

4. Click the caret button in the system tray to view all the icons, now click and drag an icon from the pop-up panel to the tray, and it will be displayed on the tray permanently. Similarly, to hide a shortcut from the tray, drag it to the panel instead.

system tray icons in Windows 11

Now, that takes care of managing system tray icons, you can hide and show the shortcuts that you want. You were maybe wondering whether there is a way to show or hide all the tray icons. There used to be an option for this, in the Control Panel > Notification Area Icons, but that was in Windows 11. Microsoft removed the option in Windows 11, so even if you try to access it from the Control Panel, it will just redirect you to the Settings app's Taskbar page, which we mentioned earlier.

But, not to worry. The Control Panel applet still exists, Windows 11 just hides it. To access it, open the Run command with Windows + R, and paste the following code in it. (credit: WinAero)


display all system tray icons in Windows 11

This will open the Control Panel that allows you to "Always Show all icons and notifications on the taskbar".

How to display all system tray icons in Windows 11

Hit the Ok button to apply the changes, and you are good to go. You may also toggle the behavior of the icons, i.e., whether the icons should be displayed permanently, or only when notifications are available.

How to display all system tray icons in Windows 11
Article Name
How to display all system tray icons in Windows 11
Learn how to manage system tray icons in Windows 11. We teach you a trick to display all icons on the tray.
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  1. John G. said on August 21, 2023 at 2:38 pm

    There is not still W11 23H2 and these instructions are nonsense by now. :[

    1. James said on August 21, 2023 at 8:48 pm

      It worked for me just fine. You’re probably not following the instructions clearly.

      1. Katrina Thompson said on August 30, 2023 at 3:25 am

        Just tried the password option and the OOBE option and didnt work.

    2. Anonymous said on September 7, 2023 at 10:33 am

      Worked perfectly. Thank OP.

    3. Anonymous said on September 15, 2023 at 11:26 am

      Worked perfectly for me just now. Specifically, the regedit option.

  2. 45 RPM said on August 22, 2023 at 9:02 am

    Is this cut and paste from a Microsoft PR paper, because it 1000% BS:

    “By listening to user insights, Microsoft has demonstrated its commitment to refining the Windows experience based on real-world needs.”

    Windows 11 is proof they don’t give a s*it.

    1. elong45 said on August 23, 2023 at 12:25 am

      Worked for me just now

    2. Robert N said on August 28, 2023 at 10:55 pm

      I agree! Windows 11 was a downgrade to me and I kept all 8 computers in our family on Windows 10 as a result. They didn’t listen to any customers. The taskbar was THE main reason I stayed away from Windows 11. With 6 monitors, it is impossible to navigate so many browser tabs, without the feature. I will try the new version in the virtual box to see if it is worth it yet.

  3. Anonymous said on August 23, 2023 at 11:33 pm

    Microsoft did a terrible job with this implementation.

    They simply need to employ the creator of StartAllBack to fix Windows. He is smarter and more talented than the entire campus of Microsoft employees.

    1. Anonymous said on September 4, 2023 at 11:36 pm


  4. Joe Mama said on August 24, 2023 at 12:10 am

    Thank you so much! I work in IT and this is extremely useful information!

  5. Anonymous said on August 27, 2023 at 9:34 pm

    Thanks man. The second method worked great!

  6. Anonymous said on August 28, 2023 at 1:16 pm

    I used the second method, and i got exactly what i expected.

  7. adrian said on September 1, 2023 at 12:52 am

    Using the Bypass 2: Use a banned email address email worked fantastically as I had gone to far to use the bypass 1.
    I will be back when I next have a problem.
    Keep you the great work

  8. John G. said on September 4, 2023 at 6:15 pm

    W11 File Explorer is the worst crap ever done. W11 is the biggest shame ever.

  9. MarineRecon said on September 4, 2023 at 9:14 pm

    Just one more reason for me to go to Linux when Windows 10 ages out.

    1. TelV said on September 19, 2023 at 11:46 am

      @ MarineRecon,

      Be careful which Linux distro you choose. Some of them don’t include the Wayland protocol which is a security issue i.e. apps can copy, paste and inject data without user interaction.

      It’s included in Fedora:

  10. Dustyn said on September 4, 2023 at 9:28 pm

    How about a DARK MODE for your website? That would be oh so nice.

    1. Tom Hawack said on September 5, 2023 at 12:55 am

      Something like this : [] maybe?
      Done with ‘Dark Reader Extension for ? Firefox’ []

      This comment was written on [}

    2. TelV said on September 19, 2023 at 11:49 am

      Definitely NOT! Once you get older and your eyesight starts to fail you’ll positively loathe dark mode.

      1. Mycroft1325 said on September 25, 2023 at 11:48 pm

        Not sure what eye problems *you’re* having, but for me the exact opposite is true. Dark Mode is MUCH easier on my Eyes.

        BTW- I’m 52, and have worked in IT all my life. Been staring at monitors for hours each day, most days of the week since the late 1980’s.

  11. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 2:05 am

    Microsoft completely ruined File Explorer by converting to XAML/WinUI/whatever new bloated modern garbage. Its worse than it ever was.

  12. Invoker said on September 5, 2023 at 3:32 pm

    i tested it on win10 current edition. speeds up explorer like a charm

  13. LOEL LARZELERE said on September 13, 2023 at 8:07 am

    SO what is the priority numbers to give preference to ethernet over wireless?

  14. christop_bader said on September 14, 2023 at 1:50 am

    Worked very well happy to have Windows Photo Viewer back in action in Windows-11

  15. Anonymous said on September 16, 2023 at 4:29 am

    Worked for me (registry option) thank god, I can use the search option to find things on my computer again. Thank you so much!

    1. TelV said on September 19, 2023 at 11:54 am

      Install Everything Search and dispense with Microsoft’s crappy search tool.

      Martin wrote an article on it:

  16. said on September 17, 2023 at 6:39 pm

    I presume the text “WindowsCopilot,,” is a typographical error (2023/09/17/how-to-disable-windows-copilot-in-windows/). The broken comment system unfortunately looks like it is populating itself via AI autopilot.

  17. Anonymous said on September 17, 2023 at 10:37 pm

    Hopefully, this Windows Copilot nonsense fails even more spectacularly than Cortana. Who requested this? We want all of the UX features removed back in 11, not this copilot nonsense.

  18. Anonymous said on September 17, 2023 at 10:51 pm

    I really don’t mind all of these Windows enhancement but Microsoft get one thing very wrong. ‘Opt in’, is far better than seek information and work to disable.

  19. ilev said on September 18, 2023 at 7:13 am

    Turn off Windows Copilot entirely is not good enough.

    How to uninstall Copilot entirely ?

    1. TelV said on September 19, 2023 at 11:57 am

      @ ilev,

      Use Gpedit or the registry. Explained in this article:

  20. WilliamGatesTheight said on September 21, 2023 at 2:13 pm

    With that snake oil salesman Panos gone, hopefully Windows can return to a normal desktop operating system without all the insanity it has right now in Windows 11.

  21. Tachy said on September 21, 2023 at 3:19 pm

    Can we please stop being ‘politically correct’ (lying) and call them ads again instead of ‘suggestions’?

  22. TelV said on September 25, 2023 at 4:05 pm

    @ Martin,

    Does your gpedit hack also turn off all the other “subscribed content” shown in the registry screenshot? Do you happen to know what all those are?

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