Windows 7 has remade the notification area on the Superbar (Windows Taskbar). Notification area, previously known as system tray, is now streamlined by placing inactive, unused, unwanted, unneeded, or simply ‘ugly’ icons into a placeholder hidden icons folder which is hidden by default, and can be shown or unhidden in a small balloon or bubble pop up when user clicks on the arrow next to the notification area.

Users can customize or configures that icons that appear in notification area to be displaying (showing) or hiding (not showing) via Control Panel -> All Control Panel Items -> Notification Area Icons. When an icon is displayed on notification area, the notification area will become longer and occupying more Taskbar area, effectively make the Taskbar smaller. To make Taskbar bigger, just hide the not important or not frequently used icons. Doing so will also make notification tidier with icon easier to find when needed.

If you feel that going through the Control Panel UI to show or hide an icon is too troublesome, there is a simple trick to show or hide the icons on notification area instantly.

Easy Way to Hide An Icon From Notification Area to Hidden Icons Folder

Just drag and drop an icon out of notification area into desktop area, and the icon will automatically place into Hidden Icons folder, which will be shown when user clicks on the Show Hidden Icons arrow next to the notification area.

Hide Icon in Notification Area by Drag and Drop

The icon is now hiding and disappeared from notification area. To unhide and re-put the icon back into notification area, click on the arrow next to notification area, and then drag and drop it back to notification area, at a location of your preference.

Show Icon in Notification Area by Drag and Drop

Tip: When hiding an icon by using the trick above, the behaviors of the icon is set to “Only show notifications”. To set to “Hide icons and notifications” (do not appear any bubble balloon popup at all), click on the arrow beside notification area, and click on “Customize”.

There are more ways to hide system icons such as disable, turn off and remove the Action Center.