How to Clear Customize Notifications (System Tray) Icons in Windows?

This article describes how to clear the past and current items list in the Customize Notifications dialog in Windows. Information and the script here applies to all versions of Windows, including Windows 10.

Using Script

Here is a VBScript (for Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10) that clears the customize notification icons preferences for you. Download clear-notification-items.zip, unzip and run clear-notification-items.vbs file. It clears Customize Notifications items, restarts Explorer shell automatically and shows a message.


Customize Notifications Dialog, before clearing


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Customize Notifications Dialog, after clearing. Programs will re-add their icons.

You can see that the blank icons that appeared in the left, are also fixed. (Compare Snagit icon.)

Clearing the Notification icon Preferences manually

To clear the Customize Notifications items list by editing the registry, follow the steps below:

1. Click Start, type regedit.exe and press {Enter}

2. Navigate to the following branch:

[Windows XP]

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\TrayNotify

[Windows Vista, 7, 8  & 10]

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\TrayNotify

3. Delete the two values namely IconStreams and PastIconsStream

4. Exit the Registry Editor

5. Terminate Windows Explorer / Shell cleanly. [Instructions for Windows XP / Windows Vista & 7, Windows 8 and 10]

19 thoughts on “How to Clear Customize Notifications (System Tray) Icons in Windows?

  1. I had to forcibly remove an old anti-virus and it left an annoying little icon that I couldn’t find anywhere else but in the notifications tray. Junk cleaner, registry hunt-down, skimming through files to find it nothing worked. This little magic file though…whatever it is and however it does it WORKED! I’m definitely going to use this in the future :)

  2. This is awesome!! it fixed my little annoying problem I was having with my Battery power icon disappearing! <3

  3. The “clear-notification-items.vbs” zip worked like a charm! It doesn’t get any easier than that!
    AWESOME !!! THANKS A MILLION!!!

  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the automated.vbs script, it worked like a charm! Another computer aggravation bit the dust. The old stubborn crap is gone!

  5. Just used your automated .vbs script and it worked perfectly. Bye bye stubborn, old tray icons .. hello cleaned out tray! Fantastic stuff Ramesh and many thanks. :D

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