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


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]

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.

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

  3. 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!

  4. 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

  5. Worked like a charm and deleted the junk in a second, great work and I’m sure that the script will come in handy again…

    Thanks
    George

  6. Re: “The manual system did not work”

    Instead of deleting the registry entries using the keyboard delete key, right click on the entry and select delete in the pop-up menu.

  7. I’ve been looking for this ages too! THANK YOU! but manual version does not work, don’t even waste your time. script version works as a CHARM!

  8. thanks!
    no luck with the manual attempt, but the script worked perfectly, and will no doubt come in handy again…
    good work!

  9. THANK YOU SO MUCH IT WORKED SO FINE but the manual deletion didn’t work as there were no such values as iconstreams and pasticonsstream on windows 7

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