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How to Clear Customize Notifications (Taskbar Corner Overflow) Icons

Over time, many invalid or obsolete taskbar notification icons may appear on the “Customize notifications” or the “Select which icons appear on the Taskbar” page with duplicate, invalid or missing icons.

Customize Notifications Dialog with obsolete entries

On Windows 11, the setting is called “Taskbar corner overflow.” It’s located under Personalization → Taskbar, in the Settings app.

You may also see duplicate entries on that screen. It’s caused when a program updates to a new version, causing an additional entry to appear under the “Taskbar corner overflow” or “Customize notifications” settings page. For instance, this issue often happens with the Telegram Desktop app.

This article describes how to clear the past and current items list in the Customize Notifications dialog in Windows. Information and the script here apply to all versions of Windows, including Windows 10 and Windows 11.

Clear Customize Notifications (Taskbar corner overflow) Icons

Method 1: Using a Script

Here is a VBScript to quickly clear the customize notification icons.

  1. Close all your running programs.
  2. Download clear_notification_taskbar_overflow_icons.vbs
  3. Run the script file. It clears Taskbar overflow icons (aka, Customize Notifications items) and restarts the Explorer shell automatically.
    Here is what the customize notifications dialog (“Select which icons appear on the Taskbar”) looks like after clearing the obsolete entries.
    Customize Notifications Dialog after clearing. Programs will re-add their icons.

    You can see that the blank icons on the left are also fixed. (Compare Snagit icons.)

On Windows 11: Before running the script

After running the script

Contents of the VBScript

Method 2: Clearing the icons manually

Option 1: Using Reg.exe (for Windows 11 only)

In Windows 11 22H2, you can reset the tray icons by running the following command from a Command Prompt window:

reg.exe delete "HKCU\Control Panel\NotifyIconSettings" /f

Option 2: Using Regedit.exe (for Windows 10 and Windows 11)

To clear the Customize Notifications items list manually using the Registry Editor, follow these steps:

  1. Open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc
  2. Exit (don’t restart) the Explorer shell cleanly. See instructions for Windows 8 & 10.

    Exit Explorer in Windows 11?:

    Since Windows 11 doesn’t have the “Exit Explorer” GUI menu option, Windows 11 users can use the script method (“Option 1”) instead. Or use Task Manager to end the Explorer.exe process. It won’t be a graceful termination, though.

  3. The Taskbar and your desktop icons wouldn’t be visible now. From the Task Manager’s File menu, launch the Registry Editor (regedit.exe)
  4. In the Registry Editor, navigate to the following branch:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\TrayNotify
  5. Delete the two values, namely IconStreams and PastIconsStream. If they’re missing, proceed to the next step.
  6. In addition, if using Windows 11 22H2 and higher, navigate to the following branch:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\NotifyIconSettings
  7. Right-click NotifyIconSettings and choose Delete.
  8. Exit the Registry Editor.
  9. From the Task Manager’s File menu, launch Explorer.exe. This starts the Windows shell again.

The Windows shell is the graphical user interface for the Microsoft Windows operating system. Its primary elements are the desktop, the taskbar, and the Start menu.

Additional Tip

How to remove a specific tray icon?

In Windows 11 22H2 and above, you can remove a specific tray icon rather than clearing the entire listing. For example, you may want to remove the PowerToys entry or entries from the following page:

  1. Go to the following key in the Registry Editor:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\NotifyIconSettings
  2. Expand the branch and click on each subkey. Identify the product name from the InitialTooltip and the ExecutablePath REG_SZ values.
  3. Once you spot the item you want to remove, right-click on the corresponding branch and choose Delete.
  4. If the program has multiple tray entries, delete each subkey that has references to the program.
  5. Exit the Registry Editor.

That’s it! The PowerToys entries are now gone.

This clears your customize notification tray icons in the Taskbar in all versions of Windows, including Windows 11.

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