How to set which icons are shown in Windows 10's notification area

The notification area on the taskbar, also known as the system tray, has been in Windows for quite a long time. It kept on improving and helping users get easy access to system functions, system notifications and applications, in all Windows versions, starting with Windows 95. It's still here in Windows 10 and it's more customizable than ever, although some things have changed from the past. In this article we will show you how to configure which icons are displayed in the notification area of Windows 10. As you will see, the steps involved are both easy to follow and also very different than in the past:

NOTE: The screenshots used in this article are from Windows 10 with Anniversary Update. Windows 10 Anniversary Update will be available for free, to all Windows 10 users, as of August 2, 2016.

How to access the settings for the notification area in Windows 10

In order to tell Windows 10 which icons you want displayed in the Notification area from the taskbar, you first have to open the the appropriate settings window, named "Select which icons appear on the taskbar".

The fastest way to get to it is to use the search feature offered by Cortana. Search using the words "taskbar icons" and then click or tap on "Select which icons appear on the taskbar".

Another way of opening the same window is to right click (or tap and hold) on an unused area of the taskbar. In the right click menu, click or tap on Settings.

This will take you into the Taskbar area of the Settings app.

To open the settings of the Notification area , scroll down the list of taskbar related settings and click or tap the "Select which icons appear on the taskbar" link from the right side pane.

A third method of getting to the settings of the notification area is to use the Settings app. Open it by following any of the methods we described here: 6 Ways To Open The Settings App In Windows 10. Then, go to Personalization and click or tap on the Taskbar option from the left column. On the right side of the window, click or tap the "Select which icons appear on the taskbar" link.

How to set which icons are displayed in the notification area of the Windows 10 taskbar

Regardless of the method you chose to follow to get here, now you should see the "Select which icons appear on the taskbar" section of the Settings app.

This window lists all the icons that are shown or can be shown on the taskbar’s notification area. Each icon has a switch to its right, which you can turn On or Off, depending on whether you want to see that icon on the taskbar or not. It's as easy as that!

Also, if you prefer to see all the icons displayed on your taskbar, set the "Always shows all icons in the notification area" switch to On.

If you don’t want any icons on your taskbar, set the same switch to Off.

How to select which system icons are displayed in the n otification area of the Windows 10 taskbar

Now we know how to select which icons are shown on the Windows 10 taskbar. However, there are a couple of icons that are handled differently. We're talking about system icons. These are icons for Windows 10 features like the Clock, the Volume, the Network, Power and so on.

To be able to choose which system icons are going to be displayed on your taskbar, you'll have to get to the "Turn system icons on or off" window. Fortunately, getting there is really easy.

All you have to do is go back to the Taskbar section from the Settings app. As a reminder, getting there means clicking or tapping the Back button from the "Select which icons appear on the taskbar" section.

Or, if you start from scratch, open the Settings app, go to Personalization -> Taskbar and then, right under "Select which icons appear on the taskbar" , you'll find the link to "Turn system icons on or off". Click or tap on it.

As you can see from the screenshot below, all the system icons are listed and all of them have an On/Off switch which you can use to show or hide these icons.

Set each icon as you wish and your changes are immediately reflected on the Windows 10 taskbar.

Conclusion

As you can see, setting which icons are displayed and which are hidden in the notification area of the Windows 10 taskbar is not complicated at all. However, the process involved is a lot different from what it used to be in the past . Hopefully this guide has managed to help you get things done. If you have any questions or problems, don’t hesitate to use the comments form below.