How to set the icons shown on the Windows 10 taskbar, in the system tray

The system tray, otherwise known as the notification area, 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 is still here in Windows 10, and it is more customizable than ever, although some things have changed from the past. In this article, we show you how to configure which icons are shown on the system tray of Windows 10. Whether you want to know how to show the network icon on the taskbar, hide the volume icon, or keep a particular icon always visible in the system tray, read this tutorial and you will learn to do it:

NOTE: The screenshots used in this article are from Windows 10 with Fall Creators Update, which was released on October 17th, 2017. If you use an older version of Windows, like Windows 10 Anniversary Update, some items and settings might look slightly different. If you don't know which version of Windows 10 you have, read this guide: What version, edition, and type of Windows 10 do I have installed?

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

To tell Windows 10 which icons you want displayed in the Notification area from the taskbar, you first have to open 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 to open the same window is to right click (or tap and hold) on an unused area of the taskbar. Then, in the right-click menu, click or tap on Taskbar settings.

This takes you into the Taskbar area of the Settings app. Here, scroll down the list of settings found on the right side of the window until you find the "Select which icons appear on the taskbar" link. Then click or tap on this link.

A third method of getting to the settings of the notification area is to navigate through the Settings app. Open it by following any of the methods we described here: 10 ways to open Settings 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 on the "Select which icons appear on the taskbar" link.

How to set which icons are displayed in the system tray, on 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. It lists all the icons that are shown or can be shown in the system tray. 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 notification area or not. It is as easy as that!

For example, if you want to show the network icon on the taskbar, make sure that you enable the switch called Network. Or, if you want always to see the battery icon in the system tray, turn on the Power switch. The list goes on for all the icons that are available.

If you would rather see all the icons available displayed in the system tray, simply set the "Always shows all icons in the notification area" switch On.

If you do not want any icons to be shown in the system tray, set the same switch to Off.

All the system icons that you choose not to show in the system tray are hidden from view, but you can still access them if you click or tap on the small arrow icon from the left of the system tray.

How to select which system icons are displayed in the system tray, on 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 are 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 have to get to the "Turn system icons on or off" window. Fortunately, getting there is easy.

All you have to do is go back to the Taskbar section of 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, open the Taskbar section and then, right under "Select which icons appear on the taskbar," click or tap on "Turn system icons on or off."

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 them in the system tray.

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

Note that turning a system icon off does not simply move it inside the hidden system tray icons list, which you can open by clicking or tapping on the small arrow near the tray. Turning off a system icon means that it is entirely disabled and you can no longer see it anywhere on the taskbar.

Conclusion

As you can see, setting which icons are displayed and which are hidden from view on your taskbar in Windows 10 is not complicated at all. However, the process involved differs 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, do not hesitate to leave a comment below.