How-To Geek

Minimize Windows Live Mail to the System Tray in Windows 7

Are you frustrated that you can not minimize Windows Live Mail to the system tray in Windows 7? With just a few tweaks you can make Live Mail minimize to the system tray just like in earlier versions of Windows.

UPDATE: If you are running the latest versions of Windows Live Essentials (15.4.3502.0922 or 15.4.3508.1109), then here is how to get the minimize to System Tray functionality back.

Modify the properties for the shortcut as shown here, then once you have Live Mail open right click on the System Tray Icon and make certain that “Hide window when minimized” is selected. Afterwards the Live Mail app window will minimize to the System Tray just like before.

Windows Live Mail in Windows Vista

In Windows Vista you could minimize Windows Live Mail to the system tray if desired using the context menu…


Windows Live Mail in Windows 7

In Windows 7 you can minimize the app window but not hide it in the system tray. The Hide window when minimized menu entry is missing from the context menu and all you have is the window icon taking up space in your taskbar.



How to Add the Context Menu Entry Back

Right click on the program shortcut(s) and select properties.


When the properties window opens click on the compatibility tab and enable the Run this program in compatibility mode for setting. Choose Windows Vista (Service Pack 2) from the drop-down menu and click OK.


Once you have restarted Windows Live Mail you will have access to the Hide window when minimized menu entry again.


And just like that your taskbar is clear again when Windows Live Mail is minimized.


If you have wanted the ability to minimize Windows Live Mail to the system tray in Windows 7 then this little tweak will fix the problem.

Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 06/14/10

Comments (35)

  1. lee

    going to try this when i get home as i find it Very anoying that its in the taskbar

    wunder if this works with MSN msg as well (post back if so)

  2. V10

    This fix works great. All I need to know now is how to make it not give me the “Windows live mail is still running” pop-up every time I minimize it.

  3. Kevin

    It works. Thank you much

  4. Ace

    PERFECT! Thank you very much for your effort in providingus this info!

  5. Alex

    Wow, thanks very easy – been figuring out how to do that for ages!

  6. Matt

    Great tip, thanks. Just got started using WLM on W7 and wondered why that option wasn’t there.

  7. Selvan

    Not good: The context menu item is there and selected but when minimized, it remains and adds a pop-up to say it’s still running. The only way I see to get around it is to use “Customize notification icons” and I’d rather not hide any.

  8. DaveJ

    This no longer works with the latest release of Windows Live Messenger 2011 Build 15.4.3502.9222

    Any ideas?

  9. Asian Angel

    @DaveJ – I got it figured out. ^_^ Modify the properties for the shortcut as shown above, then once you have Live Mail open right click on the System Tray Icon and make certain that “Hide window when minimized is selected”. Afterwards the Live Mail app window will minimize to the System Tray just like before. ^_^

  10. MikeJohn

    I have a question. Is it possible that WLF starts in the Tray at the windows 7 startup?
    I’ve tried everything. Does anybody have a solution? That would be great.

  11. bruno00

    it works thks

  12. Kenneth


    It works fine for me and I’m running the same version.

  13. Ramon Milino

    very good!

  14. Matt

    Great Job, this has been bugging me for weeks after upgrading to Windows 7!

  15. laurentiui

    It works fine , I hope microsoft will include a option to do this automat becouse is some work to do all the steps , to make-it start with windows then to minimize . Great job.

  16. metin

    very very thank you

  17. z

    I love you man

  18. z

    works also on skype yupiii!!!!

  19. Justice Beaver

    Thank you so much!

  20. m0

    Fantastic, Thank you so much!

  21. Steven

    You guys are awesome! I had found several articles/blogs about the older method and it wouldn’t work for my Windows 7. But your update fix did the job!

  22. guest

    That’s reaaly what I look for

    u are awesome

  23. Mike

    @ V 10

    If you set the compatibility mode to Windows XP the “still-running”-pop-up won’t bother you again.

  24. Gamerdante

    Great, thank you !

  25. Valerijs

    Awesome! Thank you for the advice, really appreciate that man!

  26. H4LFB4CKS

    Thank you man, you are a star!

  27. Saffier

    This is a great fix and it also works for MSN and Skype!

  28. Halley

    This totally worked! I spent 20 minutes looking through the settings just the other day to realize that you couldn’t minimize WLM to the tray. Now I can! Yay! Thanks!

  29. iphoness

    oh thanks for this good info..

  30. nichronos

    thumbs UP! thanks

    AWESOME, it worked like a charm ;))))

  31. Prasad

    worked like a charm thanx

  32. Kamran

    Excellent tip,

    Thanks a lot

  33. nubbuka

    Thanks! this helped me :#

  34. Nick

    thanks for this and thanks, mike for the xp tip. works perfectly.

  35. Sue

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! This has been driving me INSANE. This worked a treat.. thanks so much for sharing!

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