What’s the Simplest Way to Minimize Applications to the System Tray?

We’re always on the lookout for the simplest and easiest solution to perform a task, preferably while using the least amount of system resources. Here’s how to minimize to the system tray with a tiny little application helper.

The tool we’re using is called RBTray, and it weighs in at a truly massive 101 KB zipped up, including both 32 and 64-bit versions and the source code—and there’s no installation required.

Using RBTray to Minimize Applications

Once you’ve downloaded and launched the application, you can simply right-click on the minimize button of any window to send it to the system tray.

Once you’ve done so, you can simply click on the icon in the tray to restore it, or you can right-click it to close the window directly from the tray.

There’s no good reason to include a video here since the application is so simple, but if you’re the visual type and you want to see a video of how it works, you can watch it in action here:

The great thing about RBTray is that it barely takes up any system resources. Here’s the amount of memory it’s taking on my 64-bit system with 8 GB of RAM:

image

Setting RBTray to Run at Startup

Both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the executable are included in the download file, and you’ll want to use the correct one for your system. Not sure what version of Windows you have? Here’s how to figure that out.

image

Open up a separate Windows Explorer window and type in the following to get to the startup folder:

shell:startup

Unzip RBTray somewhere, and then create a shortcut to the correct version of RBTray, sorta like this:

image

And that’s all there is to it.

Download RBTray from sourceforge.net

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.