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Like this article? We recommend Revisiting the Notification Area (System Tray)

Revisiting the Notification Area (System Tray)

Remember what Microsoft used to call the system tray but (starting with Windows Vista) now calls the notification area? This is the far-right part of the taskbar, the part that used to be cluttered with icons for each and every little application or utility that ran in the background.

Well, the notification area in Windows 7 is a lot less cluttered than what it used to be. Microsoft wisely took the initiative to de-clutter the notification area to display only a handful of the most useful system icons.

You'll find icons to display the new Windows 7 Action Center (kind of a notification/troubleshooting gateway), battery level (on notebook PCs), network status, and audio; the time and date are also displayed. All other icons are relegated to a Jump List-like pop-up menu that displays when you click the up-arrow to the left of the notification area.

Figure 3 The streamlined Windows 7 taskbar notification area

This makes for a much cleaner (and smaller) notification area. It's a huge improvement.

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