In Windows 7, the Notification Area displays icons of programs and utilities which perform a certain function for your computer and are loaded at all times. For example, an icon in your notification area might indicate your antivirus software is running, control your sound settings, or quickly access your wireless settings. These notification icons are handy when you have an issue with your computer or if you need to quickly access a common setting (such as muting the audio on your computer). Additionally, the date and time is displayed on the panel. There are several icons that are enabled to show by default in Windows 7, but most of the icons available are hidden by default and only notify you if the program or utility needs your attention or there is a problem with your computer. My laptop didn’t display the battery icon in the notification area by default, but I like to see how much battery life I have left, so I enabled it.

In this Windows 7 reference page, we’re going to review how to control the notification area icon settings and show or hide the notifications you’re most concerned with.

Showing a Notification Area Icon

  1. Click on the Show hidden icons arrow ().
  2. Select Customize
  3. On the icon you want to show in your notification area, select the Behaviors pull-down menu to the right of it. This will display a list of options.
  4. Select Show icon and notifications to show the icon in the notification area.
  5. Click OK to close the Notification Area Icons control panel.

Hiding a Notification Area Icon

  1. Click on the Show hidden icons arrow ().
  2. Select Customize
  3. On the icon you want to hide in your notification area, select the Behaviors pull-down menu to the right of it. This will display a list of options.
  4. Select Only show notifications if you want to be notified when the application or utility wants your attention. If you do not want to be bother by that icon, select Hide icon and notifications.
  5. Click OK to close the Notification Area Icons control panel.