Customize which icons appear on the Windows 10 taskbar
Taskbar Personalization

How to customize which icons appear on the taskbar on Windows 10

Declutter the notification area by selecting exactly which icons appear on the Windows 10 taskbar.

On Windows 10, the notification area (sometimes referred as the “system tray”) is that section on the left of the taskbar, and it includes a number of icons to access different features and options.

In the notification area, you’ll find mostly Windows 10 system icons, including for Action center, date and time, sound, network, and OneDrive. However, certain apps can also add icons to access different features.

The problem is that the notification area can quickly get crowded, but thankfully, Windows 10 includes a few options to let you select which icons appear on the taskbar.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to customize which icons appear on the taskbar notification area.

How to select which icons appear on the taskbar

To choose which icons appear on the Windows 10 taskbar, do the following:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Personalization.

  3. Click on Taskbar.

  4. Under Notification area, click the Select which icons appear on the taskbar link.

    Windows 10 Notification area settings
    Windows 10 Notification area settings
  5. Use the toggle switches to turn on or off for the icons you want to see in the notification area. Here you’ll find Windows 10 related icons, including for OneDrive, Network, Volume, Windows Defender, and Power, and those from apps that support icons on the taskbar.

    Select which icons appear on the taskbar
    Select which icons appear on the taskbar
  6. Close the Settings app to complete the task.

Once you’ve completed the steps, you will have a cleaner and more optimized notification area showing only the icons you want to see. The only caveat is that you’re not removing the icons from the taskbar, they’ll continue to be available to you when clicking the up-arrow button.

Notification area flyout
Notification area flyout

If you’re looking to see all the icons, you can also turn on the Always shows all icons in the notification area toggle switch on settings.

How to add or remove system icons on the taskbar

To remove system icons completely from the taskbar, do the following:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Personalization.

  3. Click on Taskbar.

  4. Under Notification area, click the Turn system icons on or off link.

    Windows 10 Notification area settings
    Windows 10 Notification area settings
  5. Use the toggle switches to turn on or off for the system icons you want to see in the notification area. Windows 10 allows you to customize a number of system icons that appear on the taskbar, including Clock, Volume, Network, Power, Input Indicator, Location, Action Center, Touch keyboard, Windows Ink Workspace.

    Turn system icons on or off on the taskbar
    Turn system icons on or off on the taskbar
  6. Close the Settings app to complete the task.

Once you completed the steps, you will no longer see the system icons you turned off in the Settings app.

If you want to remove an app icon from the system tray, this is something that you can’t do within the Windows 10 settings. However, you can look into the app settings to turn off the icon from the taskbar. Usually, you right-click the icon on the notification area and select the corresponding option.

While there are many reasons to customize the taskbar notification area, you’ll find this particularly useful if you’re, for example, looking to disable the Action center notifications. As you can simply right-click the Action center icon, select Turn on quiet hours, and then use the above steps to turn off the Action center icon from the taskbar.

Which icons do you have set on your notification area? Tell us in the comments below.

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