Save Space in the Taskbar With MoveToTray

One of the basic principles of Windows is that it is easy to run numerous programs at the same time, as well as having various folders open simultaneously. You can use the buttons that appear in the taskbar to switch between them, but when you have a large number of windows and applications open, you’ll probably find that your taskbar gets very cluttered.

This is something that you can fix with MoveToTray. This is a tiny little utility that can be used to minimize items to the system tray rather than the taskbar to help keep things a little tidier.

 

This is great not only if you have a wide range of apps and windows open at any one time, but also if you want to have a particular utility running in the background without having to dedicate too much screen space to it. MoveToTry may seem like something very minor, but such a little thing makes such a big difference.

You can download a copy of MoveToTray by paying a visit to the program web site and clicking the Download from Softepdia link. Click one of the Softpedia Secure Download link to the right and save the executable file to the desktop.

Create Startup Shortcut

MoveToTray is a standalone program which means that it does not have an installer. So far we’ve suggested that you download the program to the desktop, but it is unlikely that you will want to leave it there. It is a good idea to create a suitably named folder within C:\Program Files to which you can move the folder, and once this has been done, you can create a shortcut so that MoveToTray starts automatically with Windows.

Create a shortcut for MoveToTray so it starts with Windows

Create a shortcut for MoveToTray so it starts with Windows

Right click on the MoveToTray.exe file and select the Copy entry from the context menu that is displayed. Now click the Start button followed by All Programs, right click the Startup group and select Open. Right click on an empty area of the folder that opens and select Paste shortcut.

If you don't restart your computer, you'll need to manually launch MoveToTray the first time you use it

If you don't restart your computer, you'll need to manually launch MoveToTray the first time you use it

Making Use of MoveToTray

Because you have created a shortcut in the Startup group for MoveToTray, the program will launch automatically when you start your computer in future; for now you will have to launch it manually from the Start menu unless you would prefer to restart your computer.

A new icon will appear in the notification area of the system tray to let you know that the program is running. MoveToTray is a very basic program which has no options to configure – if you double click the system tray icon you’ll be able to see a brief description of how to use the tool.

MoveToTray involves little more than a simple three-finger keyboard shortcut

MoveToTray involves little more than a simple three-finger keyboard shortcut

Minimizing and Maximizing Windows

You now have a new habit to learn. When you want to minimize a program or window, do not just instantly move the mouse up to the minimize button. You can now use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Alt + M to harness the power of MoveToTray and minimize the current program or window to the system tray rather than the taskbar.

Each of the windows you minimize in this way, whether they relate to a program or an Explorer folder, will now appear as an icon in the notification area of the system tray. Programs are reduced to small versions of their regular icon, while Explorer windows are assigned a folder icon.

You can identify programs that have been minimized by looking at their tray icons

You can identify programs that have been minimized by looking at their tray icons

If you have multiple instances of the same program minimized, you can simply hover the mouse over the icon and the tool tip that pops up will help you to identify exactly which window it relates to.

When things have been minimized in this way, they no longer appear in the selection popup that appears when you press the Alt + Tab keyboard shortcut to cycle through running programs – this is a great way to help you to focus on what you need to do and avoid accidentally switching to the wrong program by mistake.

When the time comes to maximize any of your trayed windows, all you need to do is double click the relevant icon.

Wrapping Up

MoveToTray is the type of tool that you will very quickly fall in love with. It is a great way to make the avalanche of windows we all have to deal with each day a little easier to manage.

It gives you a new way to help keep things organized, so you might decide to keep minimizing programs relating to your work in the usual way, but use MoveToTray’s system tray option for other tools such as your media player or programs you have running in the background.

In many ways, MoveToTray is like a very small second desktop; how you use it is entirely up to you, but it’s sure to make your life just a little bit easier.


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