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Minimize window to system tray

, 8 Jul 2008 CPOL
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This article describes how you can write some simple code for minimizing a window to the system tray.


Minimizing a window to the system tray makes your application somewhat cool, isn’t it? This functionality can be really useful when you want to run an application in the background, for example, chat applications, anti-viruses, and programs that monitor the state of your machine.


This article requires you to have basic knowledge of programming Windows Forms in C#.

Using the Code

Now, let’s see what we need to include this functionality in any Windows application. There are a few very simple steps towards achieving this.

  1. Create a new Windows Application project using Visual Studio.
  2. You’ll have a default Form opened up for you. From the Toolbox, add a NotifyIcon control to your form.
  3. Handle the form’s Resize event. In this handler, you override the basic functionality of the Resize event to make the form minimize to the system tray and not to the taskbar. This can be done by doing the following in your form’s Resize event handler:
    • Check whether the form’s WindowState property is set to FormWindowState.Minimized.
    • If yes, hide your form, enable the NotifyIcon object, and show the balloon tip that shows some information.
    • Once the WindowState becomes FormWindowState.Normal, disable the NotifyIcon object by setting its Visible property to false.
  4. Now, you want the window to reappear when you double click on the NotifyIcon object in the taskbar. For this, handle the NotifyIcon’s MouseDoubleClick event. Here, you show the form using the Show() method.

Remember to set the notifyIcon1.Icon property to a valid Icon resource object; otherwise, the system tray will not show any icon, and your window will never return to the foreground.

I have added some code below to get things started:

//  The NotifyIcon object
private System.Windows.Forms.NotifyIcon notifyIcon1;
this.notifyIcon1.Icon = 

private void TrayMinimizerForm_Resize(object sender, EventArgs e)
     notifyIcon1.BalloonTipTitle = "Minimize to Tray App";
     notifyIcon1.BalloonTipText = "You have successfully minimized your form.";

     if (FormWindowState.Minimized == this.WindowState)
          notifyIcon1.Visible = true;
     else if (FormWindowState.Normal == this.WindowState)
          notifyIcon1.Visible = false;

private void notifyIcon1_MouseDoubleClick(object sender, MouseEventArgs e)
     this.WindowState = FormWindowState.Normal;

Points of Interest

Some window applications need to stay running as long as the computer is on; for example, Microsoft Outlook, Yahoo chat etc., need to run all the time unless they are explicitly terminated. This concept of minimizing windows to the system tray is very helpful when too many open windows crowd up the taskbar.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Elroy Dsilva
Software Developer
United States United States
Elroy is a software developer whose technical experitise and learning include programming languages such as C, C++ and C#. He loves writing simple technical articles and blogging whenever He finds some time for himself.

Comments and Discussions

QuestionI follow exactly all your coding, but it still does not minimize to tray, Any reason why? PinmemberKen Than13-Jul-11 22:01 
GeneralRe: I follow exactly all your coding, but it still does not minimize to tray, Any reason why? PinmemberMember 915755722-Jun-12 19:40 
SuggestionRe: I follow exactly all your coding, but it still does not minimize to tray, Any reason why? PinmemberAbhishek Pant24-Oct-12 7:55 

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