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System Tray Icons - Minimize Your Application to the SysTray

, 6 Nov 2000 CPOL
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Minimize your application to system tray instead of the taskbar
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This article illustrates the use of Shell_NotifyIcon to create and manage System Tray icons. The article explains the basics of this operation and assists you in creating your own 'Minimize To Tray' applications. The source code provided with this article is designed to work with dialog-based applications, but it can easily be modified to work with a CFrameWnd or CWnd based application.

Creating and Using Tray Icons

To create a Tray Icon, you need to call the following shell function: -

BOOL Shell_NotifyIcon( DWORD dwMessage, PNOTIFYICONDATA pnid );

The dwMessage parameter specifies the action to be taken - NIM_ADD, NIM_DELETE, NIM_MODIFY adds, deletes and modifies tray icons respectively.

The pnid parameter is used to customize, create, delete and obtain data from the Tray Icon. (See the MSDN Library for more details about this structure.)

Creating The Application

1. Create a new VC++ dialog based project. For this example, I will call this project MyTray which will contain the CMyTrayApp and CMyTrayDlg classes.

2. Download and extract the DialogTray source code to the root of the project folder

3. From the Project->Add To Project menu, select Files and then select TrayDialog.h and TrayDialog.cpp. This will add a new class to your project named CTrayDialog.

4. Replace the CMyTrayDlg base class with CTrayDialog.

class CMyTrayDlg : public CDialog


#include "TrayDialog.h"

class CMyTrayDlg : public CTrayDialog

5. Replace the other occurrences of CDialog in the MyTrayDlg.cpp file as follows :-

CMyTrayDlg::CMyTrayDlg(CWnd* pParent /*=NULL*/)
  : CDialog(CMyTrayDlg::IDD, pParent)


CMyTrayDlg::CMyTrayDlg(CWnd* pParent /*=NULL*/)	
    : CTrayDialog(CMyTrayDlg::IDD, pParent)

6. Create a menu resource and name it IDR_MENU1

7. In the InitDialog member function, enter the following:

    TraySetToolTip("ToolTip for tray icon");

8. Modify the IDD_MYTRAY _DIALOG resource to have a minimize box.

9. Build and run the application

NB : To add tray menu item handlers use the class wizard.

Displaying the tray icon all the time

Simply add a TrayShow() statement to InitDialog() in CMyTrayDlg.cpp, and call TraySetMinimizeToTray(FALSE) to disable minimizing to the tray.

The events that occur in the tray are captured through the following functions:

    virtual void OnTrayLButtonDown(CPoint pt);
    virtual void OnTrayLButtonDblClk(CPoint pt);

	virtual void OnTrayRButtonDown(CPoint pt);
	virtual void OnTrayRButtonDblClk(CPoint pt);
	virtual void OnTrayMouseMove(CPoint pt);

Feel free to add more events or to improve on these ones.


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


About the Author

Daniel Zilcsak
Software Developer
United States United States
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

GeneralTerminating from TaskManager PinmemberAlan Buchanan23-Feb-05 1:02 
GeneralRe: Terminating from TaskManager PinsussAnonymous23-Feb-05 15:36 
GeneralRe: Terminating from TaskManager PinsussAnonymous18-Apr-05 21:45 
GeneralRe: Terminating from TaskManager PinmemberTaLF25-Jun-05 14:17 
GeneralRe: Solution - Terminating from TaskManager PinmemberIVarshilov24-May-09 23:53 
GeneralStart Dialog Minimized to SysTray Pinmembercodehar13-Feb-05 20:04 
GeneralRe: Start Dialog Minimized to SysTray Pinmembermysticwolf9-Mar-05 7:18 
GeneralRe: Start Dialog Minimized to SysTray Pinmemberbubis14-Sep-05 3:57 
Hmm, the dialog still appears for a short amount of time.
AnswerRe: Start Dialog Minimized to SysTray PinmemberCodeWatcher27-Oct-05 14:28 
GeneralRe: Start Dialog Minimized to SysTray Pinmemberbinyo6618-May-09 17:55 
GeneralGreat Code - Read if using Checkboxes on Popup Menus Pinmemberslinsell21-Jan-05 23:49 
GeneralRe: Great Code - Read if using Checkboxes on Popup Menus PinsussLong Truong15-Jun-05 23:25 
GeneralNice work PinmemberAlex Farber26-Dec-04 2:47 
GeneralOne more problem PinmemberMich261-Dec-04 20:46 
GeneralRe: One more problem Pinmember_bko22-May-05 23:23 
General&quot;but it can easily be modified to work with a CFrameWnd or CWnd based application&quot; Pinmemberd00_ape21-Nov-04 8:14 
GeneralOpening another application PinmemberRitcho26-Sep-04 4:53 
GeneralRe: Opening another application PinmemberAnonExerc29-Oct-04 1:23 
GeneralRe: Opening another application PinsussEpicBoy28-Jan-05 1:40 
GeneralRe: Opening another application PinmemberEpicBoy28-Jan-05 1:47 
QuestionWhat's the problem???? Pinmembercasper23418-May-04 3:41 
AnswerRe: What's the problem???? PinmemberHesterumpe20-May-04 1:25 
GeneralPLEASE HELP!!!! Pinmemberwaszka2-May-04 6:41 
GeneralRe: PLEASE HELP!!!! PinmemberKCUS29-Jun-04 9:17 
GeneralRe: PLEASE HELP!!!! PinmemberKCUS29-Jun-04 17:29 

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