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Articles / Desktop Programming / Windows Forms
Posted 19 Apr 2005


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Adding a 'Minimize to tray'-button to a Form's caption bar

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4.33/5 (25 votes)
11 Jul 20052 min read
An article on how to add a custom button to the caption bar.


This short article shows you how to easily implement a 'Minimize to Tray' button to the caption bar of the form. The code that comes with this article only supports default forms and it doesn't support Visual Styles. Feel free to improve the code and to contact me if you need any help with it. It would be great if you send me a copy when you fix these previously mentioned limitations so that I can update this article.


The current program I am working on needs to run in the background. So the best way to do this is to minimize that app to the tray bar where it is less annoying than in the task bar. So I added some code which causes the program to minimize when the user wants to close it via the Close button in the caption bar. It worked and for a time it was good. But it was a bad, not user-friendly way of doing it. I wanted to have a 'Minimize to Tray' button like eMule has - after doing some research, I noticed that this has not been done before in C#.

Using the code

  • Step 1: Add the file 'MinTrayBtn.cs' to your project, and add the NotifyIcon component with your IDE's designer. Set an icon for the NotifyIcon component and set the visibility to false.
  • Step 2: Now simply declare a MinTrayBtn variable in your Windows Form class to instantiate the object in the Form constructor.
    public class WinForm : System.Windows.Forms.Form {
        //... Some other code
        TyronM.MinTrayBtn mybutton;
        //... Some other code
        public WinForm() {
            mybutton = new TyronM.MinTrayBtn(this);
  • Step 3: Add a function to catch the MinTrayBtnClicked event and register the event handler. Use the Click-event of the NotifyIcon, then show the Form again.
    public class WinForm : System.Windows.Forms.Form {
        //... Some other code
        TyronM.MinTrayBtn mybutton;
        //... Some other code
        public WinForm() {
            mybutton = new TyronM.MinTrayBtn(this);
            mybutton.MinTrayBtnClicked += 
              new TyronM.MinTrayBtnClickedEventHandler(TrayBtn_clicked);
        private void TrayBtn_clicked(object sender, EventArgs e) {
            this.notifyIcon1.Visible = true;
        private void notifyIcon1_Click(object sender, System.EventArgs e) {
            this.notifyIcon1.Visible = false;

Points of Interest

The caption bar is part of the non-client area of the window which is handled by Windows, so it isn't easy to add a button there. I had to draw the button by myself and capture various mouse events to clone the behaviour of the other buttons (this button behaves exactly like the others do, or at least it should do :)


  • 0.8.5

    11 Jul 2005

    • Changed: Variable caption button size (adjusts itself to the system metrics).
    • Fixed: Drawing issues on changes of the window width.
  • 0.8

    20 Apr 2005

    • Article creation.


This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


About the Author

Tyron Madlener
Austria Austria
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

QuestionCaption Bar Icon doesn't show up in Windows 10 Pin
Member 1239467926-Mar-16 8:24
MemberMember 1239467926-Mar-16 8:24 
Generaldoent work on windows 7 Pin
billiout8-Sep-10 5:36
Memberbilliout8-Sep-10 5:36 
GeneralRe: doent work on windows 7 Pin
TyronM3-Oct-10 3:09
MemberTyronM3-Oct-10 3:09 
GeneralRe: doent work on windows 7 Pin
bkaratte6-Aug-11 4:02
Memberbkaratte6-Aug-11 4:02 
GeneralIs it possible to add that to all windows which gets open Pin
Prasanna Bhat7-Dec-09 4:02
professionalPrasanna Bhat7-Dec-09 4:02 
QuestionWTF no compiled .exe in both downloads? Pin
pathomax9-Jun-08 23:34
Memberpathomax9-Jun-08 23:34 
Generalcannot convert file in visual studio 2005 Pin
yvanc15-May-08 16:55
Memberyvanc15-May-08 16:55 
Generalfacing problem when from is resize dynamically Pin
yeshwantraut27-Dec-07 6:18
Memberyeshwantraut27-Dec-07 6:18 
Generalremove when clicked Pin
hamid_m14-Jun-07 5:10
Memberhamid_m14-Jun-07 5:10 
Generalnever clicked Pin
hamid_m14-Jun-07 4:54
Memberhamid_m14-Jun-07 4:54 
QuestionPlease can you help ?? Pin
Ahmed M. Gamil14-May-07 0:54
professionalAhmed M. Gamil14-May-07 0:54 
AnswerRe: Please can you help ?? Pin
TyronM8-Jun-07 8:01
MemberTyronM8-Jun-07 8:01 
GeneralThanks ! Pin
FXMC26-Dec-06 2:26
MemberFXMC26-Dec-06 2:26 
GeneralAny books related to this type of programming Pin
dseknat20-Sep-06 20:06
Memberdseknat20-Sep-06 20:06 
GeneralRe: Any books related to this type of programming Pin
Ri Qen-Sin20-Sep-06 20:36
MemberRi Qen-Sin20-Sep-06 20:36 
NewsExample Themed Button Pin
toertchn28-Feb-06 10:14
Membertoertchn28-Feb-06 10:14 
GeneralRe: Example Themed Button Pin
tayspen18-Mar-06 9:40
Membertayspen18-Mar-06 9:40 
GeneralRe: Example Themed Button Pin
toertchn18-Mar-06 9:43
Membertoertchn18-Mar-06 9:43 
AnswerRe: Example Themed Button Pin
gpailler23-Jul-07 1:35
Membergpailler23-Jul-07 1:35 
GeneralRe: Example Themed Button Pin
sameh_serag11-Mar-08 5:52
Membersameh_serag11-Mar-08 5:52 
GeneralWhen I Max. MDIChild it does not draw Button Pin
fayaz var13-Jan-06 23:54
Memberfayaz var13-Jan-06 23:54 
GeneralRe: When I Max. MDIChild it does not draw Button Pin
sameh_serag11-Mar-08 5:45
Membersameh_serag11-Mar-08 5:45 
QuestionHow to Add in MDIChild Form Pin
fayaz var3-Jan-06 18:50
Memberfayaz var3-Jan-06 18:50 
AnswerRe: How to Add in MDIChild Form Pin
TyronM5-Jan-06 8:41
MemberTyronM5-Jan-06 8:41 
Generalvarious buttons for winXP skins Pin
Jon Hary22-Oct-05 5:04
MemberJon Hary22-Oct-05 5:04 

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