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Posted 18 Feb 2003


, 24 Feb 2003
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Utility to hide or unhide top-level windows
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Sometimes I find I want to hide an application that is running in the background to stop me closing it, and to stop it appearing on the task list. How many times have you started a lengthy download, left it running in the background, and then closed the application accidentally while 'cleaning up' your desktop? This utility allows you to hide, and unhide any 'top level' windows (that is, any windows whose parent is the desktop).

On running the utility, an icon will appear in your taskbar. Clicking or right-clicking on it will produce a menu, similar to the following: <!-- Article image -->

HideIt menu

This menu has two submenus that will list all of your top-level windows. Any window that is visible will be shown on the 'Hide Window' menu, while any window that is hidden will appear on the 'Show Window' menu. Clicking on a window name in either menu will toggle its visible state.

Normally the Windows system uses many hidden windows for such purposes as DDE message exchange etc. To avoid windows being listed in either of the lists you can add them to an 'exclusion' list. Double-clicking on the taskbar icon, or clicking and then clicking options, will open a dialog with a picker list allowing you to add or remove windows from the exclusion list. This list is then saved to your profile and used each time you run the utility. To exit the utility, click on Exit on the menu. That's all there is to it - have fun!


  • Version 1 - 19 Feb 2003

    • First version


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


About the Author

Paul Vickery
Software Developer (Senior)
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Originally from an electronics background, I moved into software in 1996, partly as a result of being made redundant, and partly because I was very much enjoying the small amount of coding (in-at-the-deep-end-C) that I had been doing!

I swiftly moved from C to C++, and learned MFC, and then went on to real-time C on Unix. After this I moved to the company for which I currently work, which specialises in Configuration Management software, and currently program mainly in C/C++, for Windows. I have been gradually moving their legacy C code over to use C++ (with STL, MFC, ATL, and WTL). I have pulled in other technologies (Java, C#, VB, COM, SOAP) where appropriate, especially when integrating with third-party products.

In addition to that, I have overseen the technical side of the company website (ASP, VBScript, JavaScript, HTML, CSS), and have also worked closely with colleagues working on other products (Web-based, C#, ASP.NET, SQL, etc).

For developing, I mainly use Visual Studio 2010, along with an in-house-designed editor based on Andrei Stcherbatchenko's syntax parsing classes, and various (mostly freeware) tools. For website design, I use Dreaweaver CS3.

When not developing software, I enjoy listening to and playing music, playing electric and acoustic guitars and mandolin.

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Comments and Discussions

GeneralVery good Pin
itpig4-Jul-07 16:29
memberitpig4-Jul-07 16:29 
Questionand to hide icons in the systray?? Pin
jojo291185-Jun-05 1:20
memberjojo291185-Jun-05 1:20 
AnswerRe: and to hide icons in the systray?? Pin
Paul S. Vickery5-Jul-05 2:09
memberPaul S. Vickery5-Jul-05 2:09 
GeneralNice, but crashes at times Pin
dhickman17-Jul-03 10:39
memberdhickman17-Jul-03 10:39 
GeneralRe: Nice, but crashes at times Pin
Paul S. Vickery30-Nov-03 22:40
memberPaul S. Vickery30-Nov-03 22:40 
Questionwhat can be done with Windows own pop up boxes? Pin
mr ree drink30-Mar-03 11:21
sussmr ree drink30-Mar-03 11:21 
GeneralGood work. I need an advice Pin
raducu28-Feb-03 0:51
memberraducu28-Feb-03 0:51 
GeneralHi Pin
Vinod Sharma27-Feb-03 1:27
memberVinod Sharma27-Feb-03 1:27 
GeneralAnother method... Pin
Kevin Cotter26-Feb-03 2:48
memberKevin Cotter26-Feb-03 2:48 
GeneralOne more similar product Pin
Vadim Melnik26-Feb-03 0:55
memberVadim Melnik26-Feb-03 0:55 
GeneralThe Wonderful Icon Pin
dandycheung24-Feb-03 16:11
memberdandycheung24-Feb-03 16:11 
GeneralRe: The Wonderful Icon Pin
Andreas Saurwein25-Feb-03 4:49
memberAndreas Saurwein25-Feb-03 4:49 
GeneralClickety, but.... Pin
Christian Graus25-Feb-03 11:28
memberChristian Graus25-Feb-03 11:28 
GeneralRe: Clickety, but.... Pin
dandycheung25-Feb-03 15:11
memberdandycheung25-Feb-03 15:11 
GeneralSome suggestions Pin
Andreas Saurwein19-Feb-03 23:44
memberAndreas Saurwein19-Feb-03 23:44 
GeneralRe: Some suggestions Pin
Pascal Binggeli26-Feb-03 9:58
memberPascal Binggeli26-Feb-03 9:58 
GeneralRe: Some suggestions Pin
Andreas Saurwein26-Feb-03 12:32
memberAndreas Saurwein26-Feb-03 12:32 
GeneralRe: Some suggestions Pin
Hans J. Schroeder9-Mar-03 3:48
memberHans J. Schroeder9-Mar-03 3:48 
GeneralRe: Some suggestions Pin
Pascal Binggeli9-Mar-03 4:53
memberPascal Binggeli9-Mar-03 4:53 
GeneralGood idea Pin
Yi Yang19-Feb-03 21:56
memberYi Yang19-Feb-03 21:56 
GeneralRe: Good idea Pin
Mr. Ree (Mystery) Drink30-Mar-03 11:09
sussMr. Ree (Mystery) Drink30-Mar-03 11:09 
GeneralInteresting, but... Pin
Hans Dietrich19-Feb-03 1:51
memberHans Dietrich19-Feb-03 1:51 

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