Best Free Application Minimizer


It seems that more people than ever are taking advantage of the multitasking features of modern computers, but with the PCs ability to handle more and more programs running simultaneously, managing all of those open programs can be confusing. Enter the application minimizer.

Each of the minimizer programs listed here allow you to send programs to the system tray instead of the task bar, making it easier to manage all your running programs.

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TrayIt!TrayIt! impressed me with its combination of simplicity and effectiveness. First, it requires no installation; just double click the program file and it's up and running. Second, it can minimize open windows to the tray either temporarily or permanently with just one click. Third, it handles "difficult" windows such as skins, with ease. Fourth, it works with all versions of Windows (95 through to Vista). Fifth, it's a tiny 35KB! Finally, it's free. It is quite a little gem.


Power MenuA good alternative is PowerMenu. It works slightly different because it gives the option to minimize to system tray on a context menu rather than by using the Ctrl key. It also has additional options to keep the window always on top and also set priority and transparency. Like Trayit!, it doesn't need to be installed, making it extremely portable. Note that PowerMenu hasn't been updated for some time and has some features that only work for Windows NT and later.


Of the programs reviewed here, 4t Tray Minimizer Free is the only one that allows you to minimize programs to the system tray multiple ways:  Either by using keyboard shortcuts or by clicking on additional buttons on the applications title bar. This feature alone will make it an attractive option for some people. It is highly configurable, easy to use and very intuitive.

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Quick Selection Guide


Gizmo's Freeware award as the best product in its class!

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Portable and handles difficult windows with ease
327.4 KB
Unrestricted freeware
This product is portable.

v4.6.5.5 released 19 July, 2007

Windows 95 - Vista


Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Uses context menu to give minimize options, has "Always on top" feature
No longer in active development
109 Kb
Unrestricted freeware
A portable version of this product is available from the developer.
v1.5.1 released 16 July, 2005
Windows 95 - Vista

4t Tray Minimizer Free

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Capable of minimizing windows in multiple ways, very easy to use
License is for private use only
1.35 MB
Feature limited freeware
v6.03 beta available here
Windows XP to 7

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I just tested TrayIt quickly and work but it seem to be some issues. If I use the "place in tray" function and choose "hide window", then restore the window and close the program, the icon for the program still stay in the tray. So if I start the same program and want to minimize to tray again I suddenly have 2 icons for same program. It clutter the tray and create some confusion but don't seem to create any real problems.

I tried TrayIt on my 32-bit Win7 and it worked, but it's not working on my 64-bit Win 7 PC.
I think it only works on 32-bit systems.