Best Free Application Minimizer

 
Introduction

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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Go to details...  Go straight to the Quick Selection Guide

 
Discussion

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.

 
Related Products and Links

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Quick Selection Guide

TrayIt!
5
 
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
4.6.5.5
327.4 KB
Unrestricted freeware
This product is portable.
Windows 95 - Vista

v4.6.5.5 released 19 July, 2007

PowerMenu
4
 
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
1.5.1
109 Kb
Unrestricted freeware
A portable version of this product is available from the developer.
Windows 95 - Vista

v1.5.1 released 16 July, 2005

4t Tray Minimizer Free
3
 
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
http://www.4t-niagara.com/
5.52
1.35 MB
Feature limited freeware
Windows XP to 7

v6.03 beta available here

 
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Comments

by MCHALAO (not verified) on 2. January 2011 - 11:24  (63693)

Hi, guys:

Take a look at xtrabuttons.com (although the program help says the program is shareware, actually it is NOT anymore).

Greetings from Brazil.

by Anonymous on 2. March 2009 - 2:36  (16996)

Is there an application that allows you to assign tray icons to invisible processes?

by joe.bennett on 2. March 2009 - 22:40  (17067)

Good question. I'm not aware of anything like that available, but I will check around.

by Anonymous on 19. January 2009 - 11:38  (14192)

You can always try Minimizer-XP

Its free, easy and takes up little memory

http://www.softpedia.com/screenshots/Minimizer-XP_1.png
the above link shows the program settings

all you have to do after downloading the file (exe) scanned see results below
http://www.virustotal.com/analisis/04aa694b243c394601df60038cc667d3

i would recommend this product all you have to do is click a little button at the top to the left of minimize and then to restore click it in the tray.

Download here http://www.download.com/Minimizer-XP/3000-2086_4-10401384.html

by Anonymous on 5. December 2008 - 10:53  (11486)

Dexpot is a goot tray minimizer too... It has ontop and transp. and its also multi-desktop program... good tool

by Anonymous on 24. November 2008 - 23:20  (10948)

I have been using 4T Tray Min for about a year now. It works perfectly except it gets errors on x64 machines I have as it is not technically a 64-bit application. I believe it is the only that allows you hide it from the system tray as well.

by Anonymous on 24. November 2008 - 23:21  (10949)

the errors...it just comes up and displays an error and you can say OK or CLOSE, etc, and it runs normally...it doesnt lock up or close the app, your fine using it on x64 systems though...

by Geert on 13. November 2008 - 8:21  (10423)

A portable alternative without any whistles and bells but with a very small footprint is RBTray.
You might prefer a slightly modified version that fixes a bug with the latest official version
(Review @ freewaregenius.com)

by Geert on 10. October 2008 - 16:27  (9014)

TrayEverything is also a nice alternative. And it is portable.

by Anonymous on 23. September 2008 - 13:40  (8192)

The Wonderful Icon: http://www.thewonderfulicon.com - It's also a nice choice, I have used it for years now. It uses very little memory also.

by Jojo Yee on 2. July 2008 - 14:11  (3457)

I notice that the developer's website of TrayIt! is still there. check it out here http://www.teamcti.com/trayit/trayit.htm
One of the advantages of TrayIt! is that it can pre-set an application to minimize upon running.

XNeat Windows Manager can minimize an application only after its window is opened, but it has more other functions such as make a window on top, etc. Very helpful when you're running a small application such as calculator or notepad and you want it to stay on while other windows are opened. Website:- http://www.xneat.com/windows-manager/index.htm

I use TrayIt! to pre-set a window to minimize, and use XNeat to send a window to tray or keep it on top after it is opened. Both work very well for me.

by joe.bennett on 2. July 2008 - 14:38  (3461)

Thanks for the information on TrayIt!. I've updated the review.

by Anonymous on 29. June 2008 - 5:36  (3286)

XNeat Windows Manager is a much better candidate. On top of minimizing to tray, it has more functions.

Right click at a window title, I've a convenient choice of the following:
1. Send to tray
2. Make on top
3. Hide Windows
4. Set transparency

http://bestfreeware.blog.com/3216322/

by JonathanT on 29. June 2008 - 7:12  (3290)

Hi

I tried that a while back but found it incredibly confusing and it didn't even seem to work.

by Anonymous on 2. July 2008 - 14:17  (3458)

It works for me. OS requirement: Windows XP or Vista 32 bits.

by Bob on 18. May 2008 - 16:13  (739)

XP (or Vista) users who keep a reasonably clean desktop but don't enjoy squinting at system tray or taskbar clutter might like miniMIZE. This little programme simply lines up minimized windows on the desktop as thumbnails (with adjustable transparency), which you can then move around as you please. Resource light, but XP (and Vista it seems) only:
http://aquaria.za.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=133

by Bob on 28. July 2008 - 17:55  (5137)

Perhaps also worth mentioning that miniMIZE's configuration options allow exclusions.

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