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! 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.
A 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.
You might want to check out these articles too:
- Best Free Tray Clock Replacement
- Best Free Program Launcher
- Best Free Start Menu Replacement
- Best Free Clipboard Replacement Utility
4t Tray Minimizer Free