Put a program in the system tray at startup


I followed the commonly-linked tip for reducing an application to the system tray : http://www.developer.com/net/csharp/article.php/3336751 Now it works, but there is still a problem : my application is shown when it starts ; I want it to start directly in the systray. I tried to minimize and hide it in the Load event, but it does nothing.

Edit : I could, as a poster suggested, modify the shortcut properties, but I'd rather use code : I don't have complete control over every computer the soft is installed on.

I don't want to remove it completely from everywhere except the systray, I just want it to start minimized.

Any ideas ?


11/12/2008 11:29:18 AM

Accepted Answer

In your main program you probably have a line of the form:

Application.Run(new Form1());

This will force the form to be shown. You will need to create the form but not pass it to Application.Run:

Form1 form = new Form1();

Note that the program will now not terminate until you call Application.ExitThread(). It's best to do this from a handler for the FormClosed event.

private void Form1_FormClosed(object sender, FormClosedEventArgs e)
11/12/2008 11:38:46 AM

Exper Answer

If you are using a NotifyIcon, try changing ShowInTaskbar to false.

To remove it from the Alt+Tab screen, try changing your window border style; I believe some of the tool-window styles don't appear...

something like:

using System;
using System.Windows.Forms;
class MyForm : Form
    NotifyIcon sysTray;

        sysTray = new NotifyIcon();
        sysTray.Icon = System.Drawing.SystemIcons.Asterisk;
        sysTray.Visible = true;
        sysTray.Text = "Hi there";
        sysTray.MouseClick += delegate { MessageBox.Show("Boo!"); };

        ShowInTaskbar = false;
        FormBorderStyle = FormBorderStyle.SizableToolWindow;
        Opacity = 0;
        WindowState = FormWindowState.Minimized;

    static void Main()
        Application.Run(new MyForm());

If it still appears in the Alt+Tab, you can change the window styles through p/invoke (a bit hackier):

protected override void OnLoad(EventArgs e)
    IntPtr handle = this.Handle;
    int currentStyle = GetWindowLong(handle, GWL_EXSTYLE);
    SetWindowLong(handle, GWL_EXSTYLE, currentStyle | WS_EX_TOOLWINDOW);
private const int GWL_EXSTYLE = -20, WS_EX_TOOLWINDOW = 0x00000080;
private static extern int SetWindowLong(IntPtr window, int index, int value);
private static extern int GetWindowLong(IntPtr window, int index);
11/12/2008 11:28:11 AM

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