Customize the Windows Vista Notification Area

If you are wondering where the Windows Vista notification area is, don’t worry, because it is right in front of your eyes. We all would know where it is, but probably don’t know it is called the notification area. It is the area on the taskbar where the computer clock is located. It may also have a volume control shortcut icon, a network connection icon, a virus update icon, a Windows update notification icon, and more..

The notification area holds valuable information icons that notify you of up to the minute alerts and notifications. For example it will let you know when there a Windows Vista updates available for your computer. Or it will let you know if your virus definitions are out of date.

When customizing the icons in the notification area there are three settings to choose from. You can choose to hide the icon when inactive, Always hide, or Always show. Therefore as an example, if you choose to always hide your network connections icon you will not be able to see when you have an internet connection problems. If you set this icon to always show, then you can see your computer connecting to a network, see the status of the connection by hovering over the icon, and also double click on it to access its properties.

vista notification area

When customizing your Windows Vista notification area, I like to remove the useless icons and enable the ones that provide me with valuable information. It is a personal choice.

How do the icons get into the notification area?

Good question. When you install certain programs, sometimes you are asked if you would like to add an icon to the notification area, however some programs will just add an icon without asking. This is why you might end up with useless annoying icons in the notification area that need to be removed.

How to customize the Windows Vista notification area

  1. Go to the start menu icon in the left corner. Do not left click on it..
  2. Right click on it to bring a menu up.
  3. Choose properties from the menu.
  4. Go to the Notification Area Tab.
  5. Click on customize to change the settings for each icon that shows up in the notification area.

Windows Vista notification area

Watch this video to see how to customize the Windows Vista notification area

Do you have any tips on how to customize the Windows Vista notification area?



  1. PRAVATI says

    PLZ give the solution to make the past item to current item or how to display the item in notification area in laptop in win xp sp2

  2. Beth Piel says

    @Mitz: I have the same problem. Going to try this link and I hope to goodness I can get my volume control back!

  3. vasu says

    The volume, network and power icons disappeared from my notification area suddenly.
    When I went to properties to activate them, I found that the buttons were grayed out and I could not click on them.
    What goes ??