Finally: Remove annoying TabletPC icon from systray

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I do not want to use the feature of WindowsXP to hide system tray icons. On the other hand, there is the tray icon "Tablet PC" which can't be removed. I searched the whole net but anybody gave the "tip" to hide it with XPs feature. I really don't need this icon because all of the features are accessible by hardware buttons.

Accessing system tray

Accessing system tray isn't really a simple job. There is only one API function: Shell_IconNotify. This function sets an icon to system tray or removes it but only if a few parameters are known: The window handle of the window receiving the messages and an application defined ID. Every user can call this function to remove/modify an icon but the problem is: where to get the hwnd and the uID?

Enumerating systray icons

I searched a lot in the net about that question and almost the one thing I could find is that’s not possible. At least not without reading out systray memory and do RE. But then I found a VB program that could read out the tooltips: I translated that code to C and tried it: After two hours work, it worked but only the tooltips are read out. Then I searched google a second time with better expressions: “ReadProcessMemory” and “NOTIFYICONDATA”. This combination should be only useful for reading out the NOTIFYICONDATA structures from system tray from another application. Along silly pages from experts-exchange (the want to be paid for viewing forum posts - really ugly!) I finally found a solution on codeproject. This app only works with WindowsXP and does not rawly read out memory. Instead, it uses toolbar functions. I simply extened this program to read out/display all the other functions needed.

Spying data

I finally found out the HWND of the window and that the uID was zero. The name of the window I obtained with spy by searching for the window handle. It belongs to a window with window class “TabBtnU_MonitorWndClass”. This window belongs to a process called tabbtnu.exe, which also recreates the icon after the process is killed. So it was very easy to implement a small program that gets the HWND with FindWindow, fill in a NOTIFYICONDATA and call Shell_NotifyIcon. That’s all what the little exe file does.

It's compiled with lcc32.


daniel said ...

Nice work Nobaq! Even though i do not have a tablet or use windows, i am very interested in the source-code of your feat. so is it possible to publish it under the gpl?

greetings daniel

--daniel 01:18, 5. Jul 2006 (MSD)

Curtis said ...

BRAVO. thank you so much. I have wanted to get rid of that awful icon for so long, and not use the lame hiding icons way. Millionen Dank!

--Curtis 01:18, 7. Aug 2006 (MSD)

espi said ...

Hi, this utility is gone and I was so happy to find it! Please, can you post the download back again? Or email espi at ymail dot com would be fantastic for my TC1100

--espi 11:22, 8. Jul. 2009 (MSD)

Niki said ...

Thank you, the tool is available again (

--Niki 13:41, 15. Jul. 2009 (MSD)

Dawn said ...

The link is dead. Any chance someone could put the program up again? Thanks.

--Dawn 20:29, 17. Feb. 2011 (CET)

Niki said ...

Dear Dawn,

Thank you for the comment.

I will update the link within the next hours. Please stay tuned and look here again tomorrow.

--Niki 20:50, 17. Feb. 2011 (CET)

Niki said ...


I have uploaded the tool again:

Regards, Niki

--Niki 22:01, 17. Feb. 2011 (CET)

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