One of the things that many Windows 7 users do not know about is that their operating system keeps a record of all icons that were ever displayed in the operating system’s notification area. Even if you are using your operating system as a single user, you may be interested in removing old icons from the tray area. First to make configuration easier, and then obviously to avoid privacy related issues, as these icons may reveal information about your PC usage, something that you may want to prevent.
If you have never looked into the area, do the following to get an overview of the icons that you see there, and the options that you have to deal with them.
Move your mouse on the small up arrow that you see displayed next to the system clock, and maybe some other icons that are displayed next to it. This should open a small menu listing all icons that are currently in the system tray (that’s a mixture of programs that you have open and minimized in the tray, and system apps). Select customize there which opens the Notification Area Icons control panel applet.
Here yuo see all of the icons and their behavior. Behavior means when and where they are shown. You can configure the icons to be displayed all the time, to only show notifications, or to hide the icon and notifications. When you go through the list, you may spot some icons that are associated with a program that you may not have installed on your system anymore.
The free Notifications Area Cleaner for Windows 7 app takes care of those. You need to use a program like this as there are no options available to get rid of those icons otherwise.
Just run the program and select Clean from the interface to remove all old icons from the system tray area. It does not really get easier than this.