Even though Windows 7 offers the ability to group applications windows in the taskbar, it’s still possible that with a good number of open applications, taskbar “real estate” will become scarce. And unfortunately, although many programs will minimize to the system tray, not all will. Fortunately, HideIt, a free application built for Windows 7, takes care of this problem in a simple, elegant fashion.
To check it out for yourself, first head over to the HideIt website at DeviantArt, located here.
Once there, click the download link, located on the right side of the screen.
Now go ahead and save the file.
Note: HideIt comes compressed as a RAR file, which could possibly cause problems, as Windows is unable – by default – to extract RAR files. To fix this, a program like 7-Zip will be necessary.
When the archive has downloaded, simply extract it to your hard drive.
Once you’ve extracted HideIt from its RAR file, it can be placed anywhere. A good idea would be to place it in your Programs folder (and add it to your list of auto-start applications), but you can leave it on the Desktop if you choose. To launch it, simply double-click it.
When you launch HideIt, it may appear that nothing has happened. There’s no splash screen and no windows, but a new icon will appear in your system tray.
Note: if you have the system tray set to hide certain applications, it’s possible you won’t even see this.
Once running, you use HideIt by clicking on the Minimize button in each window. Except, instead of left-clicking, you right click. So, hover your mouse over the Minimize button, like this.
Now, right click and see the pop-up appear.
Simply select the only option (HideIt), and the window will disappear.
Here’s what it looks like once you’ve minimized half a dozen or so applications.
To get your applications back, you can simply activate them like normal from the tray by clicking the application icon. Or, you may right-click the HideIt icon in the system tray, and you’ll see a new menu appear.
You can choose to restore all applications, or select the one you want from the menu, as shown above.
HideIt isn’t a revolutionary application, by any means, but that doesn’t matter. It adds a bit of functionality to Windows 7 that is simple, easy to use, blends in seamlessly, and works as advertised. It leaves your workspace uncluttered yet with your hidden applications only a couple clicks away.
It’s a great tool for those of us who often have a large number of applications running simultaneously, or simply for those who want to be able to hide applications to the system tray that didn’t already have that ability. Whatever your reasons, HideIt is well worth the installation.