System Tray Cleaner is interesting, but ...

Be careful with this free Web-based tool for managing your system-tray icons.

System Tray Cleaner is an interesting idea, a free Web-based utility that scans your system tray (also known as the Notification Area) and analyzes the results in Wikipedia to help you decide whether to keep them or not. You can disable icons or uninstall programs from the tool's online interface. If you basically have no idea what's in your system tray or how to get a handle on it with Windows, it may be worth your while to let System Tray Cleaner's server take a whack at it. If security is an issue and you already have a notion of what's in your system tray, we recommend skipping this tool, and those running 64-bit Windows 7 should keep running until they're far away.

This tool installs a desktop icon and other software on your system, but it displays scan results in your browser via a server that stores your data. It does display a lot of information about the icons in the system tray, including a linear summary of our icons that let us quickly access their data, plus a more detailed list that marked any newly installed icons. Clicking any icon opened a page of data with End Task and Uninstall buttons. None of the icons were unfamiliar to us, nor were the programs and tasks they linked to. However, we did use System Tray Cleaner to disable an unnecessary application. The online Help file is a work in progress and offered no additional info. And the truth is, this tool doesn't really do anything you can't do with Windows and your browser, either by checking an icon's properties, clicking Customize in the system tray, or browsing to Wikipedia and looking it up yourself.

The developers need to do a better job explaining what information they collect and how they protect it on the tool's Web site. However, the site does claim that System Tray Cleaner is compatible with both 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows 7, and it offers no separate downloads. It ran on a 32-bit Windows 7 Home Premium machine, but a pop-up told us our 64-bit Home Premium installation was incompatible, and to top it off, that system crashed. YMMV, but we've gone as far as we care to with System Tray Cleaner.

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