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How do I get rid of the Quicktime Icon in the Windows System Tray?


Every time I turn on my computer, I get the Quicktime Icon in the system
tray. I ran MS Config and unchecked the line labeled “qttask” and rebooted but
in a few days it comes back. What can I do to stop it once and for all from
appearing in the system tray?

I feel your pain.

This is a clear case of an application vendor thinking they know what’s best
for us, regardless of what we really, really want.

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The problem is simple: every time you update Quicktime, it re-installs the
Quicktime icon in the system tray:

Quicktime Tray App Icon

This is compounded by the fact that Quicktime can get reinstalled as a
result of other programs being installed or upgraded. The most common offender,
at least on my machine, is iTunes. Each time iTunes is updated, no matter what
I’ve done, the Quicktime tray application comes back.

Turning it Off

What I do to get rid of it is to right click on it and select
Quicktime Preferences. In the resulting dialog, I then click
on the Advanced tab:

Quicktime Advanced Preferences

I then make sure that the checkbox labeled Install Quicktime icon in
system tray
is unchecked:

Install Quicktime icon in system tray - UNchecked

As soon as I click OK on that dialog, the tray applet goes

Until the next time Quicktime is updated.

Some folks have reported that this isn’t enough for them, and that it comes
back on their next reboot. They’ve had to take an extra step:

  • Click on Start, and then Run

  • Type in msconfig and press OK

  • Click on the Startup Tab:

    qttask in the MSConfig Startup list

  • Locate “qttask” (highlighted above), and clear its checkbox:

    qttask UNchecked in msconfig

  • Press OK. MSConfig may ask you if you want to reboot. You
    don’t have to, qttask will simply not start the next time you do.

“To have to have it repeatedly reappear even after I’ve
explicitly told it to go away is, to me, exceptionally arrogant software

And, once again, the next time you update Quicktime, you’ll have to repeat
this process.

One Alternative

One alternative that I’ve heard of but haven’t tried myself is something
called, surprisingly enough, “Quicktime Alternative”. It’s a free codec
(coder/decoder) for Quicktime files that will allow you to view them without
Quicktime. Instead you can view them in other viewers such as Windows Media
player or other applications.

My only hesitation is that I’m unclear on the interaction with other
applications such as iTunes. I would expect that an update of iTunes will once
again install Quicktime – and its icon.

Why Care?

Certainly just living with it is an option. Aside from taking up space and
some of your computer’s memory, the Quicktime icon is fairly benign. It doesn’t
add any value, in my opinion, but it also doesn’t impact your computer’s
performance that much either.

For me, it’s as much about the principal of the thing as it is anything
else. I do dislike a cluttered tray (seems every application feels the need to
put something there), so I definitely want the option to turn it off. The
Quicktime tray item, as far as I can tell, adds no value. I see to
reason to ever want to use it, or for it to exist – Quicktime works just fine
without it. To have to have it repeatedly reappear even after I’ve explicitly
told it to go away is, to me, exceptionally arrogant software behavior.

And a repeated annoyance.

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8 comments on “How do I get rid of the Quicktime Icon in the Windows System Tray?”

  1. Another option I’ve used in Windows XP to make notification icons go away is to permanently hide specific system tray icons. I do this by right-clicking the task bar and choosing Properties from the menu. In the Properties window I check the box that says “Hide inactive icons”. Then I click the Customize button and another window pops up. In that window I choose the icon I want to hide, and for the behaviour I choose “Always Hide”. I don’t know if this works for the QuickTime icon in particular, because I uninstalled QuickTime on my PC. I also realise that this just addresses the symptoms rather than the underlying problem, but sometimes dealing with the symptom is enough.

  2. Try the program autoruns. A free program which will display all auto starting programs and lets you disable them. It also helps to find auto starting viruses.

  3. Some versions of QuickTime have a Preferences window that is organized differently than described here. For instance in 6.5 there is a list box rather than a set of tabs. The check box to disable the SysTray setting is under the Browser Plug-in settings on 6.5.

  4. There is a great freeware program called WinPatrol (just Google for it) that monitors everything that tries to load itself into your startup file. You can update Quicktime and when it tries to load itself into startup WinPatrol will give you the option of saying “no.”

  5. My problem is very similar to quicktime icon. However, mine is with spydawn, the icon is very annoying because it keeps flashing the whole time, and every or 3 minutes a small window pops up saying that the program expired and must be re-install. HELP! I’ve tried the system configuration but I cannot find the name “spydawn” could it be listed by another name? I think they do this on purpose so that we can’t find it. Please help me. Thanks, Maria

  6. I installed the free Quick Time program for Windows XP and received confirmation that the program was successfully installed. Wheb I click on the video, zip file, to download it the status does show that the ‘video is downloading’. However, once the status shows ‘done’ all I get is the Q icon and no video? Why?


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