How do I programmatically control the order of my program’s notification icons?

Raymond Chen

A customer had a program that created multiple taskbar notification icons, and they wanted to know if there was a way to control the order in which they appeared.

Nope, that’s not something you can control. You can create multiple icons, but the system chooses where they go. They might go into the visible portion of the notification area. They might go into the overflow. The user can use the control panel to move your icon between the two places, or the system could decide automatically. The user can also drag the icon directly from the notification area into the overflow, or vice versa. The user can even drag the icon within the notification area to customize the order.

The customer responded that they figured out how to do it. They performed a Find­Window for the control that renders the notification area and sent it private messages to reorder the icons.

These customers make the application compatibility team sad.


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