Trending December 2023 # Run Windows Programs Without Installing Them First # Suggested January 2024 # Top 12 Popular

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Keeping your computer up to date can be a troublesome task because you always have to keep an eye on all the installed programs and see if the new versions of each programs are available or not. In this article, we will talk about a different kind of software installation system. Using this system will enable us to run Windows programs without installing them first. We also do not need to update the apps regularly as they are automatically updated when the publisher updates them.

Zero Install is a decentralized cross-platform software installation system which allows developers to publish their software directly from their own websites. This means that a software running on any computer will be using the latest libraries and other shared objects without the user being involved in the update process.

Configuring Zero Install

To started using Zero Install in Windows, you can either install Zero Install or run a portable version of the software. At first run, you will see a list of software applications which you can run without installing. If you want to add your own custom software, you will need to package the software according to XML metadata format defined by Zero Install.

Standard Options window has five tabs: Updates, Storage, Catalog, Trust and Sync. The Updates tab lets you configure which version of the software you will prefer to run by default. By default, Full mode is selected which will run the latest stable version of the software. Minimal mode will only download necessary components of the software and Offline mode will not download anything on the computer. You can also run the latest beta versions of the software by selecting “Use beta versions of applications when available” (Alt + U).

The Storage tab will let you specify storage locations for Zero Install. In Catalog tab, you can specify the catalog sources. By default, only chúng tôi is listed. The Trust tab will list down the trusted keys between your computer and the catalog server. You can remove the key to reset the relation.

Running apps without installing

The second button, Setup integration, will let you specify the shortcuts (on the Desktop and in the Start Menu) and configure file association settings.

The third button “Plus” will move the software to “My Applications” tab which is synonymous to creating your own favorite apps list.

Pressing the Run button for the first time will download the necessary files needed to run the application. After the first launch, you may run the Windows application instantly without downloading anything. Please note that Zero Install did not install anything on your computer. The application are running directly from the Zero Install platform. Clearing the cache will remove all the downloaded apps data. You will need to download the components to run the apps after clearing the cache.


Zero Install is a fantastic concept of running software without installing especially when you can take the apps in your USB flash drive. The benefit of these apps over portable apps is that these apps always remain updated. The apps also don’t need administrative privileges to run as they are run in a separate virtual environment.

On a side note

Usman Khurshid

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We Had A Problem Installing Your Office Programs

Are you experiencing the “We had a problem installing your Office programs” error message while installing Office on your Windows PC? According to several users, they can’t install Office on their computers and keep getting the “Couldn’t install” error prompt. The full error message that is shown is as follows:

Please try installing again after you’ve checked the above.

As the error message says, it could be caused because of your internet connection issues or if you don’t have enough free space to install the package on your hard drive. So, do check these parameters and then try installing Office again.

However, this error could be caused because of other reasons as well. Here are some other potential causes:

If you have installed previous versions of Office on your PC, the installation process might get interrupted.

Proxy settings can also be one of the reasons you are getting this error.

It can be caused due to antivirus/ firewall interference.

You might get this error due to a third-party service conflict.

Now, if you are also dealing with We had a problem installing your Office programs error, this post will help. In this post, we will discuss all the working fixes to resolve this error. So, apply a suitable fix and get rid of this error quickly.

Couldn’t install, We had a problem installing your Office programs

If you are experiencing a “We are sorry, we had a problem installing your Office program(s)” error message while trying to install Office, you can use the below steps to get rid of this error:

Use some standard troubleshooting methods.

Check your internet connectivity.

Make sure you have enough space to install Office programs.

Uninstall previous versions of Office completely.

Disable proxy settings.

Turn off your antivirus/ firewall protection temporarily.

Use the Office offline installer.

Install Office in a clean boot state.

1] Use some standard troubleshooting methods

First, start with some generic troubleshooting practices that might fix the error for you. You can try attempting to install the package a couple of times and see if that helps. If not, reboot your computer and then try to install Office again.

In case the error is still the same, run Program Install and Uninstall Troubleshooter from Microsoft and see if is able to detect and fix the error for you. This tool is available on the official Microsoft website from where you can download it for free.

If these simple tricks don’t work and the error continues, there might be some other underlying issue causing the error at hand. So, move on to the next solution.

Read: How to fix Microsoft Office installation errors

2] Check your internet connectivity

You should check your internet connectivity and ensure you are connected to a reliable internet connection. This error could very well be facilitated due to a laggy or unstable internet connection as Office modules require an active internet connection to download and install. Hence, optimize your internet connection and ensure that your internet is reliable enough to download various Office modules.

You can check the speed of your internet connection and see if it is slow. If it is slow, upgrade your internet plan and then try again. You can also try using a wired connection to install Office on your computer. Besides that, you can switch to a different network connection or power cycle your router to check if the error is fixed or not.

In case your internet is working fine, you can use the next fix to resolve the error.

3] Make sure you have enough space to install Office programs

Your computer might be running low on free space which is why you keep getting the “We had a problem installing your Office programs” error while installing the app. Office 365 requires at least 4GB of free space to install the Office package, and so do the other versions of Office. Hence, if the scenario is applicable, free up some space on your hard drive where you are installing Office and then try rerunning the Office installation to check if the error is fixed or not.

To free up some space, you can use Windows inbuilt tool called Disk Cleanup. It allows you to clear temporary files and cache from your system and make some empty space. Besides that, you can try deleting duplicate files, uninstalling the applications you don’t use anymore, and clearing up nonessential files to create free space.

Once there is enough free space, try installing Office again and see if We had a problem installing your Office programs error has stopped now. If not, move ahead and use the next potential fix.

Read: Office application Unable to start correctly error 0xc0000142.

4] Uninstall previous versions of Office completely

If you have a previous version of Microsoft Office installed on your computer, remove it and then install the newer Office version. This error might be triggered due to an invalid residual file during the installation or uninstallation of Microsoft Office’s previous version. Hence, remove the version completely and check if the error is gone.

To uninstall previous versions of Microsoft Office, use the below steps:

Now, locate the version of Microsoft Office you want the uninstall and then tap on the three-dot menu button present next to it.

After that, select the Uninstall option and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the uninstallation process.

Once done, reboot your computer and then try reinstalling the Office package to see if the error is fixed.

If the error is fixed, you can reinstall the previous version of Office if you wish to.

5] Disable proxy settings

If you still get the same error, you can use some other fix to resolve the error.

Read: Fix Office Error Code 30010-4 during Installation or Upgrade.

6] Turn off your antivirus/ firewall protection temporarily

The installation process might be interrupted due to your antivirus or firewall and as a result, you are getting the We had a problem installing your Office programs error. Hence, if the scenario is applicable, disable your antivirus temporarily and then check if you are able to install Office or not. You can further try disabling your firewall protection and then attempt to install Office again.

To turn off Windows Firewall, type “Firewall & network protection” in the Start menu search box and open the app. Now, disable the firewall on the Domain network, Private network, and Public network. Once done, retry installing your Office program and see if the error is fixed or not.

7] Use the Office offline installer

Another solution to fix the error at hand is to use the Office offline installer to install the package. It might help you bypass issues like internet problems, proxy issues, etc., that are causing the error at hand. Here’s how to download the offline installer for Office:

First, visit chúng tôi in a web browser and sign in with your Microsoft account that is linked with your copy of Microsoft 365.

Next, tick the Download an offline installer checkbox in the next pop-up window and press the Download button.

Once the installer is downloaded, run it to install Office on your PC.

See if you are able to install Office with the error at hand or not. If not, we have a few more fixes that you can use.

See: Error Code PIN-INAPP-INVALIDPIN-8 when trying to activate Office.

8] Install Office in a clean boot state

If the above solutions didn’t work for you, try installing Office in a clean boot state. This error might be caused due to third-party software or service conflict. Hence, to fix the error, you can restart your computer in a clean boot state and then install the package. In a clean boot state, your computer will be started with only an essential set of device drivers and services. Thus, it will eliminate the issue of software conflict and enable you to install Office without the error at hand.

To install Office in a clean boot, here are the steps to follow:

First, evoke the Run command box by pressing the Win+R hotkey, type msconfig in it, and press Enter to open the System Configuration window.

After that, move to the Services tab and tick the Hide all Microsoft services checkbox to avoid disabling any essential Microsoft service.

Next, press the Disable all button to turn off all third-party services.

When the computer is restarted, try installing Office, and hopefully, you won’t get the We had a problem installing your Office programs error now.

Hope this helps.

Read: Fix Office Error Code 30045-29, Something went wrong.

How do I know if my Office is 32-bit or 64-bit?

Fix: Microsoft Office error codes 30029-4, 30029-1011, 30094-1011, 30183-39, 30088-4

Why is Windows not allowing to install programs?

It is possible that the software installer is not meant for your versions of Windows OS. You need to check if your Windows supports its installation. The other reasons could be a requirement for administrative privileges, lack of disk space or restrictions due to Group Policy settings.

How To Use Emoji On Mac Without Installing Additional App

Do you like to use emoticons, images, or symbols to express yourself when chatting or messaging a friend? As a Mac or iOS user, you’re probably familiar with or have at least heard the term “emoji.” For those of you that don’t know, emoji is a popular set of emoticons and images that you can be used in IMs, emails, tweets, text notes and more.

Before Mac OS X 10.7, you could only use emoji characters by installing an app. Luckily, with Mac OS X 10.7 and higher, emoji can be used without an app. If you haven’t found out where emoji is hidden, it’s because Apple has done a pretty good job of hiding it.

So, here’s how to use emoji on a Mac:

1. Go to your app of choice – wherever you want to use emoji characters. Note: There are many apps and Web services that do not support emoji.

3. The Special Characters window will open up. From here select “Emoji” on the left side – the second to last item.

5. If the character does not show up, that means the app or website you’re using does not support emoji.

So there you have it – no apps needed for emoji on your Mac.

Charnita Fance

Charnita has been a Freelance Writer & Professional Blogger since 2008. As an early adopter she loves trying out new apps and services. As a Windows, Mac, Linux and iOS user, she has a great love for bleeding edge technology. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.

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How To Track Someone’s Phone Location Without Them Knowing?

Cell phone tracking enables you to follow the movements of a person of interest. You can track someone’s location without them knowing by installing a spy app secretly on their target phone. These phone spying apps track almost all targeted phone activities like Calls, SMS messages, Google map’s location, Web history, Social Media sites like Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Telegram, etc.

Find Location by Phone Number

How to Track Someone’s Cell Phone Location Without Them Knowing

mSpy is a GPS tracker that allows you to remotely track any user’s phone activity. You can get a very accurate current location and detailed route history. It is a powerful tool that can track social media accounts, messages, multimedia, and much more.

Here are steps to track someone’s cell phone without them knowing using the popular mSpy app.

Step 1) Goto chúng tôi Enter your email address and purchase a suitable plan. Login credentials are sent to your email.

Step 2) Next, select the type of device you wish to monitor (Android or iOS device). Make sure you have physical access to the phone. Physical access is only required during initial installation. Here we have selected Android.

Step 3) Select the device manufacturer.

Among the options here are 1) Samsung, 2) Huawei, 3) Xiaomi, 4) Moto, 5) Google Pixel, 6) LG, and 7) Other.

We have selected Samsung. Then, press the “Proceed” button.

Step 4) In the next screen, select your Android Version.

You must disable PlayProtect on the mobile device you wish to monitor.

Step 5) Open any Web Browser on your target device.

Download the mSpy tool and follow on-screen installation instructions. Instructions are straightforward.

Step 6) Await Data

Please give mSpy some time (2-3 hours) to record the activity and send it to the server. The target device’s internet speed will also affect synch speed.

Log into your mSpy dashboard to see the target device’s activity. You’ll see Most Messaging Contacts, Most Calling Contacts, Most Visited Websites, etc., details of the target device.

The app also tracks important information, such as WhatsApp history and GPS location.

Additionally, you can view the Internet search history. You can also view the browsing history, emails, blocked websites list, etc., of the person.

14-Days Money-Back Guarantee

Best Apps to Track someone’s Mobile phone

👍 Track any phone location by its number with chúng tôi

1) mSpy – Best Overall

mSpy is a mobile phone tracking app that helps to remotely monitor any person’s mobile phone actively. This app helps you view all their messages without any hassle. You can check the GPS location of your friends’ or partner’s device.

#1 Top Pick



Supported Phones: Android, iPhone, iPad

24/7 Support: Yes – Offers a toll-free helpline as well

Refund Policy: 14-Days Money-Back Guarantee

Visit mSpy


mSpy offers activity updates of the targeted phone every 5 minutes.

This mobile tracking app helps you to read incoming or outgoing text messages.

You will receive updates within a specified time

You can encrypt and protect your location data.

Allows you to spy on your spouse’s cell phone without getting detected.

What you Monitor using MSpy App:

✔️ Others: Keylogger, Screen recorder, Application Blocking, View Photos, and Videos, Blocking Websites, Keyword Alerts, calendar activities

Key specs:

Supported Platforms: Android, iPhone, iPad

Live Demo: Available 24/7 Support: Yes – Offers a toll free helpline as well

GPS Location Tracking: Yes Refund Policy: 14-Days Money-Back Guarantee

14-Days Money-Back Guarantee

Intelius is a Phone monitoring app that lets you track your children’s activity remotely without hassle. You can set up a geo-fence and receive alerts when your child enters or exits a specific area. This tool allows you to track a targeted device’s location visually and clearly on Google maps.




Supported Phones: Android, iOS, Windows

24/7 Support: Yes

Free Trial: 5-Days Free Trial

Visit Intelius


You can access mobile phone files quickly from any place.

You can sync real-time data by 3G/4G network or Wi-Fi.

Supervision for enterprise security & confidentiality

Your child’s phone can be used to record phone calls.

Provide support for multiple languages.

It helps you to capture screenshots remotely.

You can obtain the data and passwords of someone using it.

What you Monitor using Intelius App:

✔️ Background Check: Yes

Key specs:

Supported Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows

Live Demo: Available 24/7 Support: Yes

GPS Location Tracking: Yes Free Trial: 5-Days Free Trial

5-Days Free Trial

uMobix is one of the best spy app that allows you to log into someone’s mobile and check their phone history. This mobile tracking app helps you to access the target phone.




Supported Phones: Android, iOS

24/7 Support: Yes

Refund Policy: 14-Days Money-Back Guarantee

Visit uMobix


It offers a live control panel to track the activity of your child’s phone.

You can track phone calls with ease.

You can quickly access the photo gallery.

It enables you to track browser history.

What you Monitor using uMobix App:

✔️ Others: Keylogger, Application Blocking, Photos, and Video tracker, sim card replacement, regulate data usage, blocking the website, Wi-Fi, and devices, additional apps for parents

Key specs:

Supported Platforms: Android, iOS

Live Demo: Available GPS Location Tracking: Yes

24/7 Support: Yes Refund Policy: 14-Days Money-Back Guarantee

14-Days Money-Back Guarantee

ClevGuard is a phone tracking app that allows you to track someone’s online activity without them knowing remotely. It offers real time location tracking features that allow you to access phone files quickly from any place. It also helps you set up geofences and get alerts when that person enters or exits the boundary.




Supported Phones: Android, iOS, Windows

24/7 Support: Yes

Refund Policy: 30-Days Money-Back Guarantee

Visit Clevguard


This mobile phone hacking app allows you to track the cell phone securely of a person.

You can get real-time data sync by either 3G/4G network or by Wi-Fi.

You can record phone calls on your child’s phone.

Clevguard offers support for multiple languages.

You can capture screenshots remotely.

This spy app provides 24/7 support via chat and email.

It enables you to get someone’s personal data and passwords.

What you Monitor using Clevguard App:

✔️ Others: Location History, monitor Photos, Video Preview, Calendars, Data Export, Keylogger, App activities, capture screenshots.

Key specs:

Supported Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows

Live Demo: Available GPS Location Tracking: Yes

24/7 Support: Yes Refund Policy: 30-Days Money-Back Guarantee

30-Days Money-Back Guarantee

Hoverwatch allows you to track SMS, GPS location, call history, and social messages of a target device. This cell phone tracker app supports various social media sites like Facebook, Snapchat, and Telegram.




Supported Platforms: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

24/7 Support: Yes

Free Trial: 3-days Free Trial

Visit Hoverwatch


You can see the information received and sent by the user.

Allows you to track a cell phone’s photos, screenshots, phone’s exact location, and save SMS messages.

You can easily install software from your online account.

It enables you to know the Internet history of someone’s Android phone.

This application helps you to control your employee and children’s activity online.

You can remain invisible while using this location tracking service.

What you Monitor using Hoverwatch App:

✔️ Others: Takes screenshots of activities, detects any sim card changes, saves full agenda, including plans, appointments, and reminders implemented in your calendar, takes camera shots

Key specs:

Supported Platforms: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Live Demo: Available GPS Location Tracking: Yes

24/7 Support: Yes Free Trial: 3-Days Free Trial

3-Days Free Trial

FlexiSPY is the phone tracking app for computers, mobile phones, and tablets. It allows you to spy on a computer or target phone.




Supported Platforms: Android, iPhone, iPad, and PC

24/7 Support: Yes

Free Trial: 1-Day Free Trial

Visit FlexiSPY


Provides feature for parental control feature.

It helps you to track the online activities of your family members

It provides a hassle-free remote installation service.

You can track a child’s phone’s log-on/off activities.

Allows you to installing software or uninstall or deactivate the software remotely.

It can run in Hidden Mode in your lost or stolen phone.

It provides a certain key combination for accessing call logs and location sharing data.

Provides dashboard alerts.

You can send remote commands from the mobile or web.

Automatic remote updates with location history.

What you Monitor using FlexiSPY App:

✔️ Others: Monitors Audio files, Application activity, Keylogger, Photos, Videos, wallpaper images, calendar, Send Remote Commands from Web, Dashboard Alerts, check device battery status.

Key specs:

Supported Platforms: Android, iPhone, iPad, and PC

Live Demo: Available GPS Location Tracking: Yes

24/7 Support: Yes Free Trial: 1-Days Free Trial

1-Days Free Trial


Following are the Best Apps to track someone by cell phone number without them knowing:

mSpy – Best for Android & iOS Devices


uMobix – Best for Kid’s Social Media Monitoring & Tracking

ClevGuard – Best Overall

Hoverwatch – Best for Android, iOS, and Windows

FlexiSpy – Best for Employee Monitoring

Here are some prominent reasons of Track Someone Without Them Knowing:

You do not need to involve any authority or the cellular service provider of the target.

There are many parents who use spy on their kids’ phones to ensure they are safe and do not indulge in harmful activities. They can take measures to keep them safe

It is useful when someone requires a medical emergency, strikes an unknown place, or is stuck in illegal activity.

You can monitor a phone’s incoming & outgoing calls, SMSs and track the phone’s location in real-time.

These apps are undetectable and go unnoticed by the end-user.

» Check here our list of the Best Tool to Read Text Free

Phone spying apps are smartphone surveillance applications. Here are key factors in choosing the best Spy app:


You should make sure that the mobile spying app you are likely to use should be compatible with the OS of your phone, which can be either iPhone or Android devices.

Location tracking:

GPS tracking system helps you to track the location of the target phone. A mobile spying app can track cell phone locations secretly to know the whereabouts of your children or even employees. Check our list of Smallest GPS Tracker.

Call log and SMS tracking:

Ability to work in stealth mode:

As it is a spying app, it must be capable of working in a stealth mode by activating it. You should be able to install this app in to on the target device and be sure it will monitor someone’s phone activity without someone’s knowledge.

Price and quality co-relation:

You need to understand that a cheap app will give you cheap features, and a pricey app will give you quality features. However, that does not mean that you should buy a costly spying app. If the spying app offers great features and justifies the price, you can readily go for it.

There are many different phone models available in the market, and not all of them can be tracked with the phone-installed phone tracker app. The one thing that is certain is that these apps will work with most iOS and Android phones.

iPhone 5, 6, 6 Plus, 7, and 7 Plus.

Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4.

Google Nexus 4 and 5.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

iPhone 6S Plus (without Apple SIM)

iPhone 7 Plus (without Apple SIM)

iPhone 8 Plus (without Apple SIM)

iPhone X (with Apple SIM)

However, you can also use it in many other iOS and Android devices. To check if your phone supports phone tracking apps, you need to open the settings on your mobile and find out which version of Android is installed on your cell phone. It is important that you contact the app’s customer support to check for compatibility.

Yes, logging into someone’s cell phone is not currently mentioned as a crime in any country or region. However, if the phone owner is not aware, it will be considered a privacy invasion, leading to legal action that varies by country.

Best Apps to Track someone’s Mobile phone

Life Without A Windows Desktop

Many years ago, I was in the computer repair business. I worked for small businesses, households, and pretty much anyone that would either sign a contract or pay a monthly rate for my technology know-how.

During this period in time, the most common issue I ran into was Windows malware disrupting my client’s ability to use their computer(s). After a while of fixing the same old problem, I decided I was ready for a change. During this transitional period, I became more familiar with the various popular Linux distros that were available: Red Hat, Mandrake (Mandriva), and the live Linux CDs that followed a short time later.

Flash forward to now, I use Linux on the desktop almost exclusively. For my day-to-day duties, Linux on the desktop allows me to create written content in addition to occasional video how-to tutorials. I can email, print, scan and store files on my computer in much the same way as those of you who use Windows do. The key difference is that I choose to use an operating system where the key support comes from the community, and not from some large corporation.

The single biggest issue to consider when selecting a Linux distribution is whether to use a rolling release or a non-rolling release option. In my home office, I use both as each offers different benefits. Since 2013, I’ve been using Arch Linux as my “getting work done” distribution because it allows me to keep up on the latest software and features of each new kernel release. The second PC has become something of a media management box. A slightly more robust computer, this second PC handles my video editing, long-term file storage, and other related duties.

Mirroring my setup is easy enough. The key here is realizing that installing and updating these two Linux distributions aren’t as difficult as most would have you believe. Want Arch without the bare metal? Then I recommend Antergos for an Arch experience without all the setup requirements. Antergos offers access to a true Arch desktop, but can be setup in minutes vs. hours.

I also use Antergos for my netbook as well, since it plays nicely with my Eee’s hardware out of the box. The only thing to be aware of with Antergos is that some things require a bit of setup, such as printing. You’ll need to set up and configure printing using the Arch wiki as it’s not ready to go out of the box.

Jumping back over to Ubuntu, the distribution setup is just as easy. Once installed, anything you could want is ready to go out of the box. If you own a PC that supports Linux, Ubuntu will be the distro that runs flawlessly out of the box without any “surprises.”

Now I’ll be first to admit that I don’t find myself updating the Ubuntu installation as often as I do my Antergos computers. The single biggest reason being that I don’t use it as much, therefore I run my updates in bulk in those off moments when it strikes me.

For installing both Antergos and Ubuntu I use a USB flash drive. For the sake of simplicity, I prefer to use the dd command instead of the various USB drive creation software options available. Using dd to build my installation media ensures that I won’t have any odd-ball installation challenges that sometimes happen with USB installation creation software.

Once I have a USB drive ready to go, I simply plug it into my PC and begin the installation process. Both Ubuntu and Antergos are an absolute pleasure to install. The only thing to be aware of is you’ll want to make sure you’re plugged into an Ethernet network connection to install updates during the distribution installation. For Ubuntu, this is optional. With Antergos, however, it’s mandatory as it won’t install otherwise.

Anytime you rely on Linux instead of a proprietary operating system, the question of legacy software does come up. For myself, I haven’t found any software missing in this space. Dropbox, Firefox, LibreOffice, SpiderOak, Clementine, VLC, GIMP, Skype, Kdenlive, Pithos, Kazam, Nitro Tasks, HPLIP– each of these programs serve me very well.

This isn’t to say that everyone out there looking to emulate my user experience will have as easy of a time. Some software is inherently built for Windows or OS X only. Worse, trying to find a comparable alternative isn’t always straight forward. But for most people, I believe the software that they’re looking for is readily available on the Linux desktop.

Sadly there are some areas where even in 2014, the Linux desktop leaves some folks frustrated. For example, if you own a fully updated iOS device or most Android phones, you’re going to have trouble syncing music and movies to these devices. Even the simple matter of mounting a SD card in an Android phone, at least under Arch, isn’t as straight forward as we’d like to believe. Ubuntu users may have an easier time, by relying on Go-mtpfs. In all honesty, mtp mounting and syncing rarely works reliably and happens to be why streaming music to one’s Android phone via Linux is the preferred approach. As for iOS devices, success getting compatibility here is also hit and miss.

How To Send Windows 10 Programs To The System Tray

Usually when you minimize a program or app, it goes to the taskbar. This gives you quick access when you need to maximize it. But sometimes you don’t need a program cluttering up your taskbar when it just needs to run in the background, such as when you’re downloading files in your browser. That’s when it’s a good idea to send Windows 10 programs to the system tray instead.

While some programs have this option by default, many don’t. Several third-party tools let you send any Windows 10 program directly the system tray using the minimize option or a hotkey. This is also a great way to quickly hide running programs from prying eyes.

Minimize to Tray

One of the most commonly used tools to send Windows 10 programs to the system tray is Minimize to Tray. As the name implies, it minimizes apps to the system tray.

However, it doesn’t use the minimize button in the program’s window. Instead, it’s even easier, which is what makes it a popular choice. To send an active open window to the system tray and remove it from the taskbar, press Alt + F1, then press Alt + F2 to restore the last minimized window.

The tool is completely free and regularly updated. While I tested it on Windows 10, it does work on Windows 7 and 8 too.


Traymond is one of the simplest apps to send Windows 10 programs to the system tray. It’s a portable program, has no settings, and erases any stored data when you close the app or restart your computer. If you want a third-party tool that doesn’t leave any real trace behind, Traymond is a great choice.

Traymond is easy to use, as there’s only one hotkey combo to remember. When any window is open, press Win + Shift + Z to minimize the window to the system tray. The program’s icon does show up in the tray.

Actual Window Minimizer

As the only premium option on the list, Actual Window Minimizer also works a little differently from the rest. Instead of a hotkey, this tool adds a new minimize option to every Windows 10 app window. This doesn’t replace your existing minimize icon.

Since the app does cost $19.95 and only provides free updates for a year, it does offer additional customization options. You can configure Actual Window Minimizer to use hotkeys, change the minimize mode and how to restore windows, and much more. It’s a much beefier option if you want more control and like the idea of having the minimize option in your Windows 10 program’s window.

There’s a 14-day free trial to see if you like the tool before you buy.


It hasn’t been updated in a while, but it did work on Windows 10 in my own tests for browsers, folders, Office files, and more.

If you love using shortcuts and hotkeys as a Windows 10 user, make sure you know these 20 for faster navigation. Or, create your own custom hotkeys, just like a few of the options above allow you to do.

Crystal Crowder

Crystal Crowder has spent over 15 years working in the tech industry, first as an IT technician and then as a writer. She works to help teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps. She stays on top of the latest trends and is always finding solutions to common tech problems.

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