Windows Tray Process Killer


This one is definitely a keeper!

TrayKiller is a simple MS Windows application that will permit you to configure groups of programs to start and stop by merely toggling an icon in the system tray. Useful for quickly killing a large collection of background processes before doing any processor intensive operations, like burning CD’s or capturing video, and then allowing you to restart them when you are finished.

Most people have quite a few processes (programs) that start-up automatically with windows and run in the background on their computer. Many of these programs, like TrayKiller, have icons that reside in your system tray. While these programs provide extra functionality, they can slow down your computer. Most of the time this isn’t a concern, but occasionally you may want your computer running at top speed, such as when playing games, burning a C-D ROM, or capturing video. This is when it is most desirable to shut down all non-essential programs. Unfortunately, there are no central commands to do this, and some background programs have no way for you to tell them to shut down other than the Close Programs dialogue box (Ctrl + Alt + Del). TrayKiller automates this process. TrayKiller resides in your system tray and can be toggled (with a double-click of your mouse) between two states, an On state and an Off state. When toggling into the On state, TrayKiller activates a set of programs you specify. When toggling into the Off state, TrayKiller searches for and terminates a set of programs you specify. TrayKiller is, essentially, a more flexible replacement for the Close Programs dialogue box, allowing you to interactively select which running processes to shut down. It can be run in batch mode to non-interactively search for and terminate a list of processes and then shut down.

You can run multiple instances of TrayKiller simultaneously using different configuration files, allowing you to easily start and stop different groups of programs, and each configuration file can be customized with your own icon sets. Each configuration file can be individually configured to load automatically when windows starts.

This is the main screen where you configure TrayKiller. From this screen you can customize the program’s appearance, specify how it starts, and indicate which programs and processes it should start and stop. There are a number of subsequent help pages that come with TrayKiller’s help file to explain each of the options below, and the developers home page has an excellent FAQ section.


TrayKiller was written for power users, and requires some work on your part to identify the processes that are running in the background on your computer which can be terminated. Identifying such processes will have to be performed by you on a trial-and-error process, and may require you to reboot your machine if you inadvertently terminate an essential program. Once TrayKiller is properly configured it will require little or no maintenance from you.

To download the latest version (1.0.4) of TrayKiller, go to the Download Page, or Download from our server, and you can view the “Getting Started” information here.

Version 1.0.4 was released August 5th, 2000. You can view the version history, or if your browser supports JavaScript, you can browse the full TrayKiller help pages, complete with screenshots. Traykiller’s Home Page.

Although Traykiller is essentially freeware, the developer would appreciate a contribution commensurate with your ability to pay. Traykiller is a copyrighted product of Jesse Reichler, computer science graduate department, university of Illinois at Urbana Champaign room 3115 Dept. of Computer Science 1304 W. Springfield Ave. Urbana, IL 61801.

This page updated: 8/20/2000

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