Close programs running in backgroung

Closing programs that run in the background

Some programs like to keep themselves in your computer’s memory even when you are not directly using them. This tutorial will demonstrate some common methods of closing these kinds of programs so that DryFire is not competing with other programs for your computer’s memory.

The first step is to take a look at your system tray (this is the area of the task bar where Windows displays the time).

You may have to click an arrow to show hidden icons.

After clicking this arrow, the hidden icons appear (until you move your mouse off of the system tray area).

Each icon in the system tray is a program that is resident in your computer’s memory.

Before I go into closing these programs from the system tray, you should know that most of these programs are probably set to start up automatically when Windows boots up. This means that you will have to close the program every time you boot up your computer. If you wish, you may disable this feature from the program. As you will see with closing the programs, the way you disable a program from loading at Windows “startup” is slightly different for each program.

In my first example, I will use MSN messenger.

To stop MSN messenger from starting up every time you turn on your computer, open the program by double-clicking the icon in the system tray.

The MSN messenger window will appear.


Click on “Tools” from the menu bar.

From the “Tools” menu click “Options”


This window will appear.

Click on the “Preferences” tab.


Uncheck the first box (“Run this program when Windows starts”)

Click “Ok”


Click the close button (“X”)

Now we are ready to close the program.

Each program has its own way to close from the taskbar. Usually you can right-click the icon and find an “Exit”, “Close”, or something similar.

Right-click on the icon.

This menu will appear.

Click “Exit” to end the program and free the memory from your computer.

Notice the MSN messenger icon is no longer in the system tray.


I will now give just a few more quick examples of closing programs that are in the system tray.

Right-click the icon.


Click the option to close the program.


The icon is now gone from the system tray to let you know it is no longer running.


Right-click another icon.

Click the option to shut down the program.

Again the icon is no longer in the system tray.


You may follow this kind of technique to close most programs that appear in your system tray (running in the background).



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