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June 18, 2013
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Save space by hiding the clock in Windows

I normally display a large number of application icons on my Windows Task Bar, and I’m running out of space. I don’t really need to display the clock down there. Is there some way to turn off the display of the clock and other icons in the lower right-hand corner of the Task Bar?

Windows gives you complete control over what appears in the lower right corner of the Task Bar (that area is called the System Tray).

To get started, right-click on the Task Bar itself (not on one of the icons or the clock, however). Select Properties from the context menu that appears. On the dialog box that appears, next to the Notification area prompt, click the Customize button.

To change the display of the clock, click the link at the bottom titled Turn system icons on or off. Selecting this option provides a list of various system items you can control, including the clock. You can select to show or hide the clock (and other system items) here. You can also control the display of icons for volume, power, network and others.

Once you have removed various icons, you’ll have room for more stuff on the Task Bar, and Windows offers the option to display various menus there, as well.

We like to add the Desktop menu to the Task Bar, so we can see a list of all the items on the desktop without having to minimize all the running applications to clear the desktop. To do this, right click on the Task Bar again, but this time select Toolbars instead of Properties. From the list of available tool bars, select Desktop. Now you can click that menu to display a list of all the items on your desktop at any time.

Take some time to work through the various options to see how they change your Windows experience — you may find some of the options useful!

Display running apps on a Mac

I’m new to using a Mac and really would like some way to display all the running applications spread out in some way, so I can choose a running application and switch to one of its windows. Is there some easy way to do this?

Mac OS X has had this feature built in for a long time — originally it was called Exposé and the feature provided fast access to any open window with a few keystrokes and allowed you to temporarily hide all open windows or scale all windows down so you can get an overview of all of them. The feature worked (and many people loved it) but we found it somewhat clumsy.

Starting with Lion (OS X 10.7) and then continuing in Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8), the feature is provided by an application named Mission Control. This application provides cleaner and simpler functionality than in previous versions of OS X. It displays all your virtual desktops, the Dashboard, and all the open windows for every running application. Once you’ve run Mission Control, click on any window to bring that window to the top, giving it focus. Mission Control makes it simple to select any window in any application.

Although you can run the Mission Control application like any other application, it’s simpler to map it to a keystroke and/or trackpad gesture. By default, it’s mapped to a three-finger upward swipe on the trackpad. You can alter this behavior, of course. Give Mission Control a try — you’re likely to be amazed at how simple it makes switching from one app or window to another.

Doug Behl and Ken Getzspent years answering technical questions in private and are minimizing the questions by pre-emptively publishing the answers. Hear Doug and Ken’s tech tips on KNCO radio weekdays at around 8:21 a.m. and 5:38 p.m.; find full write-ups including links to the products they mention at Submit your own technical questions to

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The Union Updated Jun 9, 2013 10:39PM Published Jun 18, 2013 05:45PM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.