VLC has options to enable or disable the player icon in the Windows System Tray as well as Task Bar. These options enables the configuration of how the shortcuts appear in those desktop user interfaces. You will see the options in effect when you minimize the player. If you have turned on the system tray display option, then you will find VLC icon in the bottom right area (right next to the time) and most probably hidden and accessible by clicking on “Show hidden icons”.
You will find the system tray option in VLC under Tools > Preferences. You will see it as “Show systray icon” in the Interface settings (the default tab). If that option is checked on, then the tray icon is active. Using that icon, you can perform all the basic controls. You can hide the player in the system tray which effectively stops it from being displayed in the Windows Task Bar (the bottom bar) and also from the ALT + TAB app switching menu.
You will notice that clicking on the small system tray icon will effectively minimize and maximize the player. The minimize action will hide VLC from the task bar while the media continues playing. You will find more options from the right click menu. The basic controls like play, pause, stop, previous, next, record, volume and speed controls are all there. You will also find the option to open media and quit the player.
As always, here are the steps and screenshots:
To Enable Systray Icon
- Go to Tools > Preferences [CTRL + P].
- Make sure the Show systray icon option is checked under Look & feel.
- Hit Save to keep your changes.
You need to restart the entire player to see the changes in effect.
To Access the Systray
- Click on Show hidden icons (the up arrow head).
- Right click on the VLC icon to access all the options.
- Click Hide VLC media player in the taskbar and see how it minimizes.
The media will continue playing and you will need to use the same system tray icon to bring up the player on the screen. Basic controls can be performed right from there. It also displays notifications.