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Show progress using the NotifyIcon application tray icon

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9 Mar 20072 min read 61.7K   43   5
Sample code to dynamically change the NotifyIcon application system tray Icon, to show the progress of a simulated process.

Screenshot - CsNotifyIconProgress.jpg


Say we have a process that takes a lot of time to complete - wouldn't it be helpful to add a NotifyIcon control (hidden from our main form, so we do not bother the user until we are done) to show the progress in the system tray Icon area? Here is a simple code to achieve this, by drawing some text in the application system tray Icon dynamically.

Using the code

  1. Click File -> New -> Project. Create a ChangeIcon Visual C# Windows Application Project
  2. Click View -> Toolbox.
  3. From the Toolbox, drag a ContextMenu item into the Form1 form.
  4. Click in the Context Menu menu item, appearing at top of the form, change Type Here, with &Show. Press Enter.
  5. Double-click the newly created Show menu item.
  6. Change the menuItem1_Click method with:

Double-click the startButton button. Replace the startButton_Click method with:

private void menuItem1_Click(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
  1. From the Toolbox, drag a NotifyIcon into the Form1 form.
  2. Right Click the NotifyIcon1 NotifyIcon -> Properties. Set the property name to trayIcon. Click in the Icon property, push the button which appears next to it, and browse for the App.ico within the Wizard created ChangeIcon folder. Finally, set the ContextMenu property to contextMenu1.
  3. From the Toolbox, drag a ProgressBar into the Form1 form. Set the Dock property to Top.
  4. From the Toolbox, drag a Button into the Form1 form. Change the text property to Start, and the name to startButton.
  5. From the Toolbox, drag another Button into the Form1 form. Change the text property to Hide, and name to hideButton.
  6. From the Toolbox, drag a Timer to the form.

Double-click the startButton button. Replace the startButton_Click method with:

private void startButton_Click(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
    timer1.Enabled = true;
    startButton.Enabled = false;
    progressBar1.Value = progressBar1.Minimum;
    progressBar1.Step = 1;

Double-click the hideButton button. Replace the hideButton_Click method with:

private void hideButton_Click(object sender, System.EventArgs e)

Double-click the Timer1 timer. Replace the timer1_Tick method with:

private void timer1_Tick(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
      if (progressBar1.Value == progressBar1.Maximum)
      timer1.Enabled = false;
      startButton.Enabled = true;
      string text = "Ok";
      if (progressBar1.Value != progressBar1.Maximum)
         text = progressBar1.Value.ToString();
      System.Resources.ResourceManager resources = new 
      Bitmap bmp =( (System.Drawing.Icon)(resources.GetObject

      // Create an ImageGraphics Graphics object from bitmap Image
      System.Drawing.Graphics ImageGraphics = 

      // Draw random code within Image
      System.Drawing.Font drawFont = new System.Drawing.Font
          ("Arial Narrow", 20, FontStyle.Regular);
      System.Drawing.SolidBrush drawBrush = new System.Drawing.SolidBrush
      System.Drawing.StringFormat drawFormat = 
          new System.Drawing.StringFormat();
      ImageGraphics.DrawString(text,drawFont, drawBrush, -2, 1, drawFormat);
      // Dispose used Objects
      trayIcon.Icon = Icon.FromHandle(bmp.GetHicon());
      trayIcon.Text = text;

Finally, press (F5). That's it!


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Written By
Software Developer CIMEX S.A.
Cuba Cuba
Rodolfo Ortega is a Cuban Computer Scientist. He works as IT Auditor for the CIMEX S.A. subsidiary in Holguin, Cuba. He lives and works in Holguin, in the eastern part of the island of Cuba.

You can contact him at rodolfom[] for any personal message: Ideas on new articles, bibliography about new APIs, questions, are wellcome.

Submit questions related with current article to the article forum.

Comments and Discussions

GeneralVery Clever Pin
Pat Tormey12-Aug-08 2:35
Pat Tormey12-Aug-08 2:35 
Hey Rodolfo,
That was very clever getting text info into the icon.
Gave me some good ideas!

Pat in New Hampshire USA
GeneralFromHandle to Grave... Pin
steve_nenorse17-Mar-07 11:11
steve_nenorse17-Mar-07 11:11 
GeneralRe: FromHandle to Grave... Pin
dedel9-Feb-10 14:36
professionaldedel9-Feb-10 14:36 
GeneralIt's been a while... Pin
Colin Angus Mackay9-Mar-07 12:17
Colin Angus Mackay9-Mar-07 12:17 
GeneralRe: It's been a while... Pin
Ed.Poore10-Mar-07 9:02
Ed.Poore10-Mar-07 9:02 

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