Customize Notifications... Past Item Problem

Discussion in 'MRU Blaster Forum' started by Philidor, Jun 13, 2003.

  1. Philidor

    Philidor Registered Member

    For anyone unfamiliar, in XP, Customize Notifications... is on the right click menu in the part of the Task Bar near the clock.
    If you left click, it shows the current icons and an assortment of Past Items that have appeared previously in this section of the Taskbar. It's a history of programs used and past downloads.
    MRU-Blaster does have a setting for getting rid of Past Items, but the effect is blocked per Javacool or maybe Past Items get replaced on restart. Anyway, Past Items live.

    Microsoft does show a way of getting rid of it:;en-us;283084

    Delete the IconStreams and PastIconsStream values from the following registry key:


    Open Task Manager, click the Processes tab, click Explorer.exe, and then click End Process.
    In Task Manager, click File, click New Task, type explorer, and then click OK.

    MRU Blaster will do the first step, but the other 2 are still necessary.
    I'm just posting to observe that the new version doesn't remove the need to deal with Explorer.exe, and suggest that mentioning these steps in the description of how to handle this item might be useful.
    I should also mention that killing explorer.exe also ends all running programs, so it may be simpler to reboot afterwards.

    Sorry if I'm being aggravating.

    Thanks to AI, Hangman, and others who've discussed this in past threads.
  2. javacool

    javacool BrightFort Moderator

    I'll gladly add that to the description (although in my testing I could not duplicate the problem - the entries were deleted fine with explorer.exe running).

    Thanks for the updated information!

    Best regards,

  3. Philidor

    Philidor Registered Member

    First, thank you for the update.

    Just noting that the Customize Notifications discussion doesn't include this information.
    May I suggest pinning this thread as a reference?

    Thanks again.
  4. javacool

    javacool BrightFort Moderator

    Done. ;)

    Best regards and thanks,

  5. SuperGuest

    SuperGuest Guest

    Philidor: I too experience a similar situation.

    Therefore this post is to inform whoever it may concern regarding this problem.... Mru Blaster only deleted these 2 registry entries: IconSteams and PastIconstreams

    However, the list of past items didn't delete when I checked Customize Notifications.... Meaning, everything remained plus programs I removed in the past. Also, I restarted (not shutdown) to no success.

    My solution to this is to shut down Explorer.exe via task manger as illustrated here:

    I was able to diagnose this thing cause I used that link prior to MRU BLASTER. My nerves kept itching me to find a solution at that time too.
  6. TombstoneTim

    TombstoneTim Registered Member

    Hi SuperGuest,

    Below is a link to webpage where you can download a VBS script file that will do what you wish. Note that it is only for Windows XP users with admin rights.
    It will clean the two registry entries, and also reset Explorer.exe for you.

    I have used it and can testify to it's safety and effectiveness.

    Doug Knox is a MS MVP. His main webpage can be viewed at

  7. SuperGuest

    SuperGuest Guest


    I've tried it (vb script) and I can second that :D

    I will keep it too so MRU BLASTER can do less work!

    Thank you for the link :)
  8. Philidor

    Philidor Registered Member

    The script does work.
    You'll still have to restart after using it, though, because closing explorer.exe also closes some running apps which do not reactivate when the script starts explorer.exe again.
    I notice it also deletes the icons for the currently in use apps which don't restart, so it's not just cleaning out the past history.
    Very thorough.
  9. nameless

    nameless Registered Member

    Killing Explorer.exe does not close any other applications. It does, though, prevent some tray icons from reappearing when the shell is restarted. In other words, the applications are all still running, but their icons may not be visible. There are many utilities that seek to solve this problem, by making the icons reappear automatically, but my advice would be to simply reboot rather than killing Explorer.exe in the first place.
  10. Philidor

    Philidor Registered Member

    You're right that the programs do keep running; not easy to get at them without icons, though.
    The explorer.exe end and restart is necessary on at least some systems. (I have XP Home, if that's relevant.) And note that Microsoft includes that step as part of the procedure for deleting the icons.
    Because the script does work on all systems, would it be possible to incorporate it into MRU-Blaster? I don't know anything about the rules for such things.