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How to hide notification bubbles in Windows XP taskbar (works on Vista too)

One of my work computer has some very terrible misconfigured WiFi, which always tries (and fails) to connect (it’s a laptop that’s only supposed to connect via ethernet anyway, it shouldn’t even be trying to connect via WiFi). That wouldn’t be much of a problem, except that it tries very rapidly and over and over, and… pops up a notification bubble everytime. Which is 1) distracting and 2) annoying when I try to reach something located under the bubble.

This computer being kind of locked around by the IT department, I can’t open the network settings to tell it to stop trying to connect. So I thought, how about trying to neutralize the bubbles? And indeed this is possible without administrative access. The solution, as detailed on Microsoft’s website, involves editing the registry (set DWORD value HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\EnableBalloonTips to 0), but Microsoft provides a downloadable tool (you know, one of those “Microsoft Fix it”) that can modify it even if you don’t have access to regedit. And it works fine. Just don’t forget you need to restart for the changes to take effect 😉

Last but not least, it should work in Vista too (I don’t know about Se7en).

Posted in Windows.


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