Odd Windows 7 Notification Area Behavior

Following the reboot after installing a new application, I noticed that all of the icons in my Windows notification area (formerly “system tray”) were appearing in my taskbar rather than collapsing into the corner.

Expanded Notification Area

Somehow, the “Always show all icons and notifications on the taskbar” option was re-selected under Control Panel –> All Control Panel Items –> Notification Area Icons. (Note that you can also get here by right-clicking on the Start Button, selecting Properties, then clicking on the Customize… button on the Taskbar tab.)

Notification Area Icons Options

Clearing this option restored my taskbar to its original configuration.

Collapsed Notification Area