Configure whether to display balloon tips

Windows XP started using balloon tips heavily, as an attempt to help the average user to understand what is happening on the computer. The balloon tip is shown like a tooltip bubble just above the taskbar to the right near the system tray (also known as the notification area). For the more experienced user the balloon tips can become a pain, but it is possible to configure their behavior.

To disable balloon tips in the notification area completely:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER \Software \Microsoft \Windows \CurrentVersion \Explorer \Advanced]
EnableBalloonTips = 0

More Info MS KB279771
More Info MS KB307729

To disable "Show popup description for folder and desktop items" (Folder Options):

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER \Software \Microsoft \Windows \CurrentVersion \Explorer \Advanced]
ShowInfoTip = 0

To disable tooltip for folders:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER \Software \Microsoft \Windows \CurrentVersion \Explorer \Advanced]
FolderContentsInfoTip = 0

To disable tooltips for the start button:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER \Software \Microsoft \Windows \CurrentVersion \Explorer \Advanced]
StartButtonBalloonTip = 0

To disable the balloon tip "To see the hidden icons, click this button":

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER \Software \Microsoft \Windows \CurrentVersion \Explorer \TrayNotify]
BalloonTip = 1

To disable tooltips for the start menu:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER \Software \Microsoft \Windows \CurrentVersion \Policies \Explorer]
NoSMBalloonTip = 1

To disable the welcome screen presented after login:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \SOFTWARE \Microsoft \Windows \CurrentVersion \Policies \Explorer]
NoWelcomeScreen = 1

To disable the New Hardware Found balloon tooltips:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \Software \Policies \Microsoft \Windows \DeviceInstall \Settings]
DisableBalloonTips = 1

To disable the Highlighting of newly installed applications:
  1. Press the Start-button and right-click at the top of the Start-Menu where your name is displayed and select Properties
  2. This will open the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties-dialog
  3. Select the Start-Menu-tab and press Customize
  4. Select the Advanced-tab and clear the Highlight newly installed programs-checkbox
  5. The above steps should be reflected in this registry key:

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER \Software \Microsoft \Windows \CurrentVersion \Explorer \Advanced]
    Start_NotifyNewApps = 0

To disable the tour balloon tips:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER \Software \Microsoft \Windows \CurrentVersion \Applets \Tour]
RunCount = 0 (Default = 3)

More Info MS KB311489

To disable the printer spooler notification balloon tips:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER \Printers \Settings]
EnableBalloonNotificationsLocal = 0
EnableBalloonNotificationsRemote = 0

More Info MS KB831582

To disable the Security Center notification balloon tips:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \SOFTWARE \Microsoft \Security Center]
FirewallDisableNotify = 1 (0 = Firewall notifications)
UpdatesDisableNotify = 1 (0 = Automatic updates notifications)
AntiVirusDisableNotify = 1 (0 = Antivirus notifications)
UACDisableNotify = 1 (0 = Vista UAP notifications)

To disable the "This device could perform faster if it was plugged in to a high speed port":
  1. Open the Device Manager and expand "USB Controller"
  2. Right-click the USB Controller(s) and select Properties
  3. Select the Advanced-tab and tick "Don't show USB errors (or similar)"
To disable Plug and Play messages like "Found New Hardware":

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \SYSTEM \CurrentControlSet \Services \PlugPlay \Parameters]
SuppressUI = 1 (Windows 2003/XP64 only)
SuppressNewHWUI = (Windows XP)

More Info MS KB311489 (Requires XP SP3 to recognize registry keys)

To disable the "There are unused icons on your desktop":
  1. Open the Control Panel and go to Display Properties
  2. Select the Desktop-tab and press the "Customize Desktop"-button
  3. Untick "Run Desktop Cleanup Wizard every 60 days"


  1. Thirucumaran says:

    Thx a lot for the tip on how to disable the security center balloon notification.....its so annoying and I've been searching for ages as to how to do it.....THX AGAIN! :D

  2. Mike says:

    Thanks for a clear and concise article that I failed to find on MS Technet...

  3. savedgeezer says:

    Thank you for having all in one place. Much appreciated!

    May God bless you and yours

  4. John says:

    PLEASE tell me how to disable taskbar tooltips in windows 7 (the annoying yellow rectangles of text over each open application). They are so annoying that I have decided to install a different operating system until a fix is made for this.

    • chris says:

      John, did you ever find a way to disable the taskbar button balloons? I have the same problem in XP and it drives me nuts.

  5. zachd says:

    The information about BalloonTip is inaccurate. That registry value does not control "how long to show tooltips". That registry value, which was last available in Windows XP, controls how many times the tray will prompt you with, "To see the hidden icons, click this button".

    To control the balloon tip duration, upgrade to Windows Vista or newer and use the SPI_SETMESSAGEDURATION system parameter.

  6. Lucio says:

    I am using Windows 8 and it seems it's always trying to install a usb device (which I think is the webcam that is with malfunctioning) and notification area keeps showing a ballon (usb not recognized).
    I know I can disable all notifications in regedit but is there a way to block only this message? I disable it in control panel but when I restart the pc I have to do it again.

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