Getting rid of that extra notification...

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2010/04/10 07:01 -04:00, original URI:

So there was a blog from way back in 2005 entitled How to turn off the CAPS LOCK key.

Then, earlier this year, Jim Freedom commented:

I love the Caps Lock key but hate the Windows 7 notification animation. How do I turn off the popup animation?

Interesting question, huh? :-)

The thing I think he was talking about was these things that pop up when you hit CAPSLOCK or NUMLOCK or SCROLLLOCK:




I was looking at it and thought I'd try to track it down.

First clue: obviously a tooltip.

But then the second clue: it doesn't look like the ones that the Windows Shell uses when you do things like hover over the tray icons:

All caps, ignoring the theme's font size and attributes....

Either this wasn't from Microsoft or some very different team put it together and put it out there (or else someone just wasn't going for the right aesthetics!).

I'm hardluy an expert in UI ut they are kind of ugly, too. But that is a comparative thing.

Of course this was on a Saturday of a holiday weekend, which limited options a bit more for asking people who might know, or ability to debug with the machines I had at home, or source I could look at without going in to the office. It was almost like being an employee was going to be useless for the holiday weekend.

So suddenly I was freed from employee concerns, I could think about what everyone else might do.

I looked at Windows help, found nothing there.

Various "Ease of Access" tweaks and other attempted changes didn't affect it either.

I looked on the web and found nothing relevant, with Bing of Google or Ask.

Nothing at all.

Well actually I found lots, with all of them. But nothing I found was useful....

Search does its best to come up with things. Not always useful stuff though.

I figured I'd try to use Product Support.

Starting with Microsoft, they knew what I was talking about but did not know the answer.

I made it up to tier 2 before the guy on the phone asked one of the two questions I knew would change the fundamental nature of the call. He asked whether my copy of Windows was bought in the store or installed on the system.

The other question would have been something that would have had me admitting I'm an employee....

I had to admit Windows 7 was on the system, at which point he apologetically explained that I really needed to go through the OEM to get support.

Fair enough.

So I called Dell.

Navigating their call tree was harder than it had to be (the "none of the above" choice sent me to hardware support, who had no idea but assumed software support might be involved), but I made it through to the "right" folks eventually.

They didn't know either, though they suggested I could remove their Dell ControlPoint software.

I didn't tell them what a hard time I had getting it installed in the first place, I just said I'd give that a try.

And then didn't do that.

It is all still mystery to me. Eventually I'll get a free moment and track it down like an internal MS person. But in the meantime I figured I'd post this to see if someone knew off the top of their head....


Steve on 10 Apr 2010 11:53 AM:

Best I could come up with is it is a Dell utility Quickset.exe -

Father-in-law has this "issue" - he likes it he's a self-confessed fat fingered typist - so it's good for him :)

David Heffernan on 10 Apr 2010 12:08 PM:

I think it's a Dell utility called CapsLKNotify.  You should find a process of that name running.  On my Dell mini it's configured to start in HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run.  It makes sense on this machine as there are no indicator lights for CAPS LOCK.

Søren Mors on 10 Apr 2010 12:49 PM:

They also turn up with XP on a Lenovo Laptop, so it s unlikely to be a Dell thing.

Josip Medved on 10 Apr 2010 12:56 PM:

This is definitely not something found in plain Windows 7 installation. Best guess is some custom Dell software.

You might try Process Explorer to find culprit. Last icon on toolbar (one next to find image, with cross as it's image) will help you there. Just press it and drag cursor over tooltip. It should then give you name of process that owns that window.

Michael S. Kaplan on 10 Apr 2010 1:24 PM:

I found it. It is something that comes with the WIDCOMM Bluetooth Software package that Dell has in its 3rd party drivers pack (the version I have is And there is a registry key to turn it off:


(Make it 0 to turn it off). Woo hoo! :-)

Patrick on 10 Apr 2010 1:37 PM:

I have a Sony Vaio, and that displays what looks to be the same notification.

Process Explorer points to this:

C:\Program Files\WIDCOMM\Bluetooth Software\BTTray.exe

Bluetooth Tray Application

(Not verified) Broadcom Corporation.


Time: 28/08/2007 18:23

If I kill that process the notifications disappear.

Michael S. Kaplan on 10 Apr 2010 2:00 PM:

Yep, I found it... and dug into its registry for the value that turns it off. :-)

Bela Istok on 10 Apr 2010 6:08 PM:

I Get this notifications pop-ups when I install Microsoft Keyboard Driver. I have a Microsoft Desktop Set (keyboard and Mouse); in the old versions it's looked like yours pictures in the new version its better looking.

Ivo on 10 Apr 2010 10:23 PM:

That's just another example why hardware engineers should not be allowed to write software. As long as it's functional it's good enough. No regard for system settings like fonts or themes. I bet it is not localized either :P

Cheong on 11 Apr 2010 6:18 PM:

@Ivo: It's okay for not being localized... In fact I'd think people will have a problem unstand it had it be localized.

Michael S. Kaplan on 11 Apr 2010 8:27 PM:

Beg to differ on that point -- there are languages that localize it on the keyboard hardware; for people who have such, the localized text would make a lot more sense.

Ivo on 12 Apr 2010 8:34 AM:

Well, my smiley was semi-serious. I think it is acceptable if the key names are not localized. However it is not that hard - just call GetKeyNameText.

Nick on 12 Apr 2010 8:01 PM:

I don't have the utility so I can't test it, but couldn't you use something like Spy++ to find the process that owns the window being displayed?

Regardless, I agree these little "helper" programs that bozos^W^W^W^W^Wvalued hardware partners seem to insist on installing are pretty annoying and usually surprising ugly to look at.

referenced by

2010/04/13 Now *that* gets localized, sometimes

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