TrayPOP got 6 ducks from NoNags!

Brief description

A freeware, lightweight POP3 mail checker, notifier and browser for Windows 95/98 and NT.  Read all your incoming mail, including all headers (if you want) with a single click on the notification icon in the system tray.  With the second click you can remove any message or launch your favourite mail client.  TrayPOP supports multiple POP3 accounts.

Introducing TrayPOP

Like me, you might be fed up with your feature-bloated mail client.  Maybe you find it slow to load, complicated to navigate, or greedy for your precious desktop space.  Like me, you might like the idea of seeing all your new messages with a single click and a few twists of the mouse.  Like me, you like some of the many features of your mastodont mail client, but you feel it's a major overkill for processing 80% of the mails you receive.

TrayPOP is a small utility which lives in the notification tray of your desktop's taskbar.  It monitors one or more mail accounts (only the POP3 protocol is currently supported).

TrayPOP automatically and silently downloads the headers and the first 30 lines of each new message.  The intuitive notification icon lets you know when new messages have arrived.  These are all immediately available for browsing with a single click of the left mouse button.

TrayPOP is the quickest possible way to scan your messages.  The click brings up a pop-up menu showing you the subjects and senders of each new message.  By simply moving your mouse (or using the arrow keys), you can read the messages and optionally see the detailed headers.

When you see a message that needs special attention, you can launch your main mail client with a second click of the mouse button.  You can also delete a message that you've read, but that you don't see any reason for keeping around.

How to get it

TrayPOP 1.01 can be downloaded here.  (The file name does not change for minor releases!)

The VC++ 5.0 runtime DLLs (MSVCRT.DLL and MSVCP50.DLL) are required.  They can be downloaded from The DLL Archive.

TrayPOP is freeware, and can be distributed freely, in the unmodified form of the zip file above.  No files must be removed, modified or added to the zip file, nor may the name of the zip file be changed.

If you're an impatient, carefree person (like me), you don't need to read on.  TrayPOP is extremely easy to use.

Sources are not freely available.


Unzip the downloaded ZIP file.  Put the executable somewhere where you are comfortable with it - "C:\Program Files", for example.  Add a shortcut to this executable to your Startup menu if you want TrayPOP to launch every time you log on.

No procedure is currently available for automatic deinstall.  It is however, sufficient to remove the executable as well as the registry key:


General usage

When TrayPOP is running, at least one icon (looking like an envelope) will be shown in the notification tray area of your task bar.

Clicking the right mouse button on this icon brings up the main menu, allowing:

If you have configured one or more accounts for use with TrayPOP (see next section), the notification icon(s) start to live.  The current state of your mail account(s) is visualized using the following symbols: You will notice that TrayPOP is very unobtrusive - it never pops up a window telling you about new messages or  if something goes wrong.  In the latter case, it will silently notify you through the icon (showing a red "X"), wait, and try again later, trusting that the problem will eventually be resolved. TrayPOP will not interfere with your work, and will not pop up error messages when offline, for example.

In addition to the icon, a text ("tooltip") will be shown if the cursor rests over the icon for a half second.  This text will elaborate a bit on the current state of the program, specifically it will give you a message count, including how many messages are new since the last time you looked at the list, and the time of day of the last connection to the mail server.

The message list is brought up by clicking the left mouse button on the notification icon.  Navigate the list by moving your mouse, or by using the arrow keys on the keyboard.  Currently, no word wrap is performed.

Managing accounts

The Options dialog lets you add and configure each account that is to be monitored.

Currently, all options are local to the current profile only.  There are no default settings.  (This might be added if the demand is significant.)

You can have TrayPOP check your mail account automatically.  This happens at an interval of a number of minutes of your choice.

You can select the base icon used to identify the mail account in the tray area of your taskbar.  Currently, all supplied icons are almost the same: an envelope with differently colored "stamps".

You are allowed to hide any account's icon, as long as at least one icon is visible (otherwise there would be no way to get back to the Options dialog... :-)

Pressing "OK" in the Options dialog saves the entire configuration to the registry.

Pressing "Cancel" in the Options dialog actually reloads the entire configuration from the registry.  An unfortunate side effect (currently) is that knowledge about current messages is lost, but this is retrieved again the next time TrayPOP checks your account..

Deleting a message

All messages are initially left intact on the server, so that your main mail client can find them.  Often, however, having read a message in TrayPOP might make you want to remove it immediately.  For example, the message could be a short confirmation from one of your colleagues, a post from a mailing list that doesn't really interest you, or a unsolicited mail you wish you were never forced to receive (spam).

So TrayPOP is also able to permanently remove messages from the server, by selecting "Delete" in the message view menu.

The message will be removed immediately from TrayPOP's list, and it will be removed from the server the next time TrayPOP is scheduled to check your mail.  The checkbox "Delete updates server immediately" in the Options dialog box can be checked to force an immediate connection to the server to be made.  This will make sure that your main client doesn't download the messages you delete from TrayPOP. If the connection to your POP3 server is a slow one, you'll want to leave this box unchecked.

Launching an external mail client

The "Mail client" entry in the Options dialog box specifies a command line to be used for launching an external mail client like Netscape Communicator or Eudora.  The "Browse" button can be used to locate the client's executable.  A typical entry for Communicator looks like this:
C:\Program Files\Netscape\Communicator\Program\netscape.exe -mail


The author takes no responsibility for the usability of this software.  No responsibility is assumed for damage or loss sustained through or as a consequence of its use.

Specifically: The POP3 password is stored using simple encryption in the registry.  If this worries you, please do not use TrayPOP.

Revision history

Zip files with minor releases are named with the major release number.  Check the About box for the exact release number.

The author

TrayPOP was written by Robert Schmidt (

He also maintains The BBC Lives!, a web site and archive for the continued support of Acorn's early 8-bit micros (specifically the BBC series).