Remove the XP Service Pack 2 Security Alert icon


Updated : January 12th, 2005

Windows XP Service Pack 2 installs a brand new “Security Center” for users to protect their computers against a variety of security risks.

Windows XP SP2 Security Center

One of the side effects of this new emphasis on security is an icon in the system tray : 

Windows XP Taskbar showing Security Center icon in system tray

and a regular reminder about security related vulnerabilities. e.g. the anti-virus software has not been updated or the firewall is not configured properly. This article provides a guide to remove the icon from the system tray and disable the constant reminders.


  • Removing the icon from the system tray and disabling the constant reminders can expose your machine to various security risks.
  • Users will have to manually inspect and update their computers if they disable the Security Center alerts.

UPDATE : There is a simpler method to remove the security center. As such the orginal article has been removed.

  • As admin, Start –> Run ; type “services.msc” and press enter. This brings up a list of Windows services that you can start, stop and configure.
  • Find the Security center, double click on it and change the Security Center from Auto start to Manual. Select OK and close the services dialog box.
  • Restart. Security Center won’t run at all.

Alternatively, with the security center running, go into the control panel, click on security center to bring up the Windows Security Center. To the left of the dialog box, under “Resources” click on “Change the way Security Center alerts me” and there you can tell the security center what to monitor when it is running.