WinRAP is a nice little freeware tool that allows you to hide applications from view on your desktop while letting them to continue running invisibly in the background. There are a few cases where such a tool may prove to be useful. The first thing that probably comes to mind is the hiding of programs that are unrelated to your work from your boss and colleagues. However, there are other uses that could also make this utility valuable for your work.
For instance, if you have started an admin tool on a user’s desktop and want to leave the place for a while. You can then let the tool finish its work while the user continues working with the computer. This way, you don’t have to worry that the user will interfere with your work. Another way to use the tool is to reduce the number of icons in your taskbar if it is cluttered with too many apps.
WinRAP is a tiny standalone tool which doesn’t have to be installed. It displays all running applications in the upper pane. You can hide each of the applications with a mouse click which moves the app’s name to the lower pane. The application’s interface will then disappear from the desktop. Of course, you can also unhide an application, if you want to access its interface.
To make sure that users don’t use WinRAP to unhide applications, you can protect the tool with a password and hide the tool itself. It is also possible to disable the Windows Task Manager, so users can’t just kill WinRAP.
WinRAP can lock out the average user, but it certainly won’t prevent IT pros from accessing your applications. For instance, it is possible to bring hidden applications to the foreground with Process Explorer. You only have to right click on the on the corresponding process and then select “Bring to Front” from the Window menu.
I tested WinRAP 1.0. Please let me know if you know a comparable tool that can’t be outsmarted so easily.