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I find they frequently get stuck open if you have a near-full-screen application open.

Is it possible to disable them?

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up vote 17 down vote accepted

Open "regedit" as adminstrator.

Navigate to:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced]

Find "ShowInfoTip", right-click and select "Modify" and change the value to "0"

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1  
this is a life saver... I was thinking of going back to windows XP ;) – playcat Apr 1 '12 at 20:39
    
This hides all tooltips, right? Not just those in the taskbar? If so, it's worth making that explicitly clear in your answer. – Cody Gray May 29 '12 at 13:33
2  
For some reason this does not work for me. I double-checked the key and value and they are as mentioned. If I leave my mouse over some pinned programs on the taskbar, the tooltip always show. I run Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit, SP1. – Eric Fortier Aug 23 '12 at 19:31
2  
Didn't work for me, either, on Windows 7 pro x64. – bgmCoder Apr 12 '13 at 1:00
    
something had re-enabled this undesirable feature (keeps covering things you want to click) – zzapper Jul 30 '15 at 15:37

You might be experiencing this issue, described on Microsoft's Q/A forum:

Why does the tooltip display on taskbar icons when I am not hovering my cursor on them?

The suggestion there is to make sure your video drivers are up to date. For a momentary fix, you can try:

  1. Holding Shift and right-clicking on a tile.
  2. If that doesn't work, try killing dwm.exe.
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1  
So far, shift-right-click has been working for me. I prefer to do this every once in a while rather than completely disable the tooltips. – TTT Jul 16 '14 at 14:38
2  
This also works in Windows 8. – Konstantin Pereyaslov Sep 30 '14 at 14:35

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