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I know this is a minor issue, but it is driving me insane. I just switched from XP to Windows 7 (Pro, 64-bit), and my standard setup is to have a two-line TaskBar because I frequently have many Windows open at a time. But in Windows 7, the items don't line up properly.

It seems like such a minor issue, but it breaks my attention when I'm working and slows me down because I can no longer easily scan my taskbar for a particular window.

Does anyone know how I can fix this?

enter image description here


  • The items align correctly if I unlock the Taskbar, have the "Always show all icons and notifications on the taskbar" option unchecked, and have my Quick Launch set to a specific width, but I prefer to keep the taskbar locked so I don't drag/drop items by mistake.
  • Removing the Quick Launch area on the left causes them to line up better, but not completely
  • I have my TaskBar items set to Combine when Full
  • I'm using Small Icons.
share|improve this question
I'm also having the same problem, but with the "classic" (XP) theme, no quick-launch and no combine. I always run with 2 rows of taskbar, and second row buttons are a few pixels wider than the top row. Very annoying. – ingredient_15939 May 29 '12 at 16:42
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I've realized that what causes the items not to line up is that similar programs are grouped together with no space between them, while there is a small space between the different program groups.

After working with it for a while, I realized I actually like this change. I just needed to give my brain the chance to adjust to it.

share|improve this answer
I'm having this problem too. What do yuo mean by "program groups"? – user161563 Sep 26 '12 at 15:54
If you look closely at my screenshot in the question, and probably your own machine as well, you'll notice the same program open multiple times is grouped together as one item on your taskbar (such as the [OS(C:)] windows in my screenshot), with no space between the items. This is what causes the items not to line up – Rachel Sep 26 '12 at 15:57

Try resetting taskbar icon widths:

  1. Press Windows Key + R to open the run command
  2. Type int "regedit" (without quotes) and press OK
  3. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER -> Control Panel -> Desktop -> WindowMetrics
  4. Find the "MinWidth" entry and delete it.
  5. Log off and log back in or restart to see if this trick works.
share|improve this answer
I do not have a MinWidth entry – Rachel Sep 6 '11 at 16:58
You may create that entry and set its value to 52. While in WindowMetrics window, right click on an empty space and select New -> String Value. Name this entry MinWidth. Double click on the MinWidth entry and enter 52. Log off and log back in or restart to see if it works. – Mehper C. Palavuzlar Sep 6 '11 at 17:02
Now not only are my items not aligned correctly, but they're all miniature and hard to read. I don't think that works :) – Rachel Sep 6 '11 at 17:09
Well, you may delete that entry anytime to undo; but what I wonder is, does setting a constant value for MinWidth make all items lined-up? It apparently needs to be larger than 52... – Mehper C. Palavuzlar Sep 6 '11 at 17:15
No, the 2nd row of items still didn't line up – Rachel Sep 6 '11 at 17:16

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