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The following picture shows two open instances of Internet Explorer 8 on my computer:

enter image description here

The system groups them as one instance showing all the tabs. I want to distinguish not even the tabs but also the instances - each tab to which instance it belongs.

If there is no way to do this I want to disable the tabs grouping and see only three instances. I don't like the way it is setup now and I can't live with it. Sometimes I open three instances, each of them about a different subject, and each of them has many tabs.

In the taskbar I see all the tabs - with no way to know which is what!

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You could always use 3 browsers.. </lame hack> :) – Andrew Coleson Nov 19 '09 at 18:56
You probably meant I should use IE Chrome and FF ah? cuz if you meant something else you didn't understand my question. – Shimmy Nov 19 '09 at 20:59
I'm sure this is a duplicate, but I can't find it right now. – ChrisF Feb 10 '10 at 13:17
up vote 1 down vote accepted

To undo grouping:

Right-click the Taskbar, choose Properties, then Taskbar.
Then in the drop-down list titled "Taskbat buttons": choose "Never combine", then OK.

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I don't want never combine, I love this feature, I just think this should of been more customizable per program, or they should have done it more smart. – Shimmy Nov 19 '09 at 21:02
More smart? What percentage of the user base is really using 3 browser windows with "lots of tabs"? – AnonJr Nov 19 '09 at 22:04
I have 5 open... but they are on different desktops (something windows seriously needs to have natively) – Idiomatic Nov 20 '09 at 2:25
I think many users sometimes make reserches on 3 different subjects, and want to have the tabs separated by windows. I think the wanted solution would be group them by color just like the tabs are grouped by parent tab (with color). – Shimmy Nov 22 '09 at 13:02

Correct answer: (Target IE8 only but not for other applications)

  1. Click Tools > Internet Options

  2. Under Tabs, Click Settings

enter image description here

In Tabbed Browsing Settings dialogue,

  1. Uncheck "Show previews for individual tabs in the taskbar"

  2. Click OK

  3. Restart IE8 browser

enter image description here

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You might like: never combine + hide labels
It takes less space than the don't combine option in win7 but it allows you to keep the icons from sticking together. The specific thing you are looking for it probably not possible without a very complicated hack/mod.

Here's a related superuser question:

Infact here is a petition to add the functionality you want:

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