I often use the Win+n shortcuts to 'alt-tab' between windows of pinned application (i.e. Win+2 to basically 'alt-tab' multiple putty windows, where putty is pinned as app #2 on the taskbar).

The Win+n always pops up the thumbnail previews of all the windows, but sometimes it shows window titles above the thumbnail, sometimes it doesn't. Is there any way to always show the titles (i.e. registry setting?)?

Preview with Titles Preview without Titles

For putty sessions this would be especially nice, as the title contains the hostname, and the thumbnail is too small to determine what host that window is for.

I've noticed that the titles usually show up with there are more than ~4-6 windows of that pinned item open - but the number seems to vary - is there a threshold setting for this?

Update: So I just noticed the titles show up whenever the taskbar buttons combine, which varies based on how many windows from other apps are open... AFAIK, the always combine, keep labels setting doesn't exist http://www.windows7taskforce.com/view/2236, but I don't really care about combining, I just want the titles.

  • Alternatively, in the registry, you can change the HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Taskband\NumThumbnails DWORD value (adding it if it doesn't already exist) to control when Explorer switches between a thumbnail mode and a list mode (the latter uses only titles). – jamesdlin Sep 19 '16 at 23:25
  1. Open Taskbar and Start Menu Properties (Right-click somewhere empty on the taskbar and choose Properties)
  2. In the Taskbar Tab, set the Taskbar buttons to: Always combine, hide labels
  3. Click OK

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Now when you press WIN + n or mouse over it will show all open windows of that application with their names at the top.

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  • I'd discovered this too. I may accept this after a bit - but I prefer to keep labels, it's useful for when you have several applications somewhere else on the taskbar (that aren't pinned, or grouped) that have the same generic icon - you can differentiate them based on the label. And, as I mentioned in my update, it doesn't look like you can combine and keep labels. – Cooper Mar 7 '11 at 16:22
  • I see. AFAIK, there is no such option. Tried a few things and the closest I get is this: Add too many applications to the taskbar and choose the setting as Combine when taskbar is full. Since it will always be almost full, whenever you open two or more windows of the same application they will get combined and you will see both the label of the first window of that application (sorry not all) and label of each window when you mouse over or do win+n. – Gani Simsek Mar 7 '11 at 16:44
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    Ya - after exploring the taskbar combining options, I've kinda drifted back to looking for a way to show the titles independent of combining/label settings. – Cooper Mar 7 '11 at 16:57

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