I'd like to remove the square (which turns coloured on mouse over) that appears around icons in the windows 7 task bar. The square that shows that an app is running rather than just pinned and not running. So that it will be impossible to to tell by just looking at the taskbar.

I know it is possible to theme windows through 3rd party software, is it possible to use something like these to remove the square?

  • Why do you want to hide this? – soandos Jun 1 '11 at 21:22
  • To see how well it works at OS level. – Jonathan. Jun 1 '11 at 21:25
  • How does that help you figure that out? – soandos Jun 1 '11 at 21:29
  • Sorry I meant how not knowing what apps are running or not works at OS level, rather than say in web browsers with tabs. – Jonathan. Jun 1 '11 at 21:43
  • I don't follow. If you want to know if a program is running, you check the running processes. Are you looking for the trigger mechanism to show the change, or for something else? – soandos Jun 1 '11 at 21:48

My recommendation to "solve" this problem is to have a fake pined program, and a real one. The fake points to a copy of the program .exe file (in the same directory if you want it to be functional), and is never used. The real one uses an icon different from the default to disguise itself.

For the record, I cannot think of a good reason to want to do this.


AFAIK, this is impossible unless you write a completely new taskbar. Microsoft does not expose that part of the taskbar to customize.

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