I mostly like the improvements in Windows 7, but am pretty annoyed with the new Taskbar... particularly its habit of always keeping items grouped.

Is there any way to ungroup the taskbar items in Windows?

And just for the record, "Never combine" does not work. True, setting this option creates a separate button for each instance of an application... but it still groups all the running instances together. For instance, all Explorer Windows are grouped together beside each other, and they can only be dragged around as a group---not as individual items.

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    "What do you need this requested behavior for?" <-- I hate these kind of questions. It's like "What do you need a silver theme for?". – thenonhacker Sep 10 '09 at 22:40
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    Well, under never combine behavior, those applications would appear on the right. Now is the question: Why would you want separated windows instead of grouped windows? That sounds contra-productive to me... (thenonhacker: Nothing wrong with asking someone why [s]he wants something uncommon...) – Tamara Wijsman Sep 10 '09 at 23:07
  • in Vista there was a registry DWORD TaskBarGroupSize, this is gone in Windows 7, i added the dword manually and played with its value but to no avail. and @ thenonhacker: you're not alone :) – Molly7244 Sep 10 '09 at 23:53
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    @TomWij: Just because two windows share the same EXE (e.g., explorer.exe, cmd.exe) doesn't mean they're used for the same purpose. I may have multiple "projects" in progress, and grouping windows by EXE (instead of allowing me to group them by project) is annoying. (I realize, of course, that the apps aren't strictly grouped by EXE, but for most apps this is the case.) – ijprest Sep 11 '09 at 15:19
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    @TomWijsman Apart from the good point of being trained to expect newly opened apps to appear on the right, I want this because I use 3 monitors and like to order my taskbar items from left to right according to the monitor I have their window on. I.E. If a window is on my left monitor, I put the taskbar item on the left side. If I have 3 Visual Studio projects open, one window on each screen, I can't do this in Windows 7. In Windows XP I used Taskbar Shuffle to accomplish this. – xr280xr Apr 19 '13 at 17:13

There is a way.

7 Taskbar Tweaker can do it.

This programs enables you to tweak your Windows 7 taskbar. The tweaks are divided into three sections:

  • Taskbar items: control taskbar items related stuff, like middle/right clicking, hovering, dropping, etc.
  • Grouping and combining: disable grouping, allow to drag windows between groups, force/disable combining, etc.
  • Other taskbar options: mouse wheel options, double/middle clicking on the empty space of the taskbar, and misc.

enter image description here

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    Original site is always preferable to cnet. – Karan Mar 8 '13 at 3:33
  • Is this safe to install & to run? (Security & stability) – xr280xr Apr 19 '13 at 17:16
  • +1. Taskbar becomes very customizable and useful. – BasTaller Sep 3 '13 at 13:22
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    Nice! I can definitely get used to some of these nifty little functions, like cycling between taskbar items, controlling volume when scrolling over the notification area, etc... and of course not grouping my taskbar items! – Amos M. Carpenter Dec 2 '14 at 8:03
  • They have a Windows 8 and 10 version of this now (Win10 version is currently in beta): rammichael.com/7-taskbar-tweaker-for-windows-10-beta-version. I just tried the beta with Win10 Threshold 2 (v1151) and it worked as expected (for the function in question). :) – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Nov 18 '15 at 21:20

I believe the answer is: No - You currently can't "ungroup" the taskbar items the way you and many others would like.

I hope I'm proven wrong or that it's added in the future - I'd also like this feature.

  • I suspect this is the case too. I hope we're both proven wrong. – ijprest Sep 11 '09 at 15:12
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    You weren't... Good old Microsoft. – Hashim Aziz Nov 17 '16 at 23:50

The answer is by right clicking on taskbar select properties, select "never combine" instead of "Always combine, hide labels".

It works and not as said in number 2.

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    Anonymous comment: NO, it doesn't work, that's not what he's talking about. For instance, if you have two excel sheets open, and want them to both be displayed on the screen at the same time so you can easily work between them without having to hover to the taskbar to open the other one, there is no way to "ungroup" similar icons/programs. – Ivo Flipse Nov 23 '11 at 22:11
  • I got mine set to "Never combine" already and it's still doping exactly what he says the problem is. Granted there are separate items for each window open. yet all my web browser windows are still grouped and all my im's are still groped and all my notepad windows are still groped and no way I can break the groups or even rearrange items within the the groups just the order of the groups. I'd downvote this if I could. – Kit Ramos Jul 23 '12 at 0:34
  • this works but now the text is displaying after the button icons . – astroanu Jun 12 '15 at 4:40

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