I've never really liked this feature about Win7, but I guess I just got used to it. The feature I don't like is mousing over the Win7 icons when there are multiple windows of the same type open. You have to waste that extra time choosing the window after it pops up and it's just clunky.

The XP taskbar was nice, because you didn't have to go through any of this, but it had the problem where you ran out of taskbar space fast. I often resized my taskbar to take care of this. However, on Windows 7, I don't use up even 1/3 of my taskbar. I have all this space I can use, and instead it's all squished to the left, making me take extra steps.

Are there any applications I can use to get this desired behavior, or else what route would you recommend to take to write this behavior myself? My first thought would be C# and the Windows taskbar APIs.

PS. If it's not clear what I'm asking for, please let me know, I'll try to be more specific.

  • Yup, flagged it yesterday. Guess I didn't look hard enough. – Caleb Jares Jun 2 '12 at 0:39

Maybe this is what you are looking for: Never Combine, Hide Labels.

  1. Go to your taskbar properties and set Taskbar Buttons to "Never Combine".
  2. Launch REGEDIT and navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ControlPanel\Desktop\WindowMetrics
  3. Create a new String Value and call it MinWidth.
  4. Modify the string properties and set the value to 56.
  5. Restart your computer, and now Windows 7 will never combine icons, but it will also hide the labels.

I have not tried it myself, but it looks promising

  • That does look promising. I'll go try it. – Caleb Jares May 31 '12 at 16:32
  • Great! This is terrific! Just what I was looking for. – Caleb Jares May 31 '12 at 16:38
  • This solution works, but it's a hack. If your inner purist doesn't agree for such dirty solutions, try the one provided by @user272907 below. – gronostaj Nov 10 '13 at 13:39

Do yourself a favor and just get 7+ Taskbar Tweaker. It lets you achieve desired effect without registry hacks by patching Windows on-the-fly. It has many other configuration options that you may like.

Program window screenshot by its developer.

  • Hello and welcome to superuser.com. Your answer seems to be incomplete and does not explain why this tool 7-taskbar-tweaker is a good choice to solve the posters question. When writing answers, write a complete answer describing why the your answer solves the posters problem. In most cases, the problem can still be solved even though the site goes down. Which is not the case in this instance. – Mogget Nov 10 '13 at 9:43

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