In Windows 7, when you hover over an application in your task bar, a preview is generated showing the contents of the application window.

Another option just displays the names of the windows.

Somehow, I've turned off the preview and it only displays the window names. How do I change it back?


4 Answers 4


Right Mouse Click on the taskbar, go to properties and on the first tab, make sure 'Show window previews (thumbnails) is checked.

  • 6
    This looks like vista taskbar properties techiecorner.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/… Where it says "Show window previews". But this looks like Windows 7 taskbar properties beingpc.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/… Notice the Windows 7 one does not have "Show Window previews".
    – barlop
    Dec 6, 2012 at 5:33
  • 1
    @barlop So how to enable this feature?!
    – Dr.jacky
    Jul 6, 2015 at 7:01
  • 1
    @Mr.Hyde Try another answer. The answerer doesn't know one windows version from another, and the questioner doesn't understand when something is or isn't an answer. If you're on Windows Vista try what he wrote and see how it goes. If you're on Windows 7, go for the answer on here like the other two that have 6+ votes
    – barlop
    Jul 6, 2015 at 8:33

Right click on Computer » Properties » Advanced system settings » Advanced tab » Performance settings. Here, uncheck/check 'enable desktop composition'.

This will disable/enable preview of windows on the taskbar.

None of the Aero Peek settings or registry edits work.

WARNING: this will result in many other changes and cannot be easily undone.

  • 3
    Whoa, wait a second there. Enabling/disabling desktop composition will affect many things, not just the taskbar preview. Notably, most Aero-branded effects and flicker prevention when moving windows.
    – Zero3
    Dec 28, 2016 at 17:51

You need to enable Aero

Right click on your desktop -> personalize

Edit : Or you have recently installed an application that dosen't suport Aero, so you can't reenable it.

  • I am using Aero. I think this is what actually happened... something I installed (can't remember now what it was) disabled it. Thanks!
    – y0mbo
    Oct 22, 2009 at 20:30
  • Since I can't answer the question directly, I'll post what worked for me here: Try checking your video card's driver. If the driver is out of date, that'll prevent Aero from drawing the thumbnails. I fixed the problem with a video card update. May 31, 2013 at 21:25
  • More useful information here: mydigitallife.info/… May 31, 2013 at 21:27

For me this was solved by copying (or rather screenshotting) all settings in "personalization", then activating the "Windows 7" theme, applying all settings again and then saving that as a theme.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .