on Windows 7/8 it was possible to 'never combine, hide labels' with the minwidth registry hack. However on Windows 10 this no longer works.

This is the sole issue preventing me from using Win10 on my primary desktop. (I have been using it for months on my 'play' computer)

I was wondering whether it was possible to monitor the registry to see if a minwidth equivalent key is being read. Using process monitor it will report what keys were attempted to be read, even if they didn't exist.

The problem is getting process monitor to monitor the explorer process as the user is logging in. (I attempted to create a boot log, but I couldn't get it to load - it had an error that I forget now)

I tried auditing the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics\ key, but that just says that an attempt was made to read, it doesn't report what was attempted to be read. i.e. it says WindowsMetrics was read, rather than MinWidth was read.

So my questions are...

Is this a course of action that might yield a suitable registry hack for minwidth on 10?

How can you use process monitor to log the explorer login process (or some other tool that will report attempted key reads)

If this doesn't work, is the taskbar api accessible enough to create a small program that would perform this task

(I'm not looking for a shell replacement, I like win 10 shell! - I'm just looking for a minwidth fix)


I don't have Windows 10, but the free 7+ Taskbar Tweaker is supposed to have this tweak.

Set the taskbar properties to "Always combine, hide labels", then in taskbar tweaker set Combining to "Don’t combine". You can also configure this option per application.


  • This works! It does bother that its an application running, but working is definitely a bonus! I'm going to leave it open for a couple more days, in the hope that someone comes up with a registry fix, but I suspect this will be the solution.
    – Michael B
    Aug 23 '15 at 13:32
  • You could use Process Monitor to capture the changes, likely to be in the registry.
    – harrymc
    Aug 23 '15 at 15:07
  • I tried this (see above), unfortunately it is read as explorer is loading, and boot logging doesn't seem to be working on win10! (or at least my version)
    – Michael B
    Aug 23 '15 at 18:16
  • Unfortunately the author of 7+ Taskbar Tweaker (also called Michael) does not wish to make it open-source.
    – harrymc
    Aug 23 '15 at 19:03
  • Since there's not a better answer! - have some points
    – Michael B
    Aug 26 '15 at 14:17

Go to taskbar setting in Windows 10.

enter image description here

Select Always, hide labels

enter image description here

Viola!! here is your answer.

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