Make The Windows 7 Taskbar Perfect

So you’ve finally gotten your hands on Windows 7, but aren’t entirely thrilled with the new taskbar? No problem! Lifehacker has a great set of articles on how to tweak the Windows 7 taskbar to exactly your liking. A couple fixes I simply could no longer live without are…

Display thumbnails instantly when you hover over an icon
By default, there’s about a half second delay between the time you hover over an icon and the time its thumbnail previews popup. This makes your workflow a little less efficient and gets really annoying really fast. The following registry hack will make previews popup instantly!

  1. Run regedit (Windows Key+R, type “regedit”, click OK)
  2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
  3. If it doesn’t exist already, add a new DWORD (32-bit) value named “ExtendedUIHoverTime”
  4. Double click ExtendedUIHoverTime and set the value to the number of milliseconds you want the delay to be. The default is 400, but I prefer setting it to something really small, like 50, for an instant thumbnail preview
  5. To apply the change, restart the computer (or just explorer using task manager)

Left click icons to cycle through active windows:
This one goes hand in hand with the tweak above. By default, left-clicking an icon on the taskbar will popup its thumbnail previews, but now that we have previews showing up instantly on mouse-over, that’s a little redundant. So why not simply have the last window in the icon’s group show up when you left click it instead? Here’s how to do it…

  1. Run regedit (Windows Key+R, type “regedit”, click OK)
  2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
  3. If it doesn’t exist already, add a new DWORD (32-bit) value named “LastActiveClick”
  4. Double click LastActiveClick and set the value to 1
  5. To apply the change, restart the computer (or just explorer using task manager)

As always, be sure to take extra care if you venture into the Windows registry to perform any of these tweaks. If you’re unsure about what you’re doing, stop and get help from someone who knows their way around!

So what’s your favorite Windows 7 hack? Have any tweaks that you can’t live without, or is everything fine right out of the box? Let us know in the comments!

Leave a Reply