Now I love good design and stunning aesthetics as much as the next guy, but there comes a point when just because something looks cool, doesn’t mean it’s functional or even desirable. If you’re anything like me, you work with about 500 different programs and messenger windows open at one time in your taskbar. Microsoft thought they would be clever and try to solve this problem by nesting similar programs together like this:
So pretty much, say you have 20 separate instances open of internet explorer, what you would do is hover over the internet explorer icon and after about a second of waiting (yeah, it doesn’t seem like that long, but it adds up) it pops up the little bubble that shows all of the windows you have open. Update: Right here our friendly neighborhood AssHat pointed out that “OMGZ you don’t have to hover over it you can just CLICK IT you noob!” (or something to that effect). I know that you don’t have to hover over it, the whole point I’m trying to make is that whether it’s a hover, or a click, it’s just one unnecessary hurdle to jump to get to the window you want to open. Some users may like this feature (particularly noob users, no offense), but I find it terribly annoying. It makes me think about what I’m doing every single time, and that’s not a good thing. So, you’re probably saying to yourself “Jeremy, you’re the noob. You can just go to the taskbar properties and just use the “never combine” feature.” Alright, so let us do that.
Now you’ll get one icon for the program, then a little bar that is supposed to show particular instances of that open application. One bar per instance. The bar doesn’t even show the program icon, or a label for it. I would show a screenshot of what I’m talking about, but I’m too lazy to edit the registry to back to what it used to be before I fixed it.
As a side note, it seems that I’m the only one on the internet that is having this problem. Everyone else seems to be seeing this when they use the “never combine” feature (if you do too, let me know in the comments):
Well, I couldn’t ever get my taskbar to show like that so I had to do some googling around. I found this post that describes a simple registry hack that will allow you to have the taskbar show both the icon of the program as well as the label for the instance that is open!
LABEL PLUS ICONS FOR WINDOWS 7 TASKBAR
So pretty much all you have to do to get your taskbar to look like this:
is open your registry editor (search your computer for “regedit”) and do the following:
Add a string called “MinWidth” to “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics” and set to 54 then restart.
However, for me the MinWidth string was already there, so I just modified the value from what it was (-245 I think) to 54. Then restart your computer.
In conclusion, I have no idea how I dealt with the annoying standard windows 7 Taskbar for so long. When you’re working with 20 different spreadsheets at one time, it just doesn’t make sense to hover over the excel icon, only to see a little preview of the window. I’d much rather just click it and open it.
Do you agree with me on this? Did this post make you want to change your taskbar to be cool like mine? I really want to know if I’m just crazy, or if the standard hover-over taskbar in windows 7 blows.