Combine Taskbar buttons in Windows 7?
I was at BestBuy perusing their computers and saw that somehow they have the Windows 7 Taskbar configured differently to me: mine has big, wide buttons for every window I have open, and apps with multiple windows get multiple "grouped" buttons. Their computers, however, have just app icons and neatly stack them for apps with multiple windows. I want. How do I set that up on my Windows PC?
There ya go, another benefit to exploring stores that sell computers even if you aren't actually in the market for one: stumbling upon apps and configuration changes that can make your own computer work better, look better, or help you be more efficient with your work or other activity. Smart.
Turns out that there are a bunch of different ways you can configure your Microsoft Windows 7 (aka "win7") Taskbar depending on your preferences, where the buttons have text or not, and whether they "stack" or not.
It's all done from the "Properties" option on the Taskbar menu that you can get by right-clicking anywhere on the Taskbar itself.
Well, let me show you...
First off, here's my Taskbar with the default Win7 settings:
Notice how the different windows from the Paint program are grouped (that is, they're edge-to-edge) unlike the Bing and Windows Media Player buttons.
To change it, right-click on a blank spot on the Taskbar. You'll get this menu:
Choose "Properties" and you'll zip to the "Taskbar and Start Menu Properties" window:
The key item to examine is the "Taskbar buttons" menu, with its three options:
Also have a look at the checkbox labeled "Use small icons". Turn that on, let Windows combine buttons any time, and here's what you'll see:
Very cool! Worried you won't know what's what? If you also check the "Use Aero Peek to preview the desktop" button, you'll get these slick little thumbnails when you move your cursor over a button:
As you can imagine, there are a couple of different combinations to experiment with, so make a change, click "Apply" and see what you think. When you've got it set up the way you prefer -- whether it's the "BestBuy configuration" or not :-) -- just click "OK" and you'll have that configuration locked in for the future too.
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