Customize your Windows 7 Taskbar?
My friend has a Windows PC with a big screen and his taskbar is double height and full of icons for his favorite apps. Very cool. How can I customize my own Windows taskbar and change what programs or apps are shown?
It's amazing that more people don't know how to modify and customize their Win Taskbar, actually. You're asking about something pretty basic, something that can really help you go much faster on your PC with every favorite program icon on-screen and ready to click. Still, it's amazing how many people have the standard set of icons on their own taskbar, even as they've updated to newer browsers, different media players, and third-party apps like Photoshop or Sony Vegas to get their daily tasks done.
So how do you update the Taskbar? Well, the first step is to become more comfortable right clicking. Really. If you were to right-click on your taskbar, you'd be able to jump right into customization.
But let's take this a step at a time. First off, here's a typical default Taskbar:
As you should doubtless recognize, the leftmost button is the start menu link in Windows 7, the second is Microsoft Internet Explorer, followed by File Navigator and Windows Media Player. Boring. Ho hum.
To start, move your cursor to the very top edge of the taskbar. If it's unlocked you'll see this:
If you have the up-down arrow, click and drag upward and your taskbar will become double high, with space for twice, twice, twice as many icons. Booyah!
If not, then right click on the taskbar and choose "Unlock taskbar" from the menu, then click and drag the top of the taskbar to make it taller.
Next step, let's remove the icon for Internet Explorer (MSIE) from the taskbar. This is done by right-clicking on the icon itself:
If you guessed that we should click on Unpin this program from taskbar, you're right. So do so.
Last step, let's add the icon for Apple's iTunes application to the taskbar too.
I like to do this by finding the program from the Start menu... and to do that, I usually just type in a few letters of the program's name. First, it's a typical start menu:
But once I start typing, it's all replaced by search results, including the program I want to add. Notice I've moved the cursor over it but haven't clicked:
Instead of clicking on the program, right-click on it in the Start menu and you'll find that there are a zillion options available to you:
Choose Pin to Taskbar and it shows up just like the other handy shortcut icons. Good stuff, and with just a few minutes work, you should be able to pin all your favorite apps to your Windows 7 Taskbar and make your PC considerably easier to work with.
When you're done, right click on the Taskbar again and choose "Lock Taskbar".
Done. Nice job.
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