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Windows 7: Changing window selection behavior in the taskbar

16 Nov 2009   #1
akadmon

Windows 7 Pro (64-bit)
 
 
Changing window selection behavior in the taskbar

When you click on (or hover above) an icon of an active program that has multiple windows open, a "bar" containing representations of these open windows pops up, which forces me to then decide which one to click on, even though in 99% of the cases I want to go to the one I was working in last ( I think this is true of how most people work). To accomplish this, I have to hold CTRL when clicking on the program icon in the taskbar. Is there a way to reverse this behavior? In other words, I would like CTRL+click to bring up the window selection "bar", and a single click (with no modifier key pressed) to take me to the last window I was working in.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Nov 2009   #2
akadmon

Windows 7 Pro (64-bit)
 
 

Yay! I got the guys stumped! Either that or all you SF gurus are still busy working on a solution
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2009   #3
MrJukes

 

Create HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced!LastActiveClick=1 and restart explorer. This will swap the ctrl+click behavior to be the default.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Nov 2009   #4
nuspieds

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Cool! It works!

Thanks for the fix. This should have been the default in the first place.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2009   #5
MrJukes

 

Touch users would not have been happy with that default.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2009   #6
akadmon

Windows 7 Pro (64-bit)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MrJukes View Post
Create HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced!LastActiveClick=1 and restart explorer. This will swap the ctrl+click behavior to be the default.
Thanks! Unfortunately, I know squat about making changes to the Registry. How do I do this?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Nov 2009   #7
MrJukes

 

Launch regedit.exe
Navigate in the left tree control to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
Go to Edit->New->DWORD (32-bit) Value
Name the value LastActiveClick
Hit enter to assign the value and change it to 1
Restart explorer and you're good to go.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Nov 2009   #8
Mark

Windows 7 Ultimate Vista Ultimate x64
 
 

For anyone who doesn't want to do this themselves I made a Registry Hack to enable or disable this feature.


Attached Files
File Type: reg Last Active Click Enable.reg (2.7 KB, 1204 views)
File Type: reg Last Active Click Disable.reg (2.7 KB, 799 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Nov 2009   #9
akadmon

Windows 7 Pro (64-bit)
 
 

Thanks, it works! I had to reboot to get it to stick though -- don't know any other way to restart Explorer. How do I put a check mark on this thread? You guys deserve to be recognized for the work you did.

This is really a neat trick. I'm shocked MSFT did not included this as an option in the taskbar properties panel. I'm willing to bet most people would prefer this (single click taking you to the last window you were in) to be the default behavior.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Nov 2009   #10
Jonathan_King

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by akadmon View Post
Thanks, it works! I had to reboot to get it to stick though -- don't know any other way to restart Explorer. How do I put a check mark on this thread? You guys deserve to be recognized for the work you did.

This is really a neat trick. I'm shocked MSFT did not included this as an option in the taskbar properties panel. I'm willing to bet most people would prefer this (single click taking you to the last window you were in) to be the default behavior.
To restart Explorer without rebooting, open the task manager (Ctrl-Alt-Del) and end the Explorer.exe process. Then create a new task and type "explorer.exe".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Changing window selection behavior in the taskbar




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