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Windows 7: Taskbar Thumbnail Previews - Enable or Disable


Taskbar Thumbnail Previews - Enable or Disable

How to Enable or Disable Taskbar Thumbnail Previews in Windows 7 and Windows 8
Published by Brink
03 Jan 2010
Published by

How to Enable or Disable Taskbar Thumbnail Previews in Windows 7 and Windows 8

information   Information
The usual method used in Vista to disable the taskbar thumbnail previews does not work in Windows 7 and Windows 8.

This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable the thumbnail previews of open items on the taskbar in Windows 7 and Windows 8.

warning   Warning
In Windows 7, you will need to have a Aero Theme selected and not one of the Basic and High Contrast Themes for taskbar thumbnail previews to display.

Aero Requirements to be Enabled in Windows 7

NOTE: If Aero is not enabled, then taskbar thumbnail previews will not display even when enabled.
  • 1 GHz 32-bit or 64-bit processor
  • 1 GB of system memory
  • Support for DirectX 9 graphics with 128 MB memory (in order to enable Aero theme)
  • You must be have True Color (32 bit) set instead of High Color (16 bit).
  • The desktop composition and Animate controls and elements inside windows options need to be enabled in Visual Effects.
  • The Desktop Window Manager Session Manager and Themes Services need to be set as Started and Automatic.
  • Refresh or update your WEI score. You will need an WEI score minimum of 2.0 in both Graphics & Gaming graphics in order for Aero to be activated.
  • Activate Windows 7.

EXAMPLE: Taskbar Thumbnail Preview
Name:  Example.jpg
Views: 24483
Size:  54.1 KB



OPTION ONE
Enable or Disable Taskbar Thumbnail Previews using "7+ Taskbar Tweaker"

NOTE: This will allow you to enable or disable the taskbar thumbnail previews and list mode using a free program called 7+ Taskbar Tweaker. It is a standalone EXE file, so there is nothing to install. You just run the exe file. The download for it is in a RAR file, so you will also need a program like 7-Zip to open the RAR file and extract the EXE file since Windows 7 does not support opening RAR files by default.
1. Download the 7+ Taskbar Tweaker RAR file for your 32-bit or 64-bit Windows 7 or Windows 8.

2. Extract and run the 7+ Taskbar Tweaker exe file.

3. To Disable Taskbar Thumbnail Previews in Windows 7/8
A) Under Hovering in the Taskbar items section, select (dot) the Nothing option. (see screenshot below step 5)
4. To Enable Taskbar Thumbnail Previews in Windows 7/8
NOTE: This is the default setting.

A) Under Hovering in the Taskbar items section, select (dot) the Show thumbnail preview option. (see screenshot below step 5)
5. Close 7+ Taskbar Tweaker.
Taskbar Thumbnail Previews - Enable or Disable-7-taskbar-tweaker.png




OPTION TWO
Enable or Disable Taskbar Thumbnail Previews by Changing Taskbar Thumbnail and List Mode Threshold

NOTE: Changing the threshold (NumThumbnails value) to 0 will disable taskbar thumbnails, and allow you to still use a Aero theme with a list (list mode) of open windows.
1. For how, see: Change Taskbar Thumbnail and List Mode Threshold in Windows 7 and Windows 8



OPTION THREE
Enable or Disable Taskbar Thumbnail Previews by Changing Theme in Windows 7


Note   Note

PRO: Taskbar thumbnail previews disabled, and you have a list of opened windows for the taskbar item instead.
Name:  Basic_theme.jpg
Views: 23805
Size:  29.7 KB
CON: No Aero theme.
1. To Enable Taskbar Thumbnail Previews in Windows 7
NOTE: If you still want to use a Aero theme and have taskbar thumbnails previews disabled, then see OPTION TWO or OPTION FOUR instead. This is the default setting.
A) Select an Aero Theme in Personalization. (see screenshot below)
Taskbar Thumbnail Previews - Enable or Disable-aero_theme.jpg
2. To Disable Taskbar Thumbnail Previews in Windows 7
A) Select one of the Basic and High Contrast Themes in Personalization. (see screenshot below)
Taskbar Thumbnail Previews - Enable or Disable-themes.jpg



OPTION FOUR
Enable or Disable Taskbar Thumbnail Previews by Changing Thumbnail Display Delay Time

Note   Note
This is more of a workaround instead by setting the taskbar thumbnail preview display time to a long delay time that would effectively be the same as disabling them.

PRO: Taskbar thumbnail previews disabled, and you can have a Aero theme.

CON: You will not even have a list of opened windows for the taskbar items.
Name:  Long_delay_time.jpg
Views: 23636
Size:  22.6 KB
1. To Enable Taskbar Thumbnail Previews in Windows 7/8
NOTE: This is the default setting.
A) Click on the download button below to download the file below.
Default_Taskbar_Thumbnail_Delay_Time.reg
download
B) Go to step 3.
2. To Disable Taskbar Thumbnail Previews in Windows 7/8
NOTE: This sets the delay time to 100000 ms (1000 milliseconds = 1 second) to effectively disable them.
A) Click on the download button below to download the file below.
100000ms_Taskbar_Thumbnail_Delay_Time.reg
download

Taskbar Thumbnail Previews - Enable or Disable-regedit.jpg
3. Save the .reg file to your desktop.

4. Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to merge it.

5. If prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.

6. Log off and log on, or restart the computer to apply the changes.

7. When done, you can delete the downloaded .reg and .zip files if you like.
That's it,
Shawn




Related Tutorials

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03 Jan 2010   #1
Venths

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Thank you. A great Option, many of us and myself have been waiting

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

03 Jan 2010   #2
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

You're welcome Venths.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jan 2010   #3
derekimo

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Pro 64 SP1
 
 

Thank you Shawn, This has been needed quite a bit lately.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jan 2010   #4
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

You're welcome Derek.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2010   #5
ickymay

win7 ultimate / virtual box
 
 

This can also be done in GPedit :
  • Click on Start button and type GPEdit.msc in Search text box, then hit Enter.
    Navigate to User Config -> Administrative Templates -> Start Menu and Taskbar in left pane of Local Group Policy Editor.
    Scroll down to and double click on Turn off taskbar thumbnails in right pane of Local Group Policy editor.
    pick enabled button and click OK to make the change effective.
    Logoff and logon again or restart computer if needed.
    To re-enable Taskbar preview feature in Windows 7, just set the value to Disabled or Not Configured.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2010   #6
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ickymay View Post
This can also be done in GPedit :
  • Click on Start button and type GPEdit.msc in Search text box, then hit Enter.
    Navigate to User Config -> Administrative Templates -> Start Menu and Taskbar in left pane of Local Group Policy Editor.
    Scroll down to and double click on Turn off taskbar thumbnails in right pane of Local Group Policy editor.
    pick enabled button and click OK to make the change effective.
    Logoff and logon again or restart computer if needed.
    To re-enable Taskbar preview feature in Windows 7, just set the value to Disabled or Not Configured.
Hello Ickymay,

Sorry, but this option in gpedit.msc no longer works in Windows 7 even though it is still there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2010   #7
ickymay

win7 ultimate / virtual box
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ickymay View Post
This can also be done in GPedit :
  • Click on Start button and type GPEdit.msc in Search text box, then hit Enter.
    Navigate to User Config -> Administrative Templates -> Start Menu and Taskbar in left pane of Local Group Policy Editor.
    Scroll down to and double click on Turn off taskbar thumbnails in right pane of Local Group Policy editor.
    pick enabled button and click OK to make the change effective.
    Logoff and logon again or restart computer if needed.
    To re-enable Taskbar preview feature in Windows 7, just set the value to Disabled or Not Configured.
Hello Ickymay,

Sorry, but this option in gpedit.msc no longer works in Windows 7 even though it is still there.
oops yes kinda obvious really when it says "supported in Vista only" in the configuration window ! DOH

Oh well there goes my moment of glory
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2010   #8
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

LOL, no problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2010   #9
desolator4u

Win 7 32Bit
 
 

Didn't seem to work for me. By default, when i hover my cursor over the items in my taskbar, I see the full name of that window with an X beside it to close it. I do not get the thumbnail preview. I downloaded and merged the reg file, restarted, nothing changed. I also checked in the registry location, and the ExtendedUIHoverTime key was not added. Could this be because my onboard gfx doesn't support Aero?

~Des
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Taskbar Thumbnail Previews - Enable or Disable





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