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Windows 7: Vista style thumbnail previews in Win 7

26 Jul 2010   #1

Vista style thumbnail previews in Win 7

Hello all. I am about to upgrade from Vista to Windows 7. I have used Win 7 a lot on other PCs, and there is one thing I hate about it. That is the new thumbnail previews/task bar. I just want one, non-interactive thumbnail preview.

To better explain myself in a wall of text:

1) Disable all interactive features of the thumbnail previews. I want it to be like Vista, where the preview can only give you a preview. For example: In Win 7, if you have two Firefox windows minimized, and you were to hold your cursor over the minimized window for too long, the preview will pop up. Problem is, if you accidentally move your cursor over this preview, then it will stay there, covering up your screen, and fade back and fourth between the two Firefox windows.

I do not want this. I just want a 3D preview, no fading back and fourth, and I do not want the option to select what windows I want maximized. I just want the preview, no interactive features.

2) The next thing I would like to change about the thumbnail previews is for it to preview only the thing that my mouse cursor is over. An example: Say I have two instances of Vegas 8 running, both minimized. Say I want to preview one window, so I move my mouse cursor over it. In Win 7, both windows will appear in a preview.

But, all I want to see is a preview of the window my mouse cursor is hovering over, not the other one (s).

To better illustrate my point, I made an image. I am referring to the parts boxed in red.

I just want one, non-interactive thumbnail preview.

Another thing that kind of annoys me:

When I maximize a window in Win 7, the top of the window and the taskbar are still transparent/translucent. It just looks cluttered and less sleek when I can see folders in the background at the top of my screen. The point of maximizing a window is to focus purely on it, and not the background. At least for me.

So if I could make the top of the window and the taskbar solid when maximized, that would be great to.

I really, really would like to make this like Vista. IMO, the new system is slow, cluttered, and gets in the way. Those extra big thumbnails that can span the entire taskbar just get in the way when I am working in Vegas. It would be ok if I could just move my cursor above it, but then I often get stuck in the "fade between windows" feature.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jul 2010   #2

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit

Honestly, it sounds like you are happy with Vista. The changes you note were made for the people that didn't like how things were before.

1) either don't put you mouse over the preview or move your mouse away from it. The enlarged preview will go away almost immediately. Its not that bad really. Its bothered me while doing stuff a couple times, but its one of those things you get used to

2) The default is for tumbnails to be combined on the taskbar, hence the change, not showing the programs as they were back in XP (don't know how they were is vista). For people that use the default, this is an absolute necessity. I don't know of a way to disable it, but really, aren't we nitpicking here. I agree they should have made it where, if they are not combined, you shouldn't see it that way. That is why we have a "What I hate about Windows 7" thread. For nitpicking.

3) The new Aero effects can only be disabled by using the basic theme in 7. I also don't see why you want that to be as it used to be. Personally, I think the new style is cool. If it bothers you, use basic, or don't place something right behind the top of the maximized Windows.

If the new look and feel of 7 bothers you that much, stick with Vista. You can make some changes so its not so much of a resource hog, many services can be switched to manual and you can make it where only the essential programs run at start-up. I'm sure if you take a look at Vista Forums, our sister site, you can find tutorials and help on how to do these things. It sounds like you don't like the new GUI at all, so why not stick with what you like?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jul 2010   #3

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit

Also, there are other changes from Vista to 7 you might not have noticed yet. So you are fully informed before making a decision, look at this:
List of features removed in Windows 7 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
My System SpecsSystem Spec

26 Jul 2010   #4


I just don't like the UI (well, and maybe Windows Media Player 12, but I use VLC anyways). Aside from that, I like Win 7. Seems to be better in most respects aside from the UI (again, IMO).

I also already bought my copy months ago.

So I am guessing there is no way to make the thumbnails like Vista? An option to revert back wouldn't have hurt anyone IMO.

Do you know of any custom UIs for Win 7? I am guessing that someone should be able to make it Vista style? Shouldn't be too hard. I would if I could, but I really would not know where to start!

Thanks for the replies though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jul 2010   #5

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit

I'd google it. I've only seen the opposite. It seems like a lot more people like the chances than dislike it, but it is all a matter of opinion. Also, for the Aero problem. I just thought about the fact that you can increase the color intensity, which will make it harder to see through the transparent parts of different Windows. You still can a little bit, but its almost unnoticeable. You can also turn of Aero Peak to fix problem number 1, which I must admit I also forgot . I can't find a way to make the previews uncombined however. I'm sorry I forgot those things before, as it would have been more helpful to you in the first place. I never change them, so it is hard to remember all of it. Also, there is a way to get quick launch toolbar back if you need to. Just look in the tutorial section of the site.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jul 2010   #6


No problem.

How would I go about changing the speed on the thumbnails disappearing? I guess the main thing I don't like is that they tend to sit there longer then on Vista. In Vista, by default, the preview disappears near instantly when you move your cursor off of it.

When I used Win 7, it always has a longer delay.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jul 2010   #7

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit

I see what you mean. If I move my mouse over it, it sits there for maybe a second, otherwise it goes away immediately. You might be able to do it playing with the other visual effects, like may be turning the fading in and out off. The main thing with Windows 7 is to play with it. After a while you can get things how you like it and there are some great tutorials on here.

Unfortunately, some changes must be simply tolerated. When I first installed the Windows 7 RC back in June 09, it took less than an hour for me to notice that one of the options for what the power button does was missing from XP. In XP you could make the computer ask you what you wanted to do when you pressed the power button. In 7, it can only be set to do one thing at a time, and you can't make it ask you. I immediate wrote to MS about it, but as it was a RC, not a beta, it was too late to change it. It annoys me to this day, but I tolerate it because the benefits out way the losses.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Vista style thumbnail previews in Win 7

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