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Increase the size of Taskbar Preview Thumbnails in Windows 7

Taskbar thumbnail previews are incredibly useful in Windows 7, but for some users they may be too small.  Here’s a tool to help you make your taskbar thumbnail previews just like you want them.

A few years ago we featured a tool to increase the size of your thumbnail previews in Windows Vista, but unfortunately this application doesn’t work correctly in Windows 7.  However, there is a new tool for Windows 7 that lets you customize your taskbar thumbnail previews even more in Windows 7.  With it, you can change almost anything about your taskbar thumbnail previews.  The default taskbar thumbnails are nice, but may be too small for users with vision problems or with very high resolution monitors.  Whatever your need, this is a great tool to make the thumbnails looks and work just like you want.

Let’s get started

Download the Windows 7 Taskbar Thumbnail Customizer (link below), and unzip the files.  Run the Windows 7 Taskbar Thumbnail Customizer when you’re done.  Simply double-click on it; you don’t need to run it as administrator.

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Now, you change the size, spacing, margin, and delay time of your taskbar thumbnails.  The Delay Time setting is very handy; to speed things up, we set it to 0 so there’s no delay between when you mouse-over a taskbar icon to when you see the thumbnail.  Simply drag the slider to the size (or time in the delay settings) you want, and click Apply settings.  Windows Explorer will automatically restart, and your new taskbar thumbnails will be ready to use.

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Here is the default Windows 7 thumbnail preview of a video playing in Media player:

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And here’s the taskbar thumbnail enlarged to 380px.  Now you can really watch a video from your taskbar thumbnail.

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The larger taskbar thumbnails show up a little different in Internet Explorer.  It shows a larger preview of your active tab, and smaller previews of your other tabs.  Notice also that Aero peek shows the tab you’re hovering over in Internet Explorer, but the tab name in IE’s toolbar doesn’t change to the one you’re previewing.

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Here we increased the width between the thumbnails, while keeping the thumbnails at their default size.  This could be useful if you have trouble selecting the correct preview, and we can imagine it would be a very useful modification on touch screens.

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And, if you ever take your changes too far, and want to revert to your default Windows 7 taskbar thumbnail previews, simply run the Customizer again and select Restore Defaults.  Windows Explorer will restart again, and your taskbar thumbnails will be back to their default settings.

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Conclusion

This tool makes it safe and easy to change the size, spacing, and more of your taskbar thumbnail previews.  And since you can always revert to the default settings, you can experiment without fear of messing up your computer.  If you’d prefer to change the settings manually without using a dedicated application, here’s a list of the registry changes you can make to accomplish this by hand.

Link

Download the Windows 7 Taskbar Thumbnail Customizer from The Windows Club

Vista Users: Increase Size of Windows Vista Taskbar Previews

Matthew digs up tasty bytes about Windows, Virtualization, and the cloud, and serves them up for all to enjoy!

  • Published 04/7/10

Comments (8)

  1. SquareWheel

    Are there equivalent reg hacks that we can use? I hate using tweaking apps for something that’s built into Windows. If this is a background process, I’d avoid it anyway.

  2. SquareWheel

    Read the finishing paragraph, nevermind me.

  3. TomAmitai

    The download link above does not work. An administrator posted a message on their forum stating that they do not allow direct links to their downloads:
    http://forum.thewindowsclub.com/forum-announcements-feedback/30690-twc-will-prevent-hotlinking-its-freeware-release-download-files.html

  4. Matthew Guay

    @TomAmitai – Thanks for mentioning this; I was not aware of the policy before. The link is corrected now and points to the page that offers the download. Sorry for any problems or confusion this may have caused!

  5. Austin

    Here is the registry tweak for doing this.

    Open Regedit & navigate to the following location:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ Taskband
    In the RHS panel, create a DWORD value named MinThumbSizePx.
    Right click MinThumbSizePx and select Modify. Set its decimal value to say, 300.
    Exit the Registry Editor & Logoff > Logon.

  6. Bryan

    If we’re just changing registry settings for sizes and spacing, why does the Aero peek behavior change for IE?

  7. Omi Azad

    Now this is what I call a useful tool :)

  8. JAA

    i can do in windows 7 starter

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