Week in Geek: Windows 7 Taskbar’s Last Window Trick Edition

Note: This article is part of our archive and is likely out of date.
(Links may not work, downloads have not been recently tested for safety)

By Lowell Heddings on May 29th, 2009

The taskbar button grouping feature is nothing new in Windows 7, and it’s still very irritating if you want to quickly switch between multiple windows of the same type. But Windows 7 makes it better.

To explain: Normally, when you click on a taskbar icon that has multiple open windows, you’ll see the popup previews for all of them, and then have to switch between them… which can quickly get tedious if you are repeatedly switching between the same windows.


But… if you hold down the Ctrl key while you click the button, you’ll immediately be taken to the last window of that type that you had open. (If you continue to click the button while holding the Ctrl key down, Windows 7 will cycle through all the windows of that type.)

As an example, imagine you have three Chrome windows open, and 15 instances of Notepad, but you only want to switch back and forth between two of the open windows. You can simply hold the Ctrl key while clicking on the Chrome icon, and then hold the Ctrl key while clicking on the Notepad icon—alternating between them is easy.

And before you ask, sure… you could close some windows, use Alt+Tab, use Aero Snap to split the screen, or any number of other methods of switching between them. The point is that this little trick can be a huge time-saver when you just want to get back to the last window that you were using.

Weekly Stuff for Your Random Clicking Enjoyment

Good News, Everyone! I spent all week slaving over a hot bookmarking stove, so you better enjoy them. Or install a wormhole in the table.

Reviews and Such

Mysticgeek pumps out reviews like clockwork. Which makes me wonder, what exactly is that supposed to mean? Clocks… that work? As opposed to the ones only right twice a day? Honestly, some of the phrases in the English language are really quite silly if you stop and think about them.

Trend Micro Anti-Virus plus Anti-Spyware 16

The Good: Effective AntiVirus and Spyware protection with great reporting capabilities

Read the Full Review…

ESET NOD32 Version 3

The Good: Light on system resources with real-time protection at an affordable price

Read the Full Review…


The Good: Easily encrypts certain text in documents that needs to stay confidential

Read the Full Review…


The Daily Articles

Here’s the daily articles for the short week. I’m sleepy, so… insert witty phrase here.

Editor’s Weekly Note

We’d like to welcome Daniel Gilbert as a new writer—you might have noticed that he wrote the Real Media and the Dvorak articles earlier this week. He’s an excellent writer and we’re very happy to have him onboard.

In a weird twist of fate, we also have a new intern with the same first name: Daniel Lyell, who has been doing some great stuff behind the scenes so far—we’ll be showing off some of his hard work next week. Welcome aboard, both of you!

Next week, we’ll be showing off yet another new writer…

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 05/29/09
More Articles You Might Like

Enter Your Email Here to Get Access for Free:

Go check your email!