How-To Geek

Make the Windows 7 Taskbar Work More Like Windows XP or Vista

The single most visible change in Windows 7 is the new “dock style” taskbar, which shows icons instead of buttons, with all application windows combined within a single button. I’m quite certain that the very first question many people will have is “How do I turn it off?”, and this article will show you how.

Note that I’m not advocating going backwards, I’m a fan of the new style and think you should give it a chance… but we’re all about giving you options, so here we go…

For those that haven’t already read our coverage of the Windows 7 Beta, this is what the new taskbar looks like:

Windows 7 Taskbar  

Changing the Windows 7 Taskbar to XP/Vista Style

To revert back to the older style, the first thing you’ll need to do is right-click on any open area of the taskbar and choose Properties from the menu.

Windows 7 Taskbar Properties Menu

From the Taskbar buttons drop-down menu, you’ll want to choose “Never combine”, which will make every window show up as a separate button on the taskbar, or you could choose “Combine when taskbar is full”, which does just like it says.

Windows 7 Taskbar Properties

Now you should see the buttons show up with text labels like you are probably used to… but in the Windows 7 style.

Windows 7 Taskbar Hover

If you chose the “Use small icons” checkbox in the properties screen, the taskbar will actually shrink down to look very similar to Vista.

Windows 7 Taskbar Hover Small

The only problem is that the “pinned” icons are still sitting on the taskbar, which isn’t the same as Vista or XP, but you can easily remove all of them by right-clicking and choosing “Unpin this program from taskbar”.

Windows 7 Un-Pin

And now the taskbar looks and works very similarly to Windows Vista:

Windows 7 Taskbar Unpinned

If you wanted to be really silly, you can choose the “Windows Classic” theme under the Desktop \ Personalize section… but that would be taking it a little too far, I think.

 Windows 7 Classic Theme Silliness

I strongly urge you to at least give the new Windows 7 taskbar a try… it takes a little getting used to, but it’s really a nice move forward. Does the new “dock style” taskbar work for you? Tell us in the comments.

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 01/20/09

Comments (339)

  1. Fird

    I love the new Windows 7 taskbar, been on the beta since the release. When I was at the office (on vista) I always wished I can make it work like Windows 7’s! It’s very intuitive!

  2. Juliana Peña

    This was the first thing I did after I installed 7. I don’t like the new Dock feature at all, I like to be able to see the titles of all my windows at once. It’s great that this settting exists. I like my Windows to look like Windows. If I really wanted a dock, I’d use Mac.

    All ranting aside, that’s the only thing I don’t like about the new taskbar. Pinning programs and the new aero previews are really cool features. So, by changing the settings for a more “classic” taskbar, you get the best of both worlds. ;)

  3. rand2826

    I hate the dock style taskbar. Give me the windows style quick launch buttons and taskbar.

  4. nick

    I’m 110% for the new style taskbar. It’s about time this was implemented. It cleans up the area nicely, and contrary to what some reviewers have said, it’s not confusing at all. It’s visually clear what programs are open, and if there are windows associated with it.

  5. Karan

    I feel the new dock-style taskbar is awesome! I find it very useful. It’s the best advancement in windows. Windows users have to adapt their habits to this new taskbar. But, it’s worth it.
    It has a lots of cool new features such as loading is displayed on taskbar button itself. So, one doesn’t need to check back installation or any other progress repeatedly.

  6. Corey

    I like the new taskbar. it is just way too big by default. ‘use small icons’ and I love it.

  7. Joe

    The new taskbar is excellent! I want to see two things, however. 1 is proper multimonitor support. Microsoft has said in the past that they didn’t include a multimonitor spanning bar because there are so many ways to do it. I say, pick a default, and give us options like Ultramon does! (Here’s hoping Realtime Soft is better about UltraMon this OS cycle…Vista support is STILL beta. Not what I want for my $40)

    2 is that I’d love to see added support for applications to control the previews, so we can have each tab show on mouseover in Opera or Firefox, and not just IE.

    3) Ok, so 3 things, is the recent documents. I don’t want it to be a universal on-off switch, but controllable by application. As any male, teenage and onwards, will tell you, the recent used list is great for word, and for most things…but we don’t want it for our media player.

  8. whs

    The new taskbar is OK. But what I really miss, is the Quick Launch behind the chevrons. In Vista, I stash so many programs behind those chevrons, if I would put them into the W7 taskbar, I would have a serious “overflow” situation. I think they should give us the Toolbars > Quicklaunch option back (I mean the hidden kind).

  9. jd2066

    As someone who has yet to download the beta, here are the problems I see with the new taskbar:
    1. What about people who have multiple shortcuts to the same program?
    I have 3 VNC Viewer shortcuts that launch VNC Viewer to a certain computer and port.
    At first I had them in a popup folder under the Quick Launch by using Free Launch Bar and now I use the Desktop Sidebar toolbar to display them.
    I’m wondering if Windows 7 will treat shortcuts to the same program with different command lines as different taskbar entries or the same ones.

    2. Taskbar grouping.
    In Windows XP/Vista the grouping is according to program and that doesn’t make any sense to me as I use different programs for a task.
    If I’m working on my web site I could have an SSH terminal open, a Windows Explorer window open and a web browser open and it would make sense to have those grouped together.
    Just because I have a Windows Explorer window for my documents and one for my web site doesn’t mean they should be grouped together.
    I don’t see anything the screen shots that shows the grouping is any different then Windows XP/Vista.

    3. Taskbar Button Combos.
    It seems like to get the shortcut/running program combo buttons on the taskbar, one needs to fill up the Quick Launch folder with shortcuts which seems to be a problem if I keep my shortcuts elsewhere like the sidebar as listed above but I suppose if the button combos are done right I may want to move some shortcuts back to the Quick Launch.

    In summery: Because I haven’t tried the Windows 7 beta (due to being busy with other tasks), I may be missing something. It could also be that the combo buttons work great but the grouping is still a problem like I listed in which case I think Microsoft is going in the wrong direction with the taskbar as I think the grouping should be by task.
    It seems to me that most people would want grouping by task too but maybe it’s just me.
    I would be happy to read what others have to say about how they want things grouped.

  10. 0zSpitt

    my only complaint about windows7, and it’s nitpicky, is the taskbar is too thick. even when i use small icons. it just makes the icons harder to see and the taskbar only thins out by a few lines. but, i would 100% use windows7. even now i would consider it over linux.

  11. Dean

    I found this link while trying to find how to make my Windows Vista taskbar look like Windows 7. I am running Windows 7 as a dual boot, I would like my Vista machine to look like 7, I think anyone who has gotten used to the new taskbar wouldn’t want to go back. It is different, I think some people are just scared of different. I had already found out how to change it back to a Vista feel, I didn’t even try it, I knew I didn’t want it.

    But this is good for anyone out there who doesn’t like the new taskbar.

    Also I agree with some who thinks it is a little Linux inspired, but it is still very much a Windows Taskbar.

  12. InDiSent

    I like it so far…..takes some getting used to. I don’t see the point in trying out the BETA version or even getting it when it is released if you’re not gonna at least try out the new features.

  13. Miguel

    I love the new taskbar, there are many other ways to get to ur favorite applications if you just know how. I am in no denial for change as long as it’s for better and this is much better than the clutter on vista/xp. I used to hate when the windows of the same application would group because it was harder to get to them but now with this new windows you can just get that little windows preview by leaving the mouse on the button or just press windows button+tab and scroll around ur windows (which is pretty too:D)

  14. Andrew Shell

    I’m downloading the beta right now. I’m not looking forward to the new taskbar, in XP and Vista I’ve always reverted everything back to classic mode. Call me strange, but I really like the Win 2K style. I’m sure I’ll learn to accept the new taskbar but I’m wondering how it works when docked to the side of the screen (instead of the bottom). I have a workflow that has been really fantastic for me with quicklinks at the top, normal taskbar buttons in the middle, then I have a custom taskbar pointing at a “working” folder then the systray and clock at the bottom. One of the reasons I didn’t stick with Linux is that all the window managers I tried either didn’t support or broke this functionality. I just don’t understand this push to fancy 3d, transparent animated user interfaces. I don’t think it really adds much to the experience. I gave up on my iMac for any real work because I found the dock to be impossible to work with. Then again this is coming from the guy that has firefox skinned to look like Netscape 4. hehe.

  15. Martin Gifford

    I hate the new taskbar. I want to see which documents are open all at once without having to alt/tab all the time. This needs to be an option in Windows 7. But I also want the quick launch ability. So MS needs to have a classic mode but keep the rest of the eye candy. It’s actually a dealbreaker for me without it. Unbelievably, I’d stick to Vista! I never thought I’d say that!

    For those who say it’s resistance to change, I disagree. It depends on how you work. I like a lot of things about Windows 7 – mainly the eye candy, and speed.

    For those who say you shouldn’t want to go back when you’re testing a beta, the point is to try the beta and see what you like and dislike, and say what you like and dislike.

  16. Kirb

    If I wanted a dock, I would be using OSX.

    The new dockbar is an eyesore and a pain to work with. The large icons are distracting and don’t offer enough information at a glance. The XP/Vista taskbar is fast, efficient and familiar.
    It seems to me that they’re messing with a tried and true formula simply to justify marketing their new version.

    I’m not certain why this change is needed. What I wouldn’t give for a windows XP that had the invisible infrastructure and worthwhile changes of Windows 7.

  17. Juan

    I dont like the windows 7 taskbar. for example when i use windows live messenger… the program has to open 3 tasks!! it has two tasks for the main window I DONT KNOW WHY! and one for the instant messeges…

    the windows xp and vista taskbar is wayyyyyyy better!!!!!!!

  18. Max

    From using it on a machine at work, I can safely say I hate the new dock (taskbar).

    Why they think mixing up shortcuts for opening new instances of an application with buttons to access already running instances is a good idea is beyond me.

    People talk of ‘clutter’ under xp, what clutter?
    If you choose to install applications that fill up the system tray that’s not the XP design paradigms fault, its the user’s for installing the apps or not disabling the system tray icon.

    My system tray has 4 icons (antivirus, IM, Bittorrent client and audio control), all are applications that do not often require their respective windows to be open very often at all (exactly why they having small system tray icons makes more sense than constantly having a minimized button on taskbar).

    When you install applications you can choose where to place shortcuts, so if people have duplication on their desktop and quick launch it is both their own choice and incredibly easy to delete the redundant shortcuts.

    Any decent application that puts an icon in the system tray as well as having a taskbar button can be configured to remove one or the other.

    The visual changes are fine with me, the functionality is a huge step backwards IMO.

    Its about choice.

    Quite frankly they can mess it up however they like, so long as i can set it back to a double height, auto-hide taskbar, with one row being small icon shortcuts, and the other being buttons with text to select between open instances of apps.

    There really should be a simple way to get back the XP layout of things for all explorer functionality; having the file|edit|view etc drop-down menus back where they should be at the top as well as the start menu for example.

    I’ll get used to the colours and icon for the start menu etc being different in no time, so long as I can keep the functionality that works best for me.

    If they can make changes that actually benefit me then that’s great, change for the sake of change or to give a ‘modern look’ does not entice me.

    Its a lot like 2k to XP, the look is nicer/more modern, but I always disable ‘group similar taskbar buttons’, set it to windows classic folders etc. The changes all seem to be designed to appeal to people who dont really like or understand computers, and need to be spoon-fed directions every time they perform a task because they have no real understanding of the system.

    That is not progress in my book, its UI paradigm regression.

  19. Martin Gifford

    Further to my previous comment…

    When programmers change the most commonly used item of the interface, they have to give you the opportunity to revert to the old way.

    The reason Microsoft and Windows gets so much attention is that for many of us it is our primary work tool. We use for many hours each day. So to change the most commonly used part of our work tool without giving us the option of going back to the old way is very intrusive and unfair, especially for a company that is almost a monopoly.

  20. neil

    I hate thw new taskbar., I tried and tried and tried, but after 5 days I give up, back to Vista for me, also I am am sick of IE8 locking up one window it is almost un usable,

    Just my 10 cents

  21. Diamond Max

    in vista, xp, millennium, 2000, 98, 97 you could put that bar anywhere you want it, in windows 7 i m only able to put it in the task bar which is rather pointless, is their any way to reposition individual tool bars to various sides of the screen,

    my usual setup on all previous versions of windows has been like this, my computer bar on the top of the monitor, desktop bar on the right side, i haven’t found a way o do this on win7 yet, any ideas.

  22. AdvancedK9

    “in vista, xp, millennium, 2000, 98, 97 you could put that bar anywhere you want it, in windows 7 i m only able to put it in the task bar which is rather pointless, is their any way to reposition individual tool bars to various sides of the screen,

    my usual setup on all previous versions of windows has been like this, my computer bar on the top of the monitor, desktop bar on the right side, i haven’t found a way o do this on win7 yet, any ideas.”

    Just drag the Taskbar to the side of the screen you prefer.

  23. nyc

    i hate windows 7 taskbar vista taskbar look bettler with the small icon in the quickluncg???

  24. ggrussell

    Hope, hate it! I can’t launch more than one instance of an application in Win7. In fact, there isn’t much I like at all about Win7. Just warmed over Vista themes which I dislike a lot! Why does Microsoft make it so difficult for user to alter or make their own themes. And I’m not talking about wallpaper and changing the transparency colors. I mean REALLY change the UI. I ‘might’ could tolerate Vista with a different UI or ‘Visual Style’. Windows 7 – a good reason to start looking seriously at linux!

  25. ggrussell

    Oh yeah, Win 7 Media Center has Waaaaaaaaaay too much eye candie. It totally bogs down my Dual Core 3Ghz CPU. Watching TV with my Hauppauge analog tuner is very jerky and Win7 Media Center doesn’t seem to be compatible with my HP Media Center remote control. When I press the STOP button on the remote control to stop a recording, it goes to the TV Guide without stopping the recording. ?? I was told that pressing the Record button again will stop it. Go figure! Why on earth would they change the function of the button on the remote?????????????

  26. loof

    what i really prefer about xp and vista’s taskbars is the fact that you can fairly easily change the look from, say, default xp to win2k style, and you can essentially make the start bar look how you want, you can easily add quicklaunch/custom application launch bars. I personally prefer smaller icons and text on them naming the window or directory or shell or whatever, the oversized icons don’t show that at a glance and that loss of easily available info is a detriment (for me). i prefer to have tons and tons of concurrent windows/apps running, so the fact that win7 is aimed more at having under say, 7 separate apps running, isn’t preferable (imo). i really wish microsoft had released their icons with an even smaller icon set to make the ui elements smaller while still looking nice (scaling icons in xp makes them look like junk).

  27. sam

    This new Mac look they keep trying to shove down our throats sucks. If I wanted a freaking Mac I would buy one. I work on Macs every day and they SUCK. I want my windows machine to look and feel like a windows machine.

    Vista looked pretty nice, but this new taskbar they have is just plain UGLY. It’s a big step backwards.

  28. Bodestone

    Looks like I am just wading in with agreement here but Having just downloaded the RC of Win 7 I am finding the new taskbar a tad nasty.

    The aero peek is nice, the look is nice but even following the example above the application instances are not truly un-grouped. If I have 4 Firefox windows and 2 explorer windows I cannot have it display 2 FF, an IE, 2 FF and the other IE. Trying to move one instance moves them all.

    The Pin To option looked like a replacement for the quick launch until I realised it is all mixed up with the open items. Generally I have a double height taskbar with the quick launch icons on the bottom row and open windows on the top. This is no longer possible.

  29. Andy Rodgerson

    Not tried 7 yet but have tried vista and loathe it.

    Does anyone know how to get the start menus in 7 behave a bit more like XP – opening sub menus in a new area to the right of the eixsting rather than covering the area to the left?

    I have to say I agree with the comments on dumbing down – you could get the flashy look in XP just by changing default window colours.

    Also- why does microsoft seem to hate menus with words like file, edit, tools etc? In versions up to XP, they were nice and obvious places to look if you needed to change a setting. Compare sound recorder in xp to vista and you’ll see a vastly dumbed down version in vista.

    If you’re part of a helpdesk, it’s far easier to say to someone on the phone “choose Tools-options-” etc than to say “can you click the button that looks like a rabbit’s spleen” or whatever

  30. Matt

    I have been using the Windows 7 RC for a few days now and I have no problems whatsoever with the new taskbar. Infact I get rather disappointed when I use vista and it doesn’t have the same functionality. I have the task bar auto hidden and then if I am looking for an instance of say ie8 you just run the mouse over to it and you get the preview and then if you run your mouse over the previews every other window on the screen goes transparent to show you exactly what window you are about to click. In xp / windows 2000 if you have several ie windows open on the same website and many tabs in each window it was a trial and error method for finding the right window. This was a well thought out move by microsoft for once. People just need to get used to change.

  31. Gabriel

    I installed 7 RC like 2 days with a dual boot with Vista Business 64 and first I didn’t like the taskbar, but after testing it’s functionality is very useful. I love OSX and thought that the dock in 7 wasn’t all that useful compared to Dock+Expos but it really boost productivity.

    I’d recommend to try it for a whole month before giving it a thumb down. Now that I’ve been using 7, I feel that Vista is lacking features.

    Give it a try!

  32. Larry

    I read all of the comments listed before posting and say that Max comes closest to how I feel. While only disagree somewhat on how the newer modern look is really nice visually as it’s time has come, I agree wholeheartedly on all his other points. Although I can get use to the windows7 docking look, I would prefer to revert back to the XP classic ONLY with regard to the menu, because it is much more functional than Windows 7.
    I echo Max’s logic sentiment…”There really should be a simple way to get back the XP layout of things for all explorer functionality; having the file|edit|view etc drop-down menus back where they should be at the top as well as the start menu for example.” There is a good bit of cluster with RC 7’s menu(s), whereas XP’s menu(s) were simple/clean and more logical, espcecially in a work environment.
    Again, I love the newer GUI in most all other areas. I’ve been using the RC 7 for a week and really appreciate how quickly the drivers fell into place on my new Asus netbook (eeepc1000he) – fantastic! My hope is that the final release will put back in the option to revert back to XP for at least the menu options.

  33. danmarkban

    As mentioned by AdvancedK9 above, I am looking for a way to add a toolbar to the taskbar and then be able to move the individual toolbar to any edge of the screen. Ever since 1998, when Microsoft included it in a IE update, I have added the desktop toolbar to the taskbar and then moved only the desktop toolbar to the top edge of the screen. I then would have it auto-hide and remain on top of other programs. With this in place I would turn off show icons on desktop. This kept my desktop clean and free of any icons. When I wanted to select from the desktop icons, I would simply move to the top edge of the screen and my full desktop would appear. After selection, I would move down and the desktop would once again disappear. Again, I have done this for 11 years and I cannot figure out how to do this in Windows 7. I was able to duplicate it in Windows Vista, but can’t remember what I did.

  34. NADEEM

    I want my old Classic Start Menu..

    THis only thing has always made me to stick to windows.

    Because I can Customize is more and it is the most faster way of getting to some programes

  35. Adam

    Seriously I like Windows 7 its great improvement over Vista and something Vista should have been from the get go.

    But YES me too I want Classic Start Menu option back.

  36. Kyle

    While I think the change may work for some people, it doesn’t for me. I’m a web developer and I write all my html, css, etc. in scaled-up version of notepad. In XP I would have a quicklaunch icon for it and whenever i needed a new notepad document i would just click the quicklaunch button. The way it is now, when you open the program it overlaps the icon so I can’t bring up a new window quickly. It’s very annoying.
    Like I said, this works for some people, but for several others it seems like the classic quicklaunch and taskbar would be preferred. Offer both I say!

  37. Joe

    Kyle: Try Shift+Click…

  38. Lukas

    To users like Matt, I respect your choice in commenting how you like Windows 7’s new taskbar, but to say to others ‘just get used to change (in effect – get over it). I work in IT just like most other users on this board/forum. Change happens every day, every hour in the IT industry; but only if its constructinve change. I and other have realized that taking away the critical option of the ‘classic’ taskbar such as is in XP or Vista’s option to revert back to the highly useful and logical and sensible taskbar. Labeling the classic menu/taskbar was/is nomenclature for userful and quick, as opposed to the ‘Fisher Price look of the newer taskbar… Kudos to Microsoft for its cool look of most or all of the other features of Windows 7 and sometimes Vista. But to Microsoft I say just don’t take away a very useful and uncluttered classic menu array. Please add it back to the final resease of Windows 7. I like Linux as well but its not yet quite as userful as Windows in a lot of areas, but its getting there. Please don’t alienate users still faithful to windows by taking away the highly functional Classic menu for all of the reasons listed in this feedback forum, IF YOU ARE LISTENING. Thanks for your attention.

  39. KnifeySpooney

    I have customized my taskbar and it now replicates Vista and XP’s taskbar. I’m working on a batch file that imports registry settings to convert anyone’s taskbar to what mine looks like, and also adds a quick launch bar.

    I’ll explain how to get a Quick-Launch bar:

    1. Right-click the taskbar and deselect “Lock the Taskbar”, then right-click it again and go to Toolbar > New Toolbar…

    2. Create a folder where ever you want to save your Quick Launch shortcuts. For simplicity, name it “Quick Launch” (without the quotes). Open the folder then click the “Select Folder” button.

    3. Now open the folder you just created in Explorer, then copy whatever shortcuts you want into this folder. They will show up in the task bar where you created the new toolbar! It should say Quick Launch on your toolbar somewhere, then your icons and their names.

    4. To make the toolbar look like XP and Vista’s Quick Launch, find on the divider for the toolbar (unlock the taskbar if you can’t see it). Right-click this divider and deselect the options “Show Text” and “Show title”.

    5. You’re finished! Your toolbar should look exactly like the familiar Quick Launch bar. You can then move the toolbar to where you want (perhaps to the normal Quick-Launch spot) and you can lock your taskbar if you prefer it that way.

    Here’s how my taskbar looks:

    My layout has no pinned items. I moved all of my pinned items into the Quick Launch bar, like how I’m used to.

  40. KnifeySpooney

    As I mentioned in my last post, I was working on a batch file to replace the grouped window icons with the old, XP/Vista-style taskbar. Here’s the file:

    This file only runs in Windows 7 (performs an OS check). All it does is changes two registry keys to the opposite value (they are both Boolean):

    HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\TaskbarSmallIcons = 00000001
    HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\TaskbarGlomLevel = 00000001

    The batch file also includes an uninstaller which consists of reverting both of these registry keys back to 0.

    What each key does:

    TaskbarSmallIcons – Gives you a smaller taskbar with the orb overlapping the rest of the screen similar to Vista, instead of being completely inside the taskbar.

    TaskbarGlomLevel – Changes the grouping so that the windows do not turn into squares and overlap each other. They will still group if you have too many windows open. If you want to never group windows, change this value to 00000002.

  41. Calab

    I could live with the new taskbar, EXCEPT that I can no longer drag toolbars off of the taskbar to other sides of the screen.


  42. Kualds

    I hate this default taskbar! Thanks man! Now it looks like vista!

  43. John

    I like it, its a nice change, and I see where the improvements are from classic windows, and I would be comfortable in using it in any role that I would need to use it in, however, this is probably due to me forcing myself to adapt to new UI’s,

    If I buy a brand new sports car (windows 7) I don’t drive it like my old run down car (windows XP) do I?

  44. Paul

    I am an XP user; never had Vista but I like the Windows 7 taskbar. I like the option of turning the titles off. I like the way multiple copies of one program stack on top of each other and being able to hover the mouse over the icon and preview them and choose the one I want to open. I would like it better if it was easier to drag and drop a shortcut to the Quick Launch bar, but at least it can be done, you just need to have a steady hand. I would also wish the taskbar was a little bit narrower but that is a minor detail. I know I could choose the Classic XP setting and that would make the taskbar narrower. I like the “dock” style toolbar. I had something similar in XP by using the Quick Launch bar and leaving three programs visible on the taskbar.

  45. Ken McAvoy

    I do not have any issue with people wanting a different interface. However those of you who do should give some of us older folks a bit more respect , we are not dead yet. Microsoft effectively taught us to use a classic style interface since Win95. Why do they have to make the lives of older people so much more difficult by insisting on taking the much loved and well used and understood options out of an OS just to pander to a small group of people who want to be at the bleeding edge. Having been a Corporate IT Manager I can tell you business does not like added training or re-training costs unless there is a significant dollar advantage in spending the money. Change is not welcome unless it makes you a whole lot more money.I don’t see W7 trebling my profit base- I just see it costing me more and therefore eroding my profit base what little is left of it. People have enough difficulty combining home and work and information overload already so this just adds to the fear and loathing and frustration I see in many of my clients. It is ruining the industry and we are getting the same sort of reputation reserved for used car salesmen. What IT needs more than ever is some sort of uniformity (ha! dream on me thinks) , an OS that can last longer than the conventional asset purchase investment cycle ie greater than 5 years and something that is easy to use. Having pretty icons and areo interfaces does not enthrall me with a feeling we are moving forward. What this current generation is very clever at doing is making things look pretty but very little substance and real progress lies underneath. We all still suffer from code bloat , developers put far less effort into uninstall routines for their product , Microsoft have made upgrading to W7 so attractive they have decided (idiots) that existing XP users will not be given the option to do that. Why on earth would any XP based business accept that outcome and reward Microsoft . Some of you people just do not live in a real world.

  46. Alexanders

    If you learn the concenpt it could works. However if not, I think this is a step back, this imitates one of the linux toolbars, and is good when you have the desktop effects on, I get a kdeish impression of the desktop.
    But it must be an solution that allows me to let the taskbar behave as the earlier windows, especally in the classical mode. The new features and behaviour isn’t any confortable in the classical mode, it gets a very similar impression as a windows classic theme for “KDE”. It was amazing that I could reduce the very childish thickness to a bit normaller, but it requires a little handy.
    I think Microsoft not should remove any earlier solutions of the concept, just leave it as an secondary option, which maybe could be chosen at installation to ease migration of workstations and desktops. New system concept can take LONG TIME to implement to the users, think which mess it did when Microsoft changed the office interface, it created a lot of confusion. Leaving it so without any alternates was a big mistake because the simplicitation of the interface did be confusing for existing users.
    Otherwize new concepts is great.

  47. Pudgey

    I really want a theme pack that makes Windows 7 look like Windows XP.

  48. MartinK

    I find the new taskbar to be a mess. Mixing program launching with the icons for running programs is not a good idea.

    I favour a completely clear desktop, and in XP it was possible to undock the Desktop toolbar from the taskbar and dock it t the top of the screen. You could then turn off Desktop icons and have a completely clear Desktop. If you made them both auto-hide, the default state was a clear screen, with all your program launchers in a drop-down toolbar at the top of the screen, and all running programs in a pop-up taskbar at the bottom. This is my preferred way of working. Vista removed the option to re-dock the Desktop taskbar, but it was possible to work around it and achieve the same result.

    Windows 7 has removed the work-around, so now I am being forced to go with the new, “improved” way of working. Why can users not have the choice to work as they see fit. I bitterly resent being told that the way I am used to working is somehow wrong. I have no problem with the new style being the default option, but it should be an option, with backwards compatibility so that those who chose can continue to work as they wish. Gratuitous changes to the UI do not necessarily result in the productivity improvements that they are presumably intended to produce, and should never be forced on the user with no backwards compatible alternative provided.

  49. jacob

    i HATE the taskbar, vista looked great, it just didnt work as well as xp, id rather have the vista sleek black bar than the fat clear ugly 7 bar. thanks a million, i was actually considering not upgrading at all because of the awful look of the 7 taskbar. many other things in it look good though, accept the huge pointless preview window (also better in vista) and from the sounds of it, the perfect, simple “run in xp mode” doesnt exist anymore.

    i was also wondering about the cool 3d window scrolling “switch between windows” thing in vista, is that in 7 or do i have to use that awful mess of clear outlines??

  50. jacob

    at least i can count on the community to eventually provide a theme to make 7 look like vista. Will most vista programs run in 7 or does it include a run in vista mode, or will i just have to wait for all my programs to be made available and save hundreds of dollars to buy the 7 version of those programs?

  51. me ofcourse

    i want my shortcuts to go to diff hd’s /partitions accordingly and immediately, not some rightclick menu or a leftclick that pops up ‘libraries’ . the pinning option fails.

  52. Salami

    If anyone knows how to make videos in WMP not have the audio be ahead of the video, let me know.

    It doesn’t happen in WMM though.

  53. dorf

    Windows classic is best, newer versions are for children who likes bright colour and figures.Classic is simple and ther is nothing “futile”.

  54. DOSman

    I just installed 7 and I’m trying really hard to give it a chance. I hate the 7 taskbar. Glad I can make it a little more like Vista’s, which was ok. I’ve hated the taskbar since Win 95 came out, and I still hate it. Of course, I’m not really fond of Windows/Mac OS/any GUI in the first place, but it has become a necessary evil. Speaking of which, why does MS have to keep making Windows look more and more like a Mac OS? I’d have bought a Mac if I wanted Apple to own my soul. Grrrr.

    Still browsing the W7 how-tos… The one “feature” I’m really not fond of in W7 is the explorer. MS has murdered the functionality of explorer! I don’t need all that “homegroup” and “favorites” mess! I just want to see my drives and the directories they contain. That’s right directories, not “folders.” I miss DOS.

    At least there’s always linux.

  55. C-Man

    Thanks for the help. I can’t stand the new taskbar, precisely because it’s like an OSX dock, which I find annoying [I use OSX Tiger iMac and Vista Dell at work]. I always find the dock in the way, and it becomes easily cluttered. The W7 “dock” looks hokey, in any case, and I find it hard to find the right thumbnail window.

    I like icons, and was hoping W7 might finally offer variable-sized icons.

  56. Kathryn

    Thank you. :)

    I still have one question, and I haven’t been able to find anything to help me with it so far. Is there a way to remove the padding at the bottom of the right click menu, when you right click something in the taskbar? I keep missing close and clicking the padding instead, because I’m used to right clicking and then left clicking, without having to move the mouse.

  57. Jason

    Use VirtuaWin for multiple desktops, and throw Win 7 back to vista style taskbar. Ditch the quick launch, use launchy.

    If multiple monitors – ultramon.

    You’ll get a lot more work done!

  58. Erin

    The lack of choice is frustrating. I like a clean, simple interface. I don’t want transparent windows and I loathe giant icons, particularly when they remove text from the equation. I want my Windows7 to look exactly like XP but function faster, that’s it. Seems like a simple request. Please Microsoft, keep messing with me, I’ll switch to…well, just about anything at this point.

  59. AAA

    The new task bar is pretty stupid and annoying. I think they took this dumb idea from apple.

  60. poopy

    Get over it babies, wah they changed. my life has ended.

  61. Miguel

    The new taskbar is a piece of crap.
    It’s the more unlogical thing the pinnep icons that moves when you open another pinned icon.
    The objectve of an icon fixed in taskbar was the quick access, if it moves when you open a lot of things, you have to search the icon before click it to open, it could be anywhere in taskbar….

  62. jamesmit

    the dock style would be fine for me if i double click the icon on the toolbar, and then it pops up a previously minimized window. it sucks if i want to read a page i just minimized, and theres so many webpages i have opened

  63. John

    I am SO going to do this. I am not a fan of the new dock-style taskbar! Here is a link on how to add the Quick Launch Bar to the Taskbar:

  64. Niku

    I used to have this side bar in windows XP that would allow me to make it function like a giant hidden quicklaunch bar on the right of my screen….

    I miss that. Windows 7 has it deliberately removed and it’s not possible to get it back. I don’t care for that at all. Why remove a feature i know some of us will miss? Seriously, i would drag a folder over, then *bloop*… new task bar. Where is this feature?

  65. PCAddict

    I am sorry, but Vista just dumbed down and 7 is even dumbed down more. It’s like the difference between tying your own shoes-then going to velcro! If you are really that stupid, maybe you shouldn’t even have a PC! Everyone talks about how dumb Americans are, but more and more, they chose to be spoonfed rather than learn something! Most people I know can’t even drive a stick shift! Take a moment to learn something! I truly enjoy having control of how my PC looks and behaves. I like having to go to network connections and setting up a network. I enjoy going to printers and preferences, same with my scanner…my monitor-everything! But sure, keep the people dumb and lazy-MUCH easier to control them this way! Guess the people who love 7 also loves the idea of the individually wrapped hotdogs! What a waste! Pay someone to do something for you on the computer!

    I want to know when are they going to learn to come out with 2 versions of Windows. It would be the same as saying, “We have stick shift or we have automatic.” Then everyone could be happy. All they need to do, is extend support for XP and some of us would be very happy campers! It’s stable, easy to work with, room for lots of fun!

    If they do not do something like this when support for XP runs out, when I get my new PC built, it’s will NEVER see Windows! I will customize a Linux build and screw MS!

    Give it a chance…HA! Vista was bad enough, and now I watched all these 7 videos and just shaking my head and embarrassed for MS and America. Check out what Germany and some other European countries are doing against this “overtake”. I am with them ALL THE WAY!

  66. PCAddict

    P.S. Something I forgot to say…Knowledge is power! So learn and demand more and have more self respect. This dumbed-down crap that’s going on these days is an insult to my intelligence!

  67. sakisds

    I like the new taskbar, its really helps me out with multitasking and developing. I don’t fell like changing it.

  68. Diana Cedolia

    Thank you. I changed it to look like Windows XP and I love it.

  69. Marcel Grandemange

    I hate the new taskbar, i often have hundreds of tabs open and find the new docking method just gives me a headache actually trying to find what i have open. Often found myself going through the little docks endlessly trying to find a particular open program or doc.

    Without descriptions like in vista its just a headache.

  70. ed

    thank you for your responce, i’m afraid i’m getting old and hate change , of course everytime windows changes it is a new challenge to everyone that wants to put out a virus, but i really do feel more comfortable with what i’m familiar with. thanks again for the responce

  71. eortman

    i LOVEEE the new taskbar and the idea but, i like the look of the vista taskbar more. i like the color and organization much moree.

  72. Alan Jacobson

    For some reason, I love the Windows Classic/2000 Theme

  73. Thomas Sonberge

    I love this thread,
    I never really paid attention to Vista and was convinced to peek an Win7:
    The new taskbar is a culture shock. I dragged in XP the taskbar to the right
    side and made the Desktop one additional “symbol bar”. Now, XP shows me on
    the right border about 20 program icons to click on and ca. 10 running (ungrouped)
    tasks. I mean big icons!
    Just try to accomplish this in the Win7 “superbar” without any trouble.

  74. CMurdock

    It’s not “silly” to use the Classic taskbar. What’s silly are the fancy colors and effects that have crept into Windows over the years. They are pretty but useless. The Classic taskbar is for people who have work to do and aren’t playing around.

  75. DarkwarrioR

    Windows 7 is not really faster than xp so I will stick to win xp for atleast until sp1 for win7 because it is just full of errors and bugs atm … its just not here yet – too new
    win 7 has only advantage that ist a bit faster than xp

    and yeah i was wondering if there is a way to make win7 taskbar look like xp or vista one but it seems it do really suck because you can’t after all you did is still shitty “super” taskbar my ass I just want old one!

    the closest is of course windows classic one on win 7 but I want it skinned just like now I’m using vista skin on xp and its ok

  76. Kelvin Willshee

    I hate the new taskbar. Why have Microsoft removed the ability to create custom toolbars, from folders, and place them all around the screen borders? Any toolbar you make now, resides on the taskbar and cannot be undocked. With most people using widescreen monitors now, the taskbar should have been redesigned to be a side bar. And a useful sidebar too. A larger than normal bottom taskbar just makes everyone’s widescreen monitor look even more ‘letter boxed’. Blooming awful!!!!

  77. CHC

    The new look and feel and eye candy again is the most stupid thing. A computer, for me, is an instrument to get my work done. And, I want to get my work done F A S T and efficient. Time and again M$ screws around with the GUI. Will try the tricks here to go back to Win XP look and feel or will have my new laptop downgraded to XP.

  78. Andrés

    Coming back from Ubuntu after 1 and a half year. Loving the dock style bar. They took too long to realise.

  79. Arfich

    I’ll be reverting to classic mode Step #1. I don’t understand the desire for an improved bar. People just need to learn how to use computers, instead of throwing up their hands and waiting for the pretty UI to come along and tell them how they want it.

  80. Thoughts

    For those who love the eye-candy.. and 1/8th of their screen disappearing when they hit Start… fine.

    But for someone like me, who has 4 folders nested under programs, all logically laid out, it’s a total pain.

    With Classic Menu’s, it was Click, slide, slide, click… and I’m working or playing.

    With the new menu, it’s click, hover or click on All Programs, then click on a folder to open, then click on another folder to open, then click on my program. I guess I could pin all 86 programs to the box, but that’s a pain, and I don’t use any one program with any regularity. And I’m not really thrilled with the idea of the clutter.

    The whole issue would be moot if Micro$oft would give people a choice between keeping it small and simple, or as large and complicated as people would want to make it…

    Oops! Sorry… Micro$oft giving people a choice… what was I thinking? :(

  81. κατασκευή ιστοσελίδων PCNW

    I can’t used to the new way tasbar works. I really miss the seperate space for icons-shortcuts and the space for opened windows-programms. Any ideas how can I have the old xp-style taskbar in w7 ?

  82. Kristopher

    Thank you for the help. It took about 20 minutes for the new style to drive me nuts, and I switched back to the classic theme. Getting the old program tabs in the taskbar is the last step I needed for that restoration project.

    Now, if I could just get the old Win2k style start menu back.

  83. Duckbrain

    If you where talking about the Classic Start menu, just right click on your task bar and go to the Start Menu tab. Click on the radio button that says “Classic Start menu” and click OK. This will revert the Start menu to the classic Windows 2000 or older look, removing the right column and the search bar.

  84. TJ

    Just installed the Windows 7 Home Premium. The taskbar is causing a huge annoyance for me. I am using the computer as a HTPC and thus watch movies in full screen. When I try to do this in Win 7, the taskbar stays on top and I have not figured out how to disable the “always on top” property. The best I can do is autohide, which is not good for other full screen programs like games. Also, the autohide still leaves a thin, yet extremely annoying, white strip at the bottom of the LCD TV.
    Any help PLEASE!!! Looks like I am going back to Linux if this does not get fixed quickly. And yes, for a HTPC, this one item is a deal breaker for me. When will Microsoft realize that we are not little kids and let us make the operating system and its features work they way we want them to? Hopefully I am just missing something and someone here can set me straight. If so, please do, I am really hoping I am wrong about this.

  85. Cesco

    I gave it a try, but I simply cannot gat used to it. How can someone call this a better solution if the only thing it adds is an extra click to acess ANYTHING?

    Instead of clicking directly on what I want now I have to click the icon, then waste time looking for the right window and then clicking AGAIN for it to open up…

  86. Paul

    The problem I have with the new taskbar is there’s no text. I like to be able to see the titles of my windows. Sometimes I work with programs that have unrecognizeable icons, so having to mouse over just to see what’s what is a pain in the butt. Call me lazy, but when you are working with computers all day, it makes a huge difference in productivity.

  87. Mounce

    I wouldn’t say it is ‘Silly’ to go backwards in any way, I’d easily see many people going to Classic or an XP-like desktop in every way just to make it so at the very least their desktop doesn’t drain any bandwidth, for those obsessed with having their PC or Laptop working at its finest all the time so nothing drags the programs down, even by the slightest bit. Optimizing by the smallest detail to get a bit more performance.

  88. daniel

    On my taskbar button settings I have it set to

    ‘Combine when the taskbar is full’

    I like this because it still shows the name of the app open and I dont always want it to group it. But something that bothers me is that on XP when it would group them, it listed the number of windows it had open in the taskbar.

    I play a lot of tables at once and with that number I could always tell how many tables I have open but now with Win 7 I can’t figure out how to get it to list the number of windows open in a grouped application

    Is there a way to get this to work?

  89. Sindy

    I could not find the last step, where I could change the whole interface to Windows Classic,
    Could you please tell me the steps in how to find it? Thanks

  90. Qasim Chohan

    Hello , i changed the windows 7 taskbar to the old taskbar and was wondering how to revert back to windows 7 taskbar?

  91. alex

    I don’t like the new taskbar it’s really annoying how they change stuff without giving you a clear option how to change it back to normal. THANKS alot for your help.

  92. Net

    It’s very simple if you love the new Windows 7 taskbar then you might had a pc for not more than 3 years, and if you don’t like it you are veteran like me more than 10years. It’s useless to comment why the new taskbar is worst than of the old one because if you know something about computers you would see it right away with no need of commenting it! So Microsoft next time you make a new OS please hire someone that has at least 5 years of experience with computers unless you want create another FrankenTaskbar like this! The only reason I still hold on to xp is because of how quickly I move things around on taskbar and on windows explorer, even if Windows 7 is way faster than xp after using for 2 hours W7 I feel so tired like I have used xp for 10 hours!

  93. Joe Max

    The new taskbar sucks. It makes finding the quick launch icons very hard in between all the open tasks. Basically, Microsoft made 200% sure that Lose7 would be HARDER to use than any of the previous versions. If you are considering upgrading XP/Vista, reconsider and wait until MS decides to fire the idiots designing their user interface. Each step they take, they move 10 steps backwards.
    The only people that like this garbage are the reviewers and the MS fans.

  94. rebecca

    I love the new taskbar, except for one thing.
    i think that the docking is a great thing!!! BUT i miss the old bar that was next to the start menu that had all my favorite programs under it that all id have to do is click it and there they were.
    with windows 7, i took ALL of my previously pinned items OFF of the taskbar for one reason
    they look exactly like the programs i am currently running the way they are on the taskbar. i cant figure out a way to make them look different, tell them apart, or anything. help would be appreciated if theres any way to. but ive looked everywhere, and sadly have fell short of any solution.
    nice try Windows. Nice docks, but bring back the old pinned items look!

  95. Lawand

    I am silly :)

  96. darski

    I absolutely hate Win 7 – I hate everything about it. I cannot find my Word templates. i had to install my own Word program because Win 7 does not have it and now they won`t let me near my templates. XP worked but the fascist Gates had to ruin it. it`s what he does to everything.

    This thing would have to go to school 15 years to work its way up to crap!!!!!

    why is Word such an enemy of the stateÉ

  97. batmantran

    I want a windows so I can do my data work: small thousand files a day and some secured networks or emails. I have no time to play with videos and pictures. Windows 7 is the worst! Who has the time to view the new feature on windows 7 while that person is working? This windows really made me mad because I could not find the old vista or XP old setting (I have not talked about the MSoffice 2007 yet). I removed most feature from my new windows 7 at work and I had a big fight with IT people (they thought virus attacked my computer and they removed my admin account). Really bad windows 7! Now all I can do is to work 20% slower. Wish I can go back to windows 98 or even a unix workstation!

  98. phil radford

    Well I don’t like windows 7 I hate the menus. I love the drag and drop and right mouse button in XP this appears to be missing in windows 7. The taskbar is hopeless for quick lurch. I want I want quick lunch menu on the left programs running centre and a no nonsense notification area on the right. I want to be able to move the show desktop button/icon where I want it. Don’t want start on file placement and allocation on the hard drive. If I started up the computer in administration mode I want full control over everything and I mean everything.

  99. phil radford

    Just encase Microsoft come across this site and thread.
    When a program builder builds something its simple for the builder to understand, ask the builder to understand why others cannot understand what the builder as built, the builder want be able to understand why know one understands the build.

    In other words don’t let your program builders demonstrate the software.
    If one needs a manual for a piece of software just to use the key functions it’s not good enough.

  100. Shane

    If i wanted a Macintosh I’d just buy a damn Macintosh.

  101. Propro

    Call me silly if you wish, but there’s no cleaner interface than “windows classic”. It’s the first change I make to any new computer.

  102. Budds

    Hi If any one would like to use the Quick Launch toolbar for Win 7 then right click your taskbar, unlock it, right click again and select toolbars then new toolbar and in the folder window type %userprofile%\Appdata\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch This will enable the Quick Launch toolbar….. I had this option running on my PC but have just decided to pin all my quick launch toolbar shortcuts to the Start menue and turn off the quick launch toolbar, it was opening slowly with the amount of shortcuts I had there… This is just my toughts on this problem and I hope it will be helpfull to those that read this post……. Budds

  103. abruptum

    I have several ASUS EEE PCs and I really need this feature ON /ALWAYS ON TOP/, since it allows me to use the netbook screen more efficiently /it has a really small display/. M$ will push be to turn back to WinXP. I wonder if there’s a registry record or something else that could enable the program windows to show OVER the taskbar?

  104. Frank Warner

    The new taskbar in windows 7 takes a congested desktop area and turns it into a pile-up. The mixing of running programs icons with pinned programs (not running) takes an already congested area and makes it impossible. Microsoft has been slowly eating way at the amount of desktop toolbar space, each time shoving more and more into the taskbar.

    I believe it was Windows XP and before when Windows had a customizable toolbar that you could place at the top of the screen (I think it was called the Office Toolbar). Between this toolbar and the Taskbar with quick launch, everything was spaced out so things could be easily accessed and there was some flexibility in how you set things up. Starting with Vista, however, the Office Toolbar was removed and everything had to go into the Taskbar. Vista does allow you to create your own toolbar even though it is void of features and design. But now with win7, everything is crammed into the Taskbar making the area so cluttered that users that work with several programs and documents have limited maneuverability.

    So they removed the additional toolbar (Office Toolbar), added to Taskbar clutter by doubling up icons for running programs with penned programs and replaced Taskbar program shortcuts with the less functional pinned program. Remember, pinned programs on the Taskbar reduces functionality (rather than improving it) because all the penned icon can do is open the program. However, using a shortcut in the Taskbar (as in XP) allows me to use all the features that a shortcut offers, such as viewing program properties to quickly check a program version, creating additional shortcuts – it will even transfer you to the program file if need be.

    So, when I’m working, the Taskbar is so full there’s no open space on the bar to right click to bring up a context menu. That wouldn’t be such a big deal if Start Task Manager wasn’t part of that menu. But it is and to access it (when the Taskbar is full) you have to use the Control-Alt-Delete when something’s not responding, to get to Task Manager.

    Reducing the number of toolbars, mixing everything together in one taskbar and using pinned programs instead of shortcuts all result in reduced functionality, reduced productivity. This cannot be change with the user in mind, but something Microsoft had to do to make other changes work. It is as several people have already mentioned a big step backwards for users.

    Beyond that, I love Windows 7. However, after spending a year struggling to get Vista to work on a new system that gave me no choice of operating system, Windows 7 should work. I’d have been a lot happier if they’d just skipped Vista and let us use XP until Windows 7 was ready. The cost of Vista in lost time and money only served to subsidized Microsoft after introducing a buggy Vista. So, yes, I expect Windows 7 to work as well as it does because I’ve paid the dues. For me, Microsoft either had to introduce an OS that worked as promised or I was headed toward Apple.

    No other industry gets away with shipping a defective product and then playing catch-up to repair or replace it. Sadly, Microsoft is not the only publisher that does this. It’s time for software publishers to wake up and recognize that this is the 21st century and the computer business is no longer new. It’s had plenty of time to move from the buggy stage and start delivering product that’s been vetted for bugs and works as advertised.

  105. M4dn3ss

    I reckon the Windows 7 taskbar is way too confusing, and it’s counter-intuitive too. Unfortunately there still isn’t a way to drag, for example, the Firefox icon in between two Windows Explorer icons, so I think I’ll just have to try to get used to Windows Se7en’s way of doing things…

    By the way, using 4:3 resolutions on a 16:9 or 16:10 screen in Win7 is definitely improved, as the image doesn’t stretch the whole way. It makes playing newer games with a poor graphics card more enjoyable as the picture isn’t stretched and distorted

  106. goodsky

    The task bar is to big. When you combine the wasted space of the title of the program and then the blank space all the way across the top of your screen, add the doubled size of thew task bar,,your losing close to 10% of screen estate. I know,,youll say “just make the task bar non viewable when not in use,,well alot of us like to have it viewable at all times. My suggestion is to combine the “file-edit-view-tools-help,,,etc” buttons with the very top title bar,,add those buttons to the right of the title and keep the task bar one small icon high and BAAM,you get your 10 to 15% screen estate back. Dont worship me for this idea,,just implement it!!

  107. David

    I hate the way Microsoft now forces you to use the taskbar by application rather than by TASK. I.e., if I’m in the middle of something, and I need to launch another application, I don’t want it grouped with the other applications I may have open, but on the far right, like it always is.

    Oftentimes, I’ll have several TASKS going at once, which used to be grouped together. Now, they’re all jumbled up by application. I have to wonder, why did I have THAT application open??? They should call it an application bar not a task bar.

  108. ahha

    Have used win7 now for 2 months. Prefer XP quick launch. Got close to it by adding a folder on the desktop called “ahha Quick Launch”, dropping programs/shortcuts into it, and then pinning “ahha Quick Launch” folder to win7 taskbar as 1st item. BTW first item in folder “ahha Quick Launch” shows also in taskbar. I put shortcut to file explorer to c:\ as 1st item so I can navigate the drive (use underscore _ prepended to shortcut name and then sort by name to get _ entry as 1st one.)

  109. PiTy

    For programmer- for work really annoying to not see the titles of windows in taskbar, I really don´t have any need to always go with cursor about some icon to see what is hidden inside. The new events are realy too hidden so it is just waste of time and it can be used just for the effect

  110. Chuck

    Thank you thank you thank you. I have been using Win 7 for 2 months and the dock style taskbar was driving me nuts — I wish I could turn off the dock on my Mac, too. I do alot of switching between windows and not being able to have them seperated made everything harder to do. BTW, I am the person who on the first boot up changed my desktop theme to Windows Classic. ;) TX.

  111. Vince

    At least Vista lets you set it up in the classic mode turn off anoying thumnail windows or whatever I was a mac user all throught the 90s work computers were all pcs so i was famillier when windows xp came out my favor turned to pc for speed familiarity and much more program compatibillity than my mac so i got more advanced and windows vista came out wich really opened up a door to more powerfull machines and more 64 bit support and better gaming dont get my wrond i think 7 is a solid os but the UI is not of ease for my the start menu hides my 487 programs that i can find instantly with the classic start menu and personally i think it is generic i tried the beta and hated every second of use though it was easier and faster to install so stupid me I bought the full version and instantly had buyers remorse after buying it i ran it for 3 months and went back to vista if the start menu could be changed like previous versions and the stupid taskbar previews could be shut off and the windows were not still transparrent when maximized very lame by the way if i want to see my desktop i would not maximize the window and the taskbar buttons really are ugly and not colorfull vista works fine for me and has for the past 5 years and so did xp 7 made my computer so hard to use i almost pitched it out the window and went back to a mac Not Cool Microsoft

  112. fooman

    Thanks to KnifeySpooney for brining back my quickbar links… HOWEVER I now find that [WindowsKey]+[1] now minimises/maximises task #1. In previous versions of windows it would launch quick link # 1. Why is it keyboard shortcuts are first casualty of version upgrades? Must be a new generation of teen programmers who just think mousing is the only way to launch stuff. This might sound like a minor gripe but I usually find I have to relearn or reprogram a bunch of shortcuts every time and still annoyed by Vista flakey supportt of the [Alt]+[Space] then [x] combination to maximise windows (though seems to be working better again in W7)

  113. Hari

    I was getting headaches for not been able to figure this one out. I CAN’T stand the “Dock Style” version of the taskbar.

    Thank you for posting.

  114. OldXP

    Windows 7 and new GUI appear controversial, visually and functionally.
    1. Default gimcrack look gives an impression of candy store or those funny decorated Pakistani or India trucks and busses.
    2. Taskbar copycat from MAC is miserable and annoying, one off reasons I don’t like MAC.
    3. Network Settings are nightmare and “unidentified network” mark for LAN configured cards is enigmatic. Workgroup is damped by “exclusive “ w7 Homegroup membership.
    4. Essential indicator for Network Activity, those flashy icons, disappeared from Task Bar.
    5. Personalization settings are spread and moved in deep cellars and catacombs away from quick access. It gives me an inevitable parallel with car, like turning steering wheel left – car goes right, left pedal accelerates and right one brakes.
    6. Deleting manually, certain user profile folder for cleaning purposes, results in Windows will not open any more.
    7. Maintenance is another problem as Full Back-Up image of huge System do not fit on one DVD.
    8. Some Services are too interdependent so they cannot be disabled without unwanted consequences.
    9. Trusted Installer, if it would be a live person I would be charged for homicide.
    10. OS auto calls to home Servers are story for itself.
    System appears fast and stabile. No one can deny many improvements and performances. UAC performs OK. There are still open options for many modifications to fit personal habits. Ordinary users – like car owners, not interested in maintenance and how it works, will adapt quickly and will be happy and ecstatic with New Look.
    Habit of Mastering and adjusting old windows XP to own preferences as prime work horse will probably remain to some of us for some time to come.

  115. bruce

    Put me in the camp for the classic taskbar, menu, and folders option. One of the most interesting things in these discussions on other boards it the mentality of the two camps (here, though, there was only one post that fit most of the “new” mentality). Those who want the old way almost unanimously just want the choice to use it. Those who like the new way not only believe it is superior to the old, but want to force everyone to their way (“get used to it”).

    It is my belief that Microsoft makes these changes to convince people that they are getting a “new” OS rather than an improved “old” OS.

    Putting the “show desktop” button on the left hand side of the taskbar is crazy. I would think that in most countries in the world that read from left to right people organize their desktop icons on the desktop from left to right. That means you have to move the cursor to the extreme right to see the desktop and then back to the left to chose the shortcut you want.

    Grouping things in obscure groups makes finding things harder where as with the classic menu everything is spelled out in the menu. I don’t have to try to guess what “group” Microsoft decided to stick the program I want into.

    All we want is the choice to use the computer the way we want. Is that too much to ask? I don’t think so.

    I’m counting on someone eventually writing a stable and exact XP theme for 7. There are some out there now, but the ones I’ve tried aren’t stable (the free ones). I haven’t tried any of the ones that cost money because I’m not sure how they work/look.

  116. John

    I really like the compact look when the icons are combined,
    however I wish that the icons would resume their compact look
    even when not combined, Microsoft should have thought of that as an option.

  117. kmg

    I wish windows would make it easy to look and act exactly like XP. Every so called improvement is a waste and detraction from me to be able to do what I want. Since I am the user they should make it so it does things and looks the way I want. If they would make programs still for XP I would use that. For example it took 20 minutes to put quick launch back to the way it should be and get rid of the stupid pinning thing. Now to get the start menu to behave as XP used too. I also have Vista on another computer and hated it. 7 is better than Vista but still much worse than XP.

  118. Lacy Max

    Hello Mr Geek! Got a question for you.
    I have windows 7. I used to be able to use sound recorder with xp and earlier versions of windows.
    Now with win 7 the sound recorder has limited features and will not allow me to do what I want or
    adjust settings like older versions. My question is, if I get win 7 xp mode, will it let me use the sound
    recorder the way it was on reg. xp???

  119. Nabi bux

    That is good tutorial this Help to get rid of new style of win 7

  120. Chris

    Need a way to get it to stop grouping instances of the same program together – I want to be able to have for example:

    Explorer, Notepad, IE, Explorer, Notepad, IE

    Windows 7 is really annoying in that even when you set it to “Never Combine” it still pushes all the Explorer windows together into one contiguous list – that’s organized by system process, not by what I’m doing – NOT HELPFUL!

  121. Ngoo Nam

    The Windows 7 taskbar is good if you don’t have lots of pinned programs that it overflows to a second set of icons. Once there are two or more lines of pinned programs, it would be a excruciatingly defeating the “advantages.”

    Bring back the lost Quick Launch toolbar, please, Microsoft! I don’t think you really (beta) tested the new taskbar in real world settings. 3.1/95/98 makes the Win 7 taskbar look like a de-evolution of Windows: de-evolution of functionality, while becoming prettier and cuter.

    If you do have 2 or more sets of pinned programs, making the taskbar wider is your only option.

    As for the article, it’s okay since there is no real way to get back the quick launch except re-install XP. :(

    I’m hoping some future Service Packs will bring back the quick launch toolbar.

  122. bfulton4

    I to hated the new task bar so Googled and found this web site.I’am not a IT guy,good amateur,but with the help of this info & little tinkering I was able to make task bar work almost as good as XPbar.I think most people would be happy with this if they had the info.To bad MS didn,t do this right.

  123. Ariel

    Can someone tell me how to get to Windows Classic from 7. Is it possible or not? I have this new computer and I am hating all the wasted time trying to find simple items. So counter intuitive!! This is all about people who have time to play.. .what about those of us who just want functionality without drilling through excessive menus of junk we will never use????

  124. fireworks

    Over a year later and the comments for this article are still hilarious. It always cracks me up when people want old, busted GUIs. I knew someone who wouldn’t move to XP because they loooooooved Win98SE. Yeah, I too loved that in Win98SE record uptime was about four days. For those who end up reading my comment who still don’t understand how to use 7, it’s this simple: The taskbar is better by default, other than it being huge. If you want a toolbar, create a folder and put some shortcuts in it, then tell Windows that’s your toolbar. And as for finding programs faster, If you type in the search box in the start menu, you can get to any program that installed to the program files folder(s) properly. I know people looooooved back in XP when you could click the same letter over and over to scroll down through a list of stuff, but if you think about it, except for the first or second entry of the same letter, that benefit is quickly lost. And if typing, say, “o-p-e” to get opera, for instance, to pop up in the search box is that much of a pain, then that’s your problem. And if anyone out there says that the search box results take too long, you are a) doing too much at once with your computer (your computer is underpowered for your use with 7), b) your computer is underpowered in general. Just because a new OS comes out that doesn’t mean you have to upgrade or buy a new computer, and when you do, be sure it’s suitably for your needs. if you want to have an easier go being sure your os will run really super-smooth and all that junk, pay the apple tax.

  125. Joe

    The new taskbar is nice but I miss the Quick Launch feature.

    On sitting down to work in the morning I can use Quick Launch to start the half dozen or so applications that I’ll be working with all day, all with a few clicks in just a couple seconds.

    In Windows 7, I’d to go to the start menu and launch one, reopen the start menu, launch another, etc., or have them all pinned to the taskbar, where I cannot tell what’s running and what’s not.

    Please, give us back our Quick Launch!

  126. Akshay

    i think my dad may deleted something last night and now my taskbar and start menu are the old plain ones and not the xp2 ones, i like the xp2 look but i dont know how to get it back everytime i go to properties and try changing it there is only the classic options i really need your help. so yeh i’d be grateful if you could at least give me some sort of details as to how i go about getting this back please.

  127. Robert Reddick

    Windows XP task bar wasn’t “busted”.. It worked without a mouse – try that with Win 7.. It used less screen real estate, something even more important in a widescreen monitor world; and it included the ability to not stay forced on top – nada on 7. Sure, new interface – new options but once again MS has dumped user know-how in their rush to prove to the world that they can look like Apple.

  128. Kev

    Thank you for this article. I tried and tried but the docking style was wasting time. Reverted back to the XP style and now and soooo happy.

  129. fred

    what annoys me is that: its still grouped, open a new firefox window and it will be “glued” to the first one. if i enable the quick launch i cant control it with the superkey+numbers, that still control the normal “dock” and it dont behave like the old quick launch in any other way either, it dont show small icons but the whole damned line with a huge space for the name.. so to see the 3 first you need a huge amount of space to do that unlike with the old one. the grouping should be made so that i could group what i was working with together (like the site i get my info and my word docs and the images i plan on adding) instead of all of the same type in the same window (wtf does the youtube vid and that shock site i got linked to and want to save for my friends have to do with my work?) or even better, just add the option for multiple desktops and not group a single thing, i think windows is the only os i have used that dont support several desktops.. what better way to group what belongs and what not? the new taskbar sucks and i want the old one back until they fix it. i want improvements in my new os not just changes…

  130. Nemanja Ćosović

    If they could chose a taskbar, I guess this option would be somewhere on the bottom of the list. To put it simple, WHAT WAS WRONG WITH XP TASKBAR?

    Idiots at Redmond.

  131. Sindre

    Great tip my friend:-)
    Now i can use my new laptop whit out looking for the programs :-P

    Any idea on how to get MSN act like it does in XP? :-) If you do, then please e-mail me ;)

  132. re

    It annoys me that It takes a bit more time,more mouse clicks and such to close a window.

    With XP it was much simpler and quicker. It feels a bit awkward almost robotic with windows 7.

    Unfortunately, much as I love XP, system performance is indeed faster with windows 7 as well as game graphics and performance. I just hate the damn interface.
    Oh well I guess I’d better get use to it, DX10 and soon DX11 will soon force most gamers to move to windows 7.

  133. Tim Staffell

    For me, I’m VERY disappointed with Windows 7. I’m running 7 Pro, and frankly, I’m considering going back to Vista. I have absolutely no idea what these people are talking about when they say it addresses the problems that Vista suffered from. What problems? So far I prefer everything about Vista. I think this is just another case of the stupids falling for the hype. As for the W7 Taskbar. Ugh! I’ve always had Programme icons on my taskbar since xp, I don’t like the cascade ‘tabs’ useless. and what’s this ‘shake’ to remove open windows, or ‘dock left and right?’ worthless! What a waste of money Windows 7 is

  134. Djisas

    Another win7 taskbar hatter steps in…
    Got up to the smaller icons part and its looking all better…
    But i still have msn and skype permanently showing up and taking up room on the taskbar when they should be hidden together with other application running on background like antivirus, sound icon, etc…
    That is truly annoying…
    Another thing i hate is the search function, it was so much better on vista and even better on xp…

  135. Romas, Naperville, IL

    What a pain in the butt this Win 7 BS look. I wAnt control of what I’m doing or looking at, I don’t need this cutesy crap or Apple look. I want to find what I’m doing. What is so good about a desktop that doesn’t show a f##ing thing your are doing? What am I spending mu moneyt on? Som stupid wizards?”

  136. Shawn

    If I’d wanted a dumb apple I would have bought one. Hate everything about Windows 7 layout. All about aesthetics nothing in the layout improves functionality and actually hinders it as forces me to look hard and think about what I want to do.

  137. South Shore Computing

    Here is the deal with Win 7 …

    Microsoft promised everyone that they were going to get away from that over-bloated graphical garbage of Vista, but yet here we are again …

    If you are playing a video, etc. it will also play it that taskbar, so how much resources is being used up to run that senseless taskbar ? well let me assure you that your computer will run faster and smoother without that feature.
    Microsoft stated that the taskbar is so you can see what you have opened … seriously ? if you don’t know what you have opened that you need a gui to show you, then take your computer back to the store, because you are too dumb to have one.

    Solution 1: got to regedit and direct it to user > software > microsoft > windows > current version > explorer > advanced … right click and choose new > DWord 32 bit and name it ExtendedUIHoverTime, then change the decimal value to 75000
    (this will stop the those stupid taskbar pop ups from coming up for 75 seconds)

    Solution 2: I change mine to classic theme, as nobody (and yes I mean nobody ) needs all that over bloated graphical crap.

    another way to speed up windows … right click on computer and choose properties, then go to advanced system settings and in the performance UNcheck everything on that list except for the last one (visual styles)
    then in the start up and recovery change the start up time to 3 and recovery to 3 (both are default at 30)

  138. Mike

    With the quick launch for windows 7, the tabs open on the left. On my XP I have the quick launch to the far left, and the tabs populate to the right as you open apps. Is there a way to do this in 7? Also, is there a way to change the start globe to a xp style button. I know all about reverting to the classic taskbar so don’t go there. Thanks.

  139. Nik

    @South Shore Computing

    “If you are playing a video, etc. it will also play it that taskbar, so how much resources is being used up to run that senseless taskbar ?”

    Actually nothing extra. The DWM (Desktop Window Manager) has to render your windows to images before it displays them. Then it displays this image. The taskbar just access the same rendered image (without requiring it to be rendered) and spits it out. Your graphics card deals with the resizing so your CPU does bugger all. In fact, with all the “over bloated graphical crap” my windows 7 “experience” is as smooth as my “XP”erience. I guess having a decent graphics card helps though, my CPU has to do very little to display stuff, it’s mostly passed off to the graphics card..

  140. RJ Poddar

    I’ve approached this with an open mind, but after months of use still don’t get how the Windows 7 taskbar or start menu is better. The full program list in the start menu is constrained for height (introduces a scrollbar needlessly when I already have the screen height available to accommodate the entire programs list). With the dock-style taskbar, if I open up say Windows Explorer, and then need to open up another instance of it, I have to right-click the open window’s icon and then select the open in the menu to open up the other instance. Wasted clicks, in my opinion.

    I have yet to hear a compelling argument supporting these supposed improvements except that it’s better and you’re too stupid to know it.

  141. Chaz042

    Thank you! I was looking for something like this.

  142. Deb

    Ok, I can’t find any place in Win7 to change to Classic View. Can anyone help?

  143. Dave

    When I click an item on my WIndows 7 taskbar, the menu lists all of the tabs/documents open in the application. How can I change it to list the windows instead?


  144. Jarman


    loving the taskbar

  145. J

    i just wana know where the option in Taskbar & Start Menu Properties called keep the taskbar on top of other windows went to.cause i cant find that option in there no where is it,or did windows 7 delete that option.cause i wana be able to change where that taskbar goes like i did when i had win. XP/ Vista.

  146. Rick'

    Personally, I liked the old style. Which I now have again thanks to HTG.
    Now I’m one of these people who like to have a virtually empty desktop. Its a desktop for a reason. like a real desk, you work on it, and anything your not using goes in the draw or bookshelf.
    – So the quicklaunch is a must for me.
    I double my taskbar, quicklaunch on the bottom with a zillion icons, a few pop up menus at the end of it, and tasks are free to fill up the top line.
    the combining of the quick launch with the task bar was not good for me, and the pinned tasks were still also much wider than what they were in classic quick launch, taking up much more space.
    – The task grouping: Well, we’ve had the ability to do that since XP (possibly 98 actually if i remember rightly with a bit of work. But my memory holds a touch of doubt so don’t hold me to it). I chose not to use it back then, and I don’t really care to use it now. It’s not a bad feature, Good for people who for some strange reason have the need to open 50 things at once. But it held little value for me as I like to see what i have open without having to touch (or hover over) anything. Also, Since the introduction of tabbed browsing, I’ve never had a cramped taskbar since.
    – The eye candy of the task preview looks nice, but really not practical. I haven’t dissabled it yet, but I never really see it anyway as I’ve allready clicked on what I want open before it gets a chance to pop up. So all in all, I just consider it to be a toy.
    – Classic start menu is also a preference for me… I think they got it right when they reached xp. Common tasks in the left, and the “all programs” pulled out in slide menus. the slide menus just felt right. But what we have now isn’t so bad.

    in anycase. this is waht my task bar looks like… I find it practical
    i = icons in quicklaunch :-p
    | = seperator

    start | “task” “task” “task” | System | time
    button | QL i i i i i i i i i i | internet stuff>> | Games>> | Other>> | Tray | date

  147. Mew

    thanks man you really helped me out!!

  148. Chris

    I just want to thank the article writer for doing such a good job. I was going crazy with the grouped tabs in windows 7 because I am constantly switching back and forth between programs. Thanks Again!

  149. Valerie

    I hate the taskbar!

    For work, I set-up my programs in a partcular order. Firefox web apps first – two of them on the left.
    IE web apps next and use the quick launch for docs and acessories I’m constantly accessing.

    This is a HUGE step backward for me. I have almost got it customized to what I need but it was painful.

    Part of what I dislike about the docking is that I’m contantly toggling between browsers and it is extremely clumsy for this. Horrid!

  150. Urwaind

    The new taskbar is nice but I miss the Quick Launch feature.

  151. Tyler

    Ok, my problem seems to be the same as all the other Windows7 taskbar haters. I simply cannot stand it. I think Microsoft seemed to make a good stuff up on this one. Nor do i like the Windows Classic taskbar option. I think there should be a WindowsXP taskbar for those who, like me prefer it.

    Good one Microsoft.

  152. North York Computer Repair

    That’s a life saver. I hated windows 7 taskbar from day one and was wondering who came up with that stupid idea. Thanks to this article my taskbar is normal again.

  153. Shalimar

    Amen! Thank you so very, very, very much for these instructions…and for the quicklaunch instructions, too, because for me, they both go hand-in-hand!

    First, I truly miss the functionality Windows 2000 provided me. Windows7 (“to me”) seems more like a badly created child’s toy than a real PC for people to actually use. I realize now that it’s going to be awhile before I can fully uninstall/disable/delete and change everything I dislike about Win7…BUT…I was really tearing my hair out over the “taskbar” and “quicklaunch” features; absolutely mindboggling.

    VOILA…now because of your instructions…PROBLEM SOLVED; the docked taskbar is out to sea and real functonality has come adrift!
    It’s like having my Windows 2000 taskbar & quicklaunch back; I can once again have access to the following:
    (1) switch back & forth “conveniently” in the taskbar to whatever I have open, and actually see at a glance exactly what/where they are without needing to move the mouse anywhere
    (2) drag “any shortcut icon” I want onto the Quicklaunch area
    (3) drag any URL address location icon onto the Quicklaunch area

    I simply can’t thank you enough!!!

    P.S. Hmmm…I don’t suppose I could entice you to zoom over to my residence and spend a week of your vacation just tweaking my Win7 for me…huh? huh? huh?
    On the other hand, if U could partially fulfill my request, you would only need spend a few hours instead…by bringing me a MAC! :)

  154. bobert

    Windows 7 taskbar and explorer are FULL OF FAIL. Poorly executed attempt at being more like mac or nautilus. Too much emphasis on being “pretty” and “functional” but the goons at ms just don’t know how to efficient.

  155. Adam

    The new windows 7 taskbar sucks! If I wanted something dock-like I’d switch to the mac or use rocketdock.

    I think a lot of users will now be leaving Windows and switching to Ubuntu Linux.

  156. 5t5t

    to do a simple task, vista takes more clicks than xp, w7 takes more clicks than vista. you call that an upgrade? M$ style

  157. 5t5t

    and also, is it just me? or everyone find the Show Desktop button to be an intentional joke from m$? I have to travel across the world to show my desktop, then travel all the way back to click on My Computer or My Document folder.
    Everytime when I do that, my mouse is almost falling of my table one side or the other.

  158. John

    I DO NOT like the Win7 taskbar. If your mouse moves over opened programmes, they pop up. I want them to pop up ONLY when I click them. I hate this gimmick stuff. Much rather have the XP layout for customising all of Windows features. They could have changed it and kept the old pathways, but no they have to make it so you almost have to start from scratch!! I really hope someone else comes along with a functional OS system that is not full of glitter!! Just the knobs and handles you need!

  159. Alex

    it’s not because you like the thing you should urge anyone to try. People don’t like changes on what is working.

    Try to move the taskbar on the left or right (like I do) and you will see how it behaves.
    It either display small squares representing the running programs, or the it changes to a wide rectangle with a ridiculous puny icon on the center… I WANT TO SEE THE STINKING TEXT !!!

    Yes, also with the Quick Launch: this is working same as before, thanks lord. The icons align vertically and display their text so I can see right away whenever the bar comes up, without need to remember all the time what the icon means.

    Set it to auto-hide is ok, however it would do better to allow for a small delay before showing the bar, to prevent it from poping like crazy just because the mouse wandered to the side

  160. Elliott

    i have windows 7, and i got this laptop with it once my old desktop computer with win xp i reall hated the new layout! i started to notice soe great things though, such as

    The pile on the taskbar when you have 2 windows ope of the same thing
    The nice aero look
    The cool ways you can personaize it
    The easier layout

    i just really miss the ways yo can changewin xp :P

  161. CK

    When I had Windows XP, I used to keep my taskbar at the top edge. On the desktop I used to hide the icons and used a Dock and placed it at the bottom.

    Now that I have windows 7, I don’t need a dock and a taskbar. I love Windows 7. It’s not confusing, it’s efficient (contrary to what others have said), it gets the work done pretty quickly.

    And whats with the quicklaunch, the new taskbar is a combination of the old taskbard and the quicklaunch bar -_-

  162. malfunq

    I did not like W7 taskbar at all.
    This is very helpful

    thx a bunch

  163. Mike

    I worked at Microsoft for a number of years and drew some conclusions about their GUI. First they have a huge number of “GUI” guys (for a less geek-like term) and they feel the need to justify themselves. So, they are always fiddling with the GUI. It just gets in my way, most of the time. Why irritate the bulk of your users? Most of them don’t want to live and breath computerese. It is just a tool to them and constantly moving the handles and buttons really pisses a lot of them off. If there was a good replacement, many would move.

    While I can work with any GUI there are two things I don’t like about the situation. One, more is not better and two, I don’t like the move to Web-like. I don’t like subscriptions and I wouldn’t like to have to log in and pay for time to use an operating system. Microsoft seems to be slowly move to this model and it shows in the new GUI. I didn’t like being hooked up to a mainframe (back when these dinosaurs roamed the land) and having to go to the pencil necked geeks in the computer room to do what I want to do really, really pissed me off. I loved owning my own computer and having total control even though it was only an Altair. I don’t want to replace the mainframe with the cloud.

    So, I am looking Linux over with interest since I get total control and its free. I can plug in any GUI I want or a couple, I can talk to the developers and they will send a patch if I need it (you must be nice to get this). The people are friendly and helpful and I have to deal with less updates, viruses etc.

  164. John

    Sorry MS, I DO know which programmes and pages I have opened and I DON’T need the pop up preview of everything whenever the mouse goes over the taskbar. How the hell can I stop this stupid gimmick? I have a small laptop so these previews really do interfere with viewing my work.

  165. hasif

    i want change my taskbar windows classic from windows

  166. WKMedia

    I like windows 7 shortcut functions but I don’t like the design.
    I change to classic skin . It’s work !

    Thanks for good article .

  167. Samuel Konger

    I like everything ’bout Win7 except the Flat Task bar. Looking for a software to make it a bit curvy like Vista. Vista cascading of windows was really great. Windows Picture viewer became worst after Vista. it does not support animated GIF like in XP and takes longer time to display if we click next. What I feel is features should be added not reduced. I still wonder why Microsoft has removed this simple feature! To insist us to use third party software?

  168. JP

    I hate the windows 7 ui changes and the taskbar. I like my quick launch. I know how to add it now, but they didnt make it easy. I also hate not being able to access every folder i want without permission, UAC, and a number of other things that have changed since XP. If its not broke you dont fix it. More options are ok but they shouldnt take options away, or hide them. I know they dont give a rip and just are trying to sell something new each year (its not like we need to change our OS out like a new car each year) so they try to keep altering and telling you you need it. That doesnt work on me. Just give us patches or make things optional, or better yet open it up so we can edit the interface a lot more. Id use Linux since it lets you do absolutely anything you want to your UI, if it wasnt for the fact the game designers are brown nosers to direct X. Wont touch the gameing consoles either, i like my mouse and keyboard. At this rate however ill have to just go without games and hit up Ubuntu soon. I dont like being informed what what i have to use. They can kiss my white butt they wont be getting my money till i see the features i want maintained or kept optional.

  169. Bri

    The more I use Windows 7, the more annoying it becomes.

    Everyone is an individual and for me the new task bar is a major annoyance, especially when one has multiple documents open in a single program. It is not instructive to have the desktop appear to change to the document when I hover it, only to disappear once the mouse moves off of it. I like to work fast and this feature is distracting, ultimately slowing me down.

    Eye candy is nice, but moving rapidly between tasks is sweeter.

  170. John

    To a certain March 6, 2010, comment about finding programs quicker in Win7 than WinXP by using the start menu search box:

    since when does an “upgrade” of a ***Graphical*** User Interface require that everything starts with “type …” into search?

    Funny that I never had to use Search in XP to start programs.

  171. Simon

    I LOVE the fact that you CAN choose! Who CARES which is better?
    This comment list proves only one thing, everyone has different tastes and methods of working. Vista’s big mistake was removing the ability to revert IF YOU WANTED TO. If Windows 7 is making sure YOU HAVE THE CHOICE, That’s what pc’s should be all about. (Otherwise buy a mac.)

    Also kudos to the author. I’m impressed they managed to write it so balanced and simply, without shouting about their own preferences like it’s the only one that matters.

  172. Julian

    i like it……. tnx a lot!!!=)

  173. Rowan

    One feature that seems to be missing from the Windows 7 Task Bar is the ability to drag a file and drop it on an application’s icon in the bar to open the file with that application. I used to do this all the time in Vista. Now if you do that, it doesn’t open the file, but gives you some “pin” options that I don’t understand or need. To open a file with an application, I now have first to right click the application icon in the task bar and open another instance of the application, then drag the file to the icon, wait for the list of currently open files to show, drag the file to the new one I just created, wait for it to open up, then drag the file into the appplication’s window. Then _sometimes_ it will open. How user friendly is that?
    Is it possible to get the drag and drop “open with” function back with Windows 7 without completely junking the new taskbar function?
    Thanks – Rowan

  174. Kollaps

    Hate it.The first thing I did when I got mine was figure out how to change all of these things, and added Quick Launch* back in. I often have multiple Excel files open, and I absolutely hate not being able to see what they *all* are to navigate between without having to alt-tab between 10-15 files.

    I hate Macs for a reason, the last thing I want is for my computer to look/act like one. At least the option to keep the old style is here though, otherwise I would have been returning it.

    Right now I am frustrated with the removal of the WMP dock. I often played videos with WMP docked small on the taskbar, so I could still work and use programs while having it on top and taking up minimal room. If anyone knows if it is possible to get it back, I’d love to know how.

    * For everyone having problems with Quick Launch …

  175. ROhan

    its funky

  176. Mike R

    Thanks to all for the tips on how to get the Taskbar back to something useable. What Microsoft has done with it in Windows 7 is nonsense, plain and simple. The Quick Launch bar in XP worked perfectly fine. Nothing needed to be changed. Pinning crap to the taskbar and dealing with the bloated icons, grouped icons, preview windows, cycling through thumbnails – useless and time-wasting drivel, all of it.

    Microsoft needs to learn once and for all that constantly rearranging menus and changing views for no reason whatsoever is going to send customers over to Mac and Linux in droves if they don’t stop it. They tell us it’s “more productive” and “you have to adjust to it.” Garbage. Once again, nothing needed to be changed. There was nothing lacking in XP. Having to struggle to put the programs I want to use on the taskbar, such that I have to search the web in disgust looking for a way to get the OS to comply with what I want, rather than what MS thinks I should want, is BS. Same goes for the “Libraries” and the endless obsession with Search. I group stuff into proper folders and thus don’t waste time with crappy, nonfunctional search utilities that produce more work than they prevent. I am an IT pro, not a scared Grandma who thinks the computer is out to get me, and I’ve probably wasted weeks of my life on the kiddie crap in Windows like actually being able to see hidden files I want to work with; full path names; the Details view instead of the Large icons view that is worthless to me, and so forth. So much time is wasted by Microsoft on petty stuff like pretty colors and revamped toolbars when the focus should be on genuine productivity improvements; stability; performance; ways to truly do new things better.

  177. Waaa???


    Thank you!

  178. comput

    I found that out my self!

  179. lolwut

    The person named “Waaa???” just a few comments up is THE MAN (or woman)! Thanks for the link. I got my coveted quicklaunch bar back!!

    Personally, I don’t agree with the author’s idea of what it means to “move forward’. Just because it’s new doesn’t make it a forward move and wanting to change the taskbar back to the way it was in XP and Vista is NOT moving backward. I go by the good ol’ tried-and-true rule of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

    After using it for a while, I discovered it’s nowhere near as productive. In XP and Vista, if I wanted to open a new instance of Internet Explorer, I just clicked my quicklaunch icon. In Windows 7, however, I have to right click the pinned icon then click Internet Explorer from the context menu. Why add a second click?

    This is not saying Windows 7 is no good. I just installed Ultimate and I absolutely love it, especially since now that I can “take a step backward” and enjoy it with the features I find useful.

  180. mike

    The new graphic user interface is nice, so is aero and after looking at the integrated search it seems nice, but….

    XP works for me so did 2000. I like a simple sleek system. I don’t really use most of the bells and whistles in Win 7 or its creeping web OS transformation. The other thing that I don’t like is all the crap ware every new PC comes with in most cases. I miss the days when a computer just came with an OS. I don’t know about any one else but I am really getting tired of all the monkeying around with the GUI. To me it is like going home every day and finding out that the front door has been moved again, and again, and again. I would like Microsoft to leave the GUI alone and build in the advances like integrated search, so I don’t have to relearn everything every couple of years. If we could charge back all the time lost to this ridiculous shuffling around of the GUI to Microsoft, I think Microsoft would think twice about always changing everything around.

    It seems to me that making the system leaner, faster, more stable etc. etc. would be a better use of their time to make a product that doesn’t need patches every other week. It seems to me that they don’t understand that people actually use computers to do their work and every time they change up everything, it costs untold millions of dollars in labor all through out the economy as all these people have to relearn the OS and Microsoft Office.

    I have been back stepping more and more to older or simple Linux distributions. I image the OEM setup. The next step I do is figure out how to dig out all the garbage, reconfigure the GUI as much as I can to get rid of things like Aero etc. and make another image. Then I install what I want and make a final image. From this final image I build a custom system with the Windows operating system on the front partition, which I make after the final base image and add Linux behind it.

    As I learn more and more about Linux I seem to use it more and more so I can avoid the Windows monkey motion. I really miss the fact that Dell won’t ship Linux systems anymore. I was lucky I guess that I got one of the last ones. I have actually timed the boot of the Windows side of my systems against the Linux side and most of the time Linux boots quicker, crashes less and works better for most of the simple things. I haven’t dumped Windows because it is so ubiquitous, the moment Windows loses it strangle hold on the desktop, I will move on.

  181. Skynet

    First of all, we have to make clear that windows 7 is a crap. I hate every so-called new features of it. What I’d like to know is how to disable the button grouping completely! I mean, even if combining is turned of, windows 7 places the instances of the programs next to each other. I want the buttons to appear in the same order I started the applications. To make it clear let’s suppose that I open one instance of FireFox first, then one instance of Thunderbird, then VLC Media Player, then Firefox again, then uTorrent, then eMule, then FireFox, the third. By default, the order of buttons will be, Firefox 1-3, Thunderbird, and so on. But I want the buttons in the following order: FireFox (1), Thunderbird, VLC, Firefox (2), and so on. How can I enable this kind of behaviour in win7?

  182. itguy

    First off, I can’t stand the endless drone about how people hate the ‘new’. Things change, get over it. If you really wanted it to look like windows 95 you should go out and pick up a 386 and use it. Please end the seemingly endless complaints about ui changes that are only the surface of Windows 7. You must understand that there are so many features you don’t see in Windows 7 that make it so much better than any other previous version of Windows (directx, process scheduling, etc.). No i’m not trying to get you to go buy it today. Just needing people to realize that things change, often for the better. Windows Xp is reaching end of life. Go learn something new and get over it, please.

    And for everyone complaining about Microsoft’s ui. Go check out

    Also, you shouldn’t switch your os choice based on how it looks. You should choose based on overall compatibility with your daily life, what software you use etc. The Mac vs PC vs Linux debate is so old. You can install Windows and Linux on a Mac (bootcamp/virtualpc). I can install Windows software in Linux (wine) and I can run Mac and Linux in Windows (virtual box). So please do some research before complaining about a simple ui change.

    To each his own.

  183. Tunes67

    I dont mind some of the changes in win 7. But, and this is a big but, MS really needs to allow more options for configuring windows for the typical user. I mean, if they want it to be so simple out of the box that even a 3 year old can use, fine. But they need to leave options in so that people can configure it to how it will work best for them specifically. None of this hidden shit where you have to go searching the web to find command line fixes for an option that should simply be available at a right click or at worst case by going to the control panel for system specific options. Win 7 does seem more stable and a bit quicker on my system than XP was with the same applications installed, but that is probably more due to the fact that 7 hasnt had the number of updates and service pack “Fixes” yet to bloat the registry like what happens with any MS OS once hackers find the security flaws and exploit them. So I expect win 7 to slow down much like any of their other operating systems have over time.

    I do miss the toolbar functionality of XP. I liked making my own custom toolbars and having them at the sides and even at the top of my monitor(s). For me, this was a elegant and practical solution from having to wade through the Start button to get to the taskbar to get to any given program or having tons of icons covering the desktop being obscured by open applications.

    For those that like to say things change and you should just get over it, I say a hearty bite me. I have been in IT and the Graphics industry for a long time (since 96) and while change can often be good, it doesnt always mean its best. What is best is for the individual to decide how his or her computer works best for them. If you honestly believe that people should just meekly accept something and be mindless drones in the name of change and progress then I truely pity you. Having the choice to be who we are and how we go through our daily lives is what freedom is all about. What works best for one person wont always be the best way for anyone else to do the same thing. XP gave a lot more choices on how a person could configure their interface than 7 does. 7 has features and improvements that XP doesnt have. It doesnt make anyone right or wrong for their preference on how either looks or functions if it works best for them.

    Overall, I like Windows 7. While I miss my toolbars, I do think its a vast improvement over XP (I never bothered with Vista). Given enough time I am sure it will become even more functional than XP was. I have learned how each new OS works pretty much since Win 3.0 (except Vista of course) and I will learn all the ins and outs and tricks to windows 7. Thats part of the fun of upgrading for me.

    But I still miss my toolbars… ;)


  184. Djisas

    After month of use, i got used to it and i have the taskbar behaving just like the vista one…
    Overall i have to admit this os is pretty good actually, its faster than previous ones…

  185. siim

    I like the new taskbar because it saves room on my taskbar and it’s great to do multiply things at once because you can see previev of open programs with names when sliding mouse over the icon.

  186. newb

    The problem I have is that I have not figured out how (in Windows 7) to get the shortcut keys working like they did in Vista. With Vista, the items in the Quick Launch bar were tied to the Windows+[Number] shortcut keys. In Windows 7, these same shortcuts are tied to the elements in the regular taskbar. Now, I know you can pin programs etc. there, so it kinda works the same, but the problem is that I have not figured out how to pin a shortcut to a file or a folder (programs work fine).

    In Vista, I could add, for example, a shortcut to my daily log file, a ccouple of common folders etc. as well as to executable. Then with a Windows+[num] I had direct access. In Windows 7, I can only do executables :-(

    If anyone knows how to do this for a file, I would be very happy to hear how.

  187. Dragos

    Interesant! Stii cumva cum fac sa nu mai intre partea de jos a ferestrelor sub taskbar ?

  188. Dragos

    ENGLISH VERSION :)) Interesting! Do you know how to prevent the bottom of the window to get under the taskbar?

  189. Isaac

    Docking Taskbar blows, I think you should be able to trade in your copy of Wondows 7 for good ole XP.

  190. lufia22

    This article keeps making the docking feature sound like a move forwards, yet you don’t even describe why. Why do you like it? If you have two folders open, why do you like adding an extra step to clicking on which folder you want? Having to mouse over or click and then click which window I want is cumbersome and annoying. How is that a step forwards?

  191. LadyKenobi

    Thanks so much for this, especially the step-by-step instructions with the photos. It’s a big help. I really appreciate your time. *MWAH*

  192. PugLives!

    Ok, so I dont know if the editors are ever going to address some of these comments. (“Hey, thanks for the hundreds of replies, and we here Microsoft is….” kind of update, buuut…)

    Here is my gripe – No, the docking bar is a step BACKWARDS. Sure you can “say” its great that this and that is now available – but you LOOSE some really good features!

    Here is my pull my hair out “Why NOT?!” list….

    1) So “ctrl+n” with both hands on the key board is a great short cut! (I dont really think so, I am being sarcastic) if you serf the web using both hands on a keyboard … but how many people surf the web with one hand, and its on your mouse? The why NOT: When you pin program, say Firefox, its a great (quick launch). What blows is that you once it is running…..the quick launch icon is GONE! (“Heeeere icon icon icon”) It now becomes a running pogrom icon. What is this, disposable quick launch – you can only have one quicky and then your lost back on your computer?…sorry, my wife wrote that last sentence.

    Anyway clicking on it only brings up the window. Now I don’t know about you, but I do not surf the web with two hands on my keyboard, so trying to hold down “ctrl” with one pinky and the “n” with my thumb….it doesn’t make anything short. You have to either look down and contort your wrist or use your other hand by pulling it away from your mouse. I work with the web, so I LOVED (loved loved loved) just mousing over a quick launch icon for a new, independent Firefox browser to open. Why NOT leave that feature?!?

    2) Next, the whole docking thing. So yes, since we are all talking about it, why NOT just give us an option to combine like programs(or NOT to)!? You know boys, it was an option we could decide on our own in previous OS’s!?….I am really mad. I may not have much to say, but thats ’cause I am stewing. Really. Nuff said.

    3) This is really crazy, but when I change a setting, say icon size, it should changes the icon size. When I change font size, it changes font size….In fact Microsoft has been known to allow us monkeys (who actually don’t need everything done for us) to set the sizes ourselves….but for some reason when I reduce my task bar icon size….it changes the actual function of my task bar icons. WTH? Now WAIT! Yes I like the function when they are small! My problem is I bought this huge flat panel monitor for home and I don’t want to have to look at tiny font as the ONLY solution to how the icons WORK?! Why not just add an option not replace and combine options!? arrgg…more hair gone.

    [IN fact…using your monkey logic on us (that’s what Microsoft thinks of us, you didn’t catch that?) that is confusing when you try and have us use one option to actually effect another (see gripe #2) know monkey logic says words should be small and meanings clear. Lets see, now monkey sign language word for “confused”….ok, I remember, Microsoft, look, I am trying to c-o-m-m-u-n-i-c-a-t-e back to you. I am holding in up the universal confused monkey talk sign: One figure pointed straight up, middle, all others clenched to palm. Does that convey confused? Oh good, it does. Lets move on.]

    4) Icon tray. I see it. I use it. Now I don’t like useless Icon/Active Icons in windows. It is one of the first options I adjust when working on someones computer as well as mine. The problem is, there are some very useful icons we need (like that little signal strength for your free coffee shop wi-fi as you find the most quiet see it on your laptop). Point is there are a few things I WANT to glance at and see the status of. So why oh why do I have to mouse over them to see them now?!?! Why NOT give me a choice how to display them?!

    [Sub complaint: why are some programs no longer able to reduce to the Icon Tray?! Typical compatibility issue with Microsoft and or did they take the option away from us monkeys? Either way…why!?]

    Lastly 5) When Microsoft has in the past made changes, you could change a setting and choose if you wanted to use the old version. Even mundane things like the feel of the control panel is customizable to revert to old versions for crying out loud! Why not give us a choice under Taskbar properties?!? grrr…as hair is falling to floor I realize….

    …my wife may not think I am sexy anymore.

    Thanks Microsoft! Give us some options and why not bring sexy back!!

    ** I love How-to-Geek!** I hope you guys can post an update on these frustrating features!!

  193. PugLives!

    …and yes, to the grammar police: Yes, I have errors, little words that don’t fit, and maybe even mispeled words….that is just fine because this is a comment section. Not a term paper. Comments are like rough drafts. You are to write fast and get the ideas out. Remember, that is what your English teacher ALSO taught. If you want to publish it………..later you can pay a grammar natzi like you to fix it while I get paid!! : ) : )

  194. Nancy

    AHHH THIS HELPED ME SO MUCH!! Thank youuu!!! :D

  195. NM

    Most frustrating, slow, major step backwards ever!
    If you have multiple windows open the task bar becomes a confusing nightmare of mini windows flashing around like wild bees, and just as hard to catch the one you want!
    What was a simple click on the open pgrm in the taskbar is now a pain in the a ss.
    So glad I found this page, I could not switch back quickly enough.
    Maybe kids will like it, flicking between their illegal download pages and MSN,
    but from a business perspective it is an inefficient and frustrating waste of time!

  196. Jeremy

    I personally LOVE the way the circle with the windows logo looks in Windows Vista, how the edges are slightly out of the taskbar, but I hate how small the icon are. I personally LOVE Windows Se7en to the upmost extreme, but I feel limited to Taskbar design- really, not that big of a deal- the only time you really want to change your Taskbar is when you think about it. Lol, but I am liking the Windows Se7en taskbar- now that I’m using it more xD

  197. Peter

    I do not go for fanciness, I strive for ergonomics!
    Suffering with RSI symptoms very easily I need a GUI which allows tasks to be accomplished by fewest clicks or mouse movements as possible.
    Windows 7 is a big step back in this respect !!
    I wonder if those guys at Microsoft have a test suite which measures click count and mouse movements for standard tasks.
    The new start menu, the task bar, especially the new explorer: all these require many more clicks than before especially if you are working in an office environment where data is stored mainly on network shares and not in your home folder.
    I wish each and every Microsoft would have the RSI sensitivity I have so they would come up with ergonomic solutions.

  198. MizBermy

    I hate the new taskbar (and many other new features in Windows 7). Every time Microsoft comes up with new software they take away features that people have become familiar with and have been able to customize to their needs. If you’re a computer geek, cool, but most of us don’t have time to re-learn how to use the software every year Microsoft decides they want to change. I’m all for updates, but why remove the old features, it makes it not worth it to upgrade when you lose the old stuff (I agree with PugLives! – see his comments above). I live by the Quick Launch bar, it saved me so much time. I miss it and I’ll probably be uninstalling Windows 7 so that I can get it back. Although Vista sucked, it was still better than Windows 7, in my opinion, since I still had all the functionality of XP along with the updated features.

  199. Stanimir Stamenkov

    There appears no way to make the Windows 7 task-bar work as in Windows XP – the buttons are always grouped by application (even using the suggested setting of “Never Combine”) and I really want them in specific order (for which I’ve used a Taskbar Shuffle [] utility with Windows XP), separated even for the same application, e.g. having Windows Explorer windows at different positions which I use for different purposes. It is not possible to select number of task-bar buttons by using Ctrl+Click and then close the selected group at once, also.

  200. leo

    Due to my work specific I urgently need always to know, how many separately windows (documents) are currently opened in some running applications (mail client, browser, MS Word, Adobe Acrobat and some other).
    In Window XP I’d used the option “Group similar taskbar buttons” in order to get this number: it was shown by default at the beginning of every grouped button at the taskbar. Is there any option to get the same in Windows 7? I’ve made my Windows seven’s taskbar to look almost as it looks in Windows XP (using “always combined” etc), but could not find any way to see the number of currently opened windows :=(
    May be some third-party utility or via manually modifying the system registry?

    Thanks for every idea!

  201. Cam

    I find it annoying, the images are large and moreover, aren’t large ENOUGH for me to see which page I actually want to open! Moreover, there can be some weird flashing between pages at times (I can’t really describe it)… another problem? What if I want to SEE all those windows? I mean, I normally only have about 5 windows open, what is there a need for clicking to see them, then clicking again for the one I want instead of just clicking the one I want right away. Geez.

  202. sean

    i’ll give w7 a go, but to hell with fancy crap that slows me down. not interested in fancy transparency and animations, and only-pretty-logos if i have to think ‘what the hell program is that’. if it slows me down i’d revert straight back to windows classic, and turn all the cpu sapping animations and transparency off. xp still does everything for me, i won’t change till the wheel is broken.

  203. Raven

    Um no the Windows 7 taskbar (along with everything else about Windows 7, except for the fact that you can basically make a system ISO), is horrible. I can’t find anything or switch programs at all… and why the fuck isn’t there a quicklaunch? If it was useful, I wouldn’t have gone to the effort to look up a way to revert it.

    In addition, Windows stopped allowing sales of XP a while ago… I guess they want to encourage users to stop using Microsoft.

  204. TimG_n_Dallas

    Thanks for the info on how to change settings so that the open windows would not be combined. I would have never found that option if I had not decided to query it on Yahoo! search. I have been living with it for 10 months! On my old pc with XP I had the tweak for Firefox to send open sessions to the System Tray rather than leaving them cluttered on the task bar, the first time I noticed that Win7 combines open browser pages I thought it was cool, but when I started trying to switch between them using Alt Tab it became a Nightmare! I learned on my own that Ctrl, Alt, Tab opens a stationary view of all open windows and you can pan through them with either the Tab key or ← → arrow keys. Call me Old School (and I’m not even that old) but I prefer to keep my open windows segregated. The option to combine if the task bar is full is a good idea. I found out that it doesn’t take effect until 9 of the same are open. Then when you click on the group it brings up All of them in a row for easy viewing. That’s excellent! Windows 7 is a new adventure for me every day. Cheers!☺ ← This is a smiley face made by hitting ALT 1 keys… Zoom your browser larger to see it.)

  205. Jjunk

    New taskbar has wasted a ton of my time. Still trying to figure out how to turn it off. What happened to the shortcut to the desktop? Can’t tell the icons apart any more. What are these guys thinking?

  206. Mike

    I feel like Peter Sellers every time they change the GUI. It is like coming home and finding all the doors and windows moved and the locks changed. I wish we could charge back to Microsoft all the time lost trying to figure out each new GUI.

    I was a mechanic years ago and I would buy tools that worked for me and I had a choice. With MS operating systems you don’t get a choice, you get stuck with whatever some needle necked physical factors egg head thinks is “better.”

    I wish that they would always have a “classic” button to change the GUI back on all their new operating systems so that you can get some work done.

    A good example is this meta data library setup, what a waste of time and pain in the butt. How hard is it to setup a folder and dump in all your stuff, really, what a joke.

  207. Adrian

    I agree with Mike.

    You should always have human backwards compatibility. This is a HUGE productivity loss. Improvements should be incremental.

  208. Rahul-Does

    Microsoft is on a DUMBIFICATION drive!

    From the Office Ribbon to this irritating, productivity hitting dock, these are annoyances that are making me, for the first time, downloading cracked torrents of Office 2003, so that I can work.

    Riled and annoyed,


  209. Rob

    I did not read this whole post but one thing I really cannot stand is when I view the task bar NEVER COMBINE the some pinned programs shortcuts move around even when not loaded. What happen to the way Windows XP kept the non running apps short cuts all the way to the left. That should be a default not an option. An option I cannot even find

  210. Mike

    Like seemingly everything else in this increasingly messed up world, everyone wants “form over function”, not the other way around. It seems the design GEEKS are affected by the same brain decay that affects developments in the new so called music and yes, even car designs. Everyone wants to make a “meaningful contribution”, even if it means screwing up functionality for the rest of us. In other words, “Image is everything” (like the TV pop commercials). Usefulness and expediency fall away in the scramble to “make it pretty”……eeew !!!

  211. Lost

    The new task bar is a step back. I run a vertical task bar on the right hand side, with two columns of icons. Not anymore. I am now searching for something else. I feel like I lost my OS. I hate the glitz of the new themes, they get in the way of work.

  212. Vishal

    I think i would be rather silly and use the “Windows classic” theme


  213. Ron

    Just stumbled across your website and a big thanks for showing me a way to go back to the old fashioned Taskbar. Grouping all the items together was the number one major nuisance for me of Windows 7…. well, that and the way many of the windows would automatically go full screen when pushed to the edge of the screen. What a nunch of unnecessary, annoying features.

  214. tamara

    I was very annoyed at Windows 7 until I set my mind to make it work. I really love the search bar when you click on start. Regarding the task bar, I just used one of the folders you find when you click on the folder icon on the task bar beside start. I changed the name on one of the folder from Video Library to Short cuts. In that I put a new folder for security items and one misc shortcuts. Works fine for me. I would still rather have the old quick launch bar, but I can’t, so I adjust. I did the quick launch thing, but didn’t have the up arrow that hides some of the shortcuts.

  215. Ngoo Nam

    Thanks, Geek , for the tip.

    Quicklaunch is the better toolbar than pinning on taskbar.

    The only good thing I see for the Win 7 taskbar is the preview. But, it disappears when resources are low, so, it’s basically useless for me. Also the “icon tray” is a little better than XP.

    It’s not a move forward, Geek, since, they took out the Quicklaunch, and you have to do it manually. It’s going backwards! Well, more than that, Microsoft cut off a limb!!

    Anyway, thanks again for the tip, and all your tips. It’s a timesaver you have to do all the research and trial and errors while I just go to your site! :)

    P.S. Many of Win 7 functinality are unintuitive, like the Control Panel. The File Browser (Explorer) with Favorites look good and that made it a thousand times better (for me) than XP’s. The Recycle Bin can’t be pinned to task bar and start menu which removed the functionality of right-clicking on them to empty it quickly without going to the Desktop. Now that’s horrible!

  216. Man oh man

    i just wanna say i hope everybody at microsoft dies a painful fiery death while your kids are watching, thats for changing stuff up fucking jerks. f windows 7

  217. truthmonger

    @Man oh man: While its true that Win7 just exacerbated the failure of Vista, there’s no call for silly fits of swearing and pointless rage.

    Agree wholeheartedly with most of the points about Seven’s user-hostile design. Everything users hated about Vista was not only kept but extended to new heights of workflow destruction. Microsoft screwed up and they’ll either get their act together or a competitor (Google, perhaps) will swoop in and leave them in dust. People may laugh now but this scenario seems more real by the day. With productivity apps moving increasingly to the web, the almighty Microsoft Office becomes less and less relevant for business. The only thing most home users need Windows for is running games – and the game companies desperately want to get away from the PC entirely. If that happens, who can honestly say they’ll need Microsoft for anything? The only conclusion I can draw is that Microsoft is living in a bubble, with its engineers and managers listening only to each other and not the public. They randomly pick a few elements from competing products, combine that with some “innovation” and call it a new desktop. Problem is, the elements they borrow are the least useful. Worse yet, the truly original parts of Seven seem added for the sake of being different with no regard for how they affect the end user.

    Bottom line for me? Windows 7 was definitely NOT my idea, or anyone else’s beyond the borders of the Redmond campus. But it has done one amazing thing: Win7 has made me finally appreciate Windows Vista. It has most of Win7’s improvements but only a smattering of its innumerable failings. If you have a reasonably powerful machine with more than 3gb of RAM and you need DirectX 10/11 support it might be worth making the leap to Vista 64. Otherwise I’d obtain a copy of Windows XP 64-bit, which can use all the memory you have with no drawbacks other than not supporting a few popular apps (most Norton products, for example).

  218. Pat

    Let me be up front here, I don’t hate Windows 7. I don’t hate the taskbar. I hate the removal of one feature that has been in every version of Windows up to this point. I no longer have the option to disable “Keep Taskbar on Top.” This is the only computer I have that runs any version of MS Windows. I need it for work to run exactly 1 application there is no viable alternative for under Linux, my preferred OS. To maintain some semblance of continuity between systems, I have customized both desktops so the taskbars and window control buttons (Minimize, Maximize, Close) are the way I like them. This keeps it close enough that I don’t fumble around going to the wrong spot out of reflex to close an app or something. However, on the Windows machine, half the time when I open a program – Media Player being one of the worst offenders, it starts with its title bar UNDER the taskbar. The only “solution” MS approves of is to autohide the taskbar, move the window, then turn autohide back off. A clumsy workaround at best, not a solution. So much for putting the user in control. And don’t even get me started on DRM.

  219. Musafer

    Thanks for everythings please tell me how can i view thumbles on taskbar because it showing programes name only? i installed windows 7 ultimite and i have ATI Radeon 9250 graphic card , please can u tell me is this graphic card ok or i have to buy another one for windows 7 ultimate , please sombody tell me how can i solve this probleme , thanks for everything again God bless u all

  220. wims

    The amount of stupidity in the comments section here is amazing. If you guys had spent the time on tweaking your os instead of spending it whining then you would have had the exact same look and feel as your beloved XP or whatever. Its possible to add the menu bar to explorer windows. Its possible to remove the navigation pane. Its possible to have quicklaunch icons on the taskbar. etc etc etc

  221. wisva

    Thank you very much! These instructions made my day and I finally got rid of Windows XP and Vista and changed to Windows 7. Excellent work!

  222. robby

    Where is the Desktop/Personalize section you mention and how can I change the appearance to Classic Windows?

  223. TJ

    Windows 7 taskbar is horrible. To clarify what this article says above, “moving forward” does not mean making change for the sake of change, there needs to be some actual improvement. The dock style is a great benefit but like most things Windows does when they make a change it has one big oversight. For those of you out there that want your taskbar to be EXACTLY like it was in any of the version of Windows before it, this one is for you (Yes, I also hate when things get fixed that aren’t broken but Microsoft will continue this process forever unfortunately):

    Have you noticed that in 2000/XP/Vista all your taskbar buttons would line up ALWAYS on the right of the taskbar icons? So if you open a new folder, or application, or Internet Explorer window…..the buttons would always line up on the right of any icons you had in the taskbar. In Windows 7 this is not the case. It’s awesome you can drag things wherever, but if you don’t want that then you are screwed. Come on Microsoft! That is how most of us keep track of which browser window we opened last is whatever is on the far right. Does that make sense to anyone else? Please somebody second my opinion.

    Bottom line: Windows 7 taskbar is a great thought but still needs some work.

  224. Vicki

    Glad this simple fix is out here. Docking each type SUCKS! For those of us doing spreadsheets, taking info off of each onto a monthly/yearly spreadsheet, we NEED to be able to see the name of each and quickly flip between. The docking does not allow that to be done easily and quickly.

    I also find it irritating that the “hovering” does it so quickly. Hey, I’m just moving my dang mouse around the screen! I don’t need to see what each icon is.

  225. Roy

    I tried to like it for over a year
    I’m going back to XP style like the article explains how to do
    I agree with Vicki above you need to be able to see what is open
    With the older style i can see everything that is open
    With the windows 7 style i just see the same “pins” and do not know if there are 0, 1, or multiple windows open until i click on it with my mouse. Often i found myself just quickly navigating to folders via the desktop rather than searching on the windows 7 docked pins to see if the folder was already open or not (often it was)

  226. Roy

    2 minutes in – so far so good
    In theory windows 7 was “moving forward”
    but really it was making things kind of simpler for people who don’t know what their doing
    in my practice the older style is actually more functional – a little cluttered at the bottom but in a good way showing useful things that are open so you can easily switch to things.

    My vote is for large icons, windows classic

  227. Linda M.

    I’m glad I found your instructions on how to get rid of the dock-style taskbar. I hated it! I didn’t lie all of the extra clicks that I had to make to get to the document that I wanted, especially when I only had two documents to choose from. It was a real pain in the …!

  228. bobri28

    for all you people complaning there is a simple solution…DON’T USE WINDOWS 7

  229. grumpyOldMan

    “If you wanted to be really silly, you can choose the “Windows Classic” theme ”
    well, call me “silly” then, that is almost perfect… looks anyways, functional still not there

    @bobri28, you could make that statement a couple months back, when you could still purchase a new pc with windows XP… but, you cannot any more… so I guess the complaints will continue until someone at Microsoft hears..

    They will never please everyone with their default settings, I wouldn’t expect it to look right for me out of the box… but they can at least keep the options to make the UI the way users want it, complex, like it is now with oohs and ahhs, throbbing icons, mini-preiviews, etc… or simple, click and open programs like some of us are used to..

    funny how this article is almost two years old, written from the beta, yet the released windows 7 still gets gripes and still not a peep about a sp1 to fix any of the complaints…

  230. AnnoyedPrgmr

    I HATE the windows taskbar docking is poor design and STUPID, I want the quick app launches on the left by themselves not spread out when you have an app running.. the Biggie is NOT being able to click on a icon and getting another version to run without having to RIGHT click is a WASTE of my time and slows me down… I may have several apps running that I need to click between, Having this stupid thing spreading out.
    I also do not like the “START” menu either.
    Oh and BOB – I had to buy a new laptop which has windows7 would have much prefer to stay with XP — right now there is NOT too much I like about 7

    MS bring back the XP taskbar and start —


  231. kent

    Doggone it. I HATE having to right-click on the icon already launched just to start a new instance! That is SUCH a huge and annoying “double step” added to what was a really cool “just click the icon and you get a new instance” … GRRRRRRR!!!! Why on earth do they change a fundamental UI without any way to make it as simple as it was? It was so EASY to open another browser instance (I hate tabbed browsing so don’t go there) in XP and Vista and now THIS!!!!!


  232. aP

    i’ve only had it for 2 days on a brand new computer. am trying to adjust. so far really not a fan (okay, i admit i hate change). I’ll tell you what I like: the zoom feature using the tracpad. what I hate: the dock. It went in the first hour – as soon as i could sort how to make it dissapear. I had to use a Mac for a few months for work and i never did get to like the stupid thing. I don’t want anything that works or looks like or imitates it, thank you very much.

    I HATE that i can’t windowskey, U, U to shut down like in XP. And I set my XP to ‘classic’ mode when I first got it 4 years ago…so I don’t even like the XP startmenu thing. I want to be able to keystroke my way through the start menu and program menus. I can’t figure out how to make that work! I can’t tell you how much I dislike not being able to keystroke my shutdown. It’s the only way i’ve shut down my computer for 4 years. Some change is good & worth the struggle to change with. This, for me, is so not!!! I’d rather not mouse at all if I had a choice.

    This seems to start up pretty quickly which is nice. I am working hard trying to get all sorts of automatic updating shut down. I like to control things like what programs are coming down onto my computer.

    And so far — don’t know if it’s this machine or the OS — I cannot get online wirelessly in my home. 3 other laptops (2 XP and one Vista) as well as an older ME machine w/a wireless card PCMCIA all can get on. I can get on plugged in. But not with the wifi. it detects the network, but cannot connect. Bizarre. Going to have to try and get the brother who is a computer whiz to figure that one out so i can get away from this one little corner of the sofa…

    Mostly i think i’m happy with the machine, and neutral on 7. As time goes by i’ll see how I adjust. But heck no — i don’t need a dock, thanks. I like icons on my desktop, just like i’m used to.

  233. SwedishBlonde

    oooh, thanks a lot. i was ready to pay $50 for this. No kidding! I was seriously asking a guy to turn the dock and he asked $50. I was so close to accept the offer. My thanks go to the person who wrote it and also Buddha!

  234. HaiEvwyone!

    You guys shouldn’t have this as a permanent setting! You spent $200 on Windows 7 and neglect one of the main features… Buy or Windows XP or Vista instead. The Older taskbars were pretty much the same since Windows 95. Just give new ideas a try!

  235. HaiEvwyone!

    I also forgot to say, there is a faster way to open the same program twice. Instead of right clicking, just press shift and left click the icon once and done! No extra clicks! I am an absolute fan of the new taskbar because it can preview all my open programs without minimising or maximising any open windows. It does not provoke any extra, unessecary clicks, it actually puts clicks on the taskbar to a minimum.

  236. HaiEvwyone!

    Sorry I can’t help but bombard more… I know I can’t force you to say Win7 is better or worse, I’m not going to try and change your opinion here… For those who don’t like the Windows 7 taskbar, simply don’t use Windows 7! You should only choose the OS you prefer, not the one that is the newest (only if you already prefer the newest)… But it is also a give and take. If you are willing to give up your older experience of Vista, XP, or even 2000 and change to Windows 7, and ADAPT to the new feature, you’ll benefit all the other features that Win7 has that XP, Vista or 2000 doesn’t have…
    If you don’t like just one of the features, and like every other feature, and you’re not willing to adapt, well suffer the consequences of not having the features you want!
    If you hate Win7 and all of its features, well stick with our preferred OS…
    I’m not trying to say that one opinion is better than the other, I’m saying these are the things you should take into account when thinking of changing to Win7…

  237. HaiEvwyone!

    I CAN’T HELP IT! People who say Win7 taskbar is just eye candy should know that office computers are the slower computers of this age and use OS’s like XP because it is efficient for the office. Since PC’s are now cheaper to buy, and faster, and with more powerful graphics than the Office Computer. The PC has become MS main priority (I think) because everyone has one now… MS (I think) can’t help it but chew up all the graphics of your PC and use it wildly (that’s my theory on Vista). But MS grew a bit more wise with Win7 and thought thru Vista’s problems and fixed it with less eye candy and faster speeds.

  238. BrainbeastV1

    I’m not appreciative of the new Windows taskbar. I like to be able to look down and read what’s going on, because I’m the type of person to have one-hundred [this is not a hyperbole] tabs open at once. I don’t want to have to hover my mouse and look through one-hundred screen shots of what I’m currently doing to find the next thing I want to do when I’m switching over from internet to Wordpad to internet. I’m sure that I’m just being stubborn.

  239. Tom22

    the popping up on hover was enought to make me lose my mind.. completely ruined functionality of programsI run three monitors.. with maybe three aps going in addition to mayb 5 intances of explorer with 3 or 4 tabs open in each of those… I don’t quite have the 100’s but very often 2 dozen…

    … If I’m playing a game on one..( can’t afford to miss a few seconds) working on illustrator in another …. two or three email boxes open… a few searches with things i’m pulling excerpts or images out of (a couple instances of work or write.opern office etc)

    it was nightmare until you expained how to go back …

  240. Tom22

    How do I keep from having the windows minimized when I click on the task bar?

    I like to pound on those to bring things to the front.. I don’t want to minimize anything.. want them layered so that i can grab a little corner that I leave seen in my majong deck.

    Often I’ll have the windows stacked so that I don’t need to waste screen space on the margins some websites have or parts of programs that aren’t critical when I only want to look at the data, not use controls.

    And how do I keep things from popping up on hover? If I get my mouse too close to the bottom next thing you know i’m clicking on some application.

    Really, some of us want the computer there more like a hammer, not a carpeter with a hammer assumign you’re going to want something hammered… i might reach for the hammer as a paperweight…

    Give us options with a minimum of assuptions of what we want.

  241. BGR

    Greetings, I have Windows 7 in my computer, my task bar has two options one is to hide and second it will be in a windows of its one. I want to have my task bar not to hide or be on it’s one, options, I want it to be in the back when I open a program as in Windows XP. Does some one have a advice for me.
    Thank you for reading this comment

  242. chad

    Why did the idiots make it so you can’t quicklaunch more than one copy of the same program!? So annoying! And they does it create a jumbled mess by combining the quicklaunch icon with open windows? are the devs on crack!?!?!?!

  243. Bob

    chad – why do you have to? I have never needed to open the same program twice from the taskbar. In Microsoft office programs for a new instance, just click file>new. In WinExplorer right click the file or whatever you want to open and select Open in new Window. IE uses tabs so you don’t need to open IE twice. And no, All the open windows are organised so that two instances of a program are grouped and not cluttered like Vista or XP. The taskbar looks far neater than Vista or XP. I think you’re on crack!

  244. Danny

    Hey i wanna install windows vista on windows 7 but i dont have the windows 7 instalation disc some 1 PLEASE HELP ME! :(

  245. hate ms people

    this stupid “new toolbar” is slowing down the production for users as me, on software like Autocad for example which have lots of trigger buttons in the lower edge border fo the application, we used to fast move the cursor down and click, but now i have to carefully avoid to click any other icon in that stupid bar. i need to this icon bar to stay UNDER everything , exactly like XP, i dont want to move this to left side or right side or on the upper screen border, i need this BAR in the lower edge to check things, and i need to this to appears just only when i press on the windows key, not allways visible or “hiding bar behavior”.
    why this “SMART” people of MS think we need a change in the ergonomy of the interface, WHY I NOT ALLOWED TO CONFIGURE THIS STUPID THING THE WAY I NEED!!!!!!!!!

  246. hate ms people

    … and the point is ( to those all people that says , so dont use win 7 just use win xp), is a basic rule in developing new products (yes, im on that side of the crowd), if something works, dont change it, if you need to deliver a new product to market, just be sure to allow people the new product with all the new improvements and performance blah blah just can be configured in the UI as the previous winner product. just simple.

    im frustated that i cant find a hack or patch or utility that allows me to restore the check/uncheck box “keep the tasbar on top”. or better, a hack or somthing that allows me to restore the whole xp taskbar as is, on the the “wonder win 7”

    and yes of course as you noticed, im not english spoken.

  247. Judy

    I HATE HATE HATE this Windows 7 there is nothing about it I like, my program list is messed up , I don’t like the crazy DOCK at the top I x it everytime I get on…….I want to change mine to xp that is what I like………………

  248. Judy

    Can I change from my start button so it will work like Windows XP ? My new laptop has WINDOWS 7 and I want to change it so it works like XP……..Please help me with this I do hate this ……………

  249. Jay

    I HATE THE CLEAR-NESS I HATE IT!!!!! but the rest is fine

  250. whyrl

    why has no one pointed out the REAL WORLD slowdown in speed when icons are constantly chaning locations?
    There are so many good comments on here – but I find the biggest problem, as a departure from my XP quick launch, is that I have to spend time FINDING what I want.

    And as a side note – I run XP in CLASSIC mode. Square windows, simple clean, fast.
    Turn off all the animation.
    Just let me get to work.

  251. Geheris

    I hate the new Windows 7 dock system

    Frankly, the new ‘dock’ system seems to be favored by people who either use their PC solely for ‘recreation’/photos and videos or are simply not that computer savy, whereas people — like myself — who actually ‘work’ on their computer want and sometimes need to be able to quickly read what is open and where it is. For work, I need the precision of reading what is open, I can’t rely on pictures.

    Working on my computer, I don’t want to and can’t rely on looking at pictures/symbols to switch between programs. It’s great for casual PC users, and terrible for people who work.

    For people who use their computer for serious stuff, this new dock system is a true nightmare, and pretty much every ‘serious user’ I know feels the same way.

  252. Logan

    I came on my laptop today and it was the XP theme, how do I change it back to the W7 ?

  253. Robert

    its to annoying to jump from one program to another. in classic view i see what i ahve open. i’m not one to use the keyboard due to my programs not really having hot keys, so to easily jump makes my life easier then searching through the docks.

  254. Skaruts

    The first thing I noticed in windows 7 when I started working on my projects was the lack of functionality and organization in the new dock style. The combined style is completely messy and in practical terms it confuses me more than ever. Besides it slows me down quite a bit when traveling through folders and applications. I tend to have ten-twenty windows open while working, and that forced me to raise the taskbar height to three times it’s size in XP (took some getting used to, but worked great), and it turns out that XP’s perfection is inversely proportional to Win7’s deficiency.

    Besides that, icons get mixed up between apps, and the icons get “lit up” when the app is running, so if I need another instance of an app, I’m screwed and must go somewhere else to run it.

    This guide does no more than showing the obvious and it’s completely useless to anyone who was used to XP’s practical functionality and now has to face win7’s lack of it. Un-combining the icons still doesn’t solve the mess they stay in, still doesn’t solve the problem of opening two instances of an app from the same icon, still doesn’t allow icons to be left alone and organized in the (inexistent) “quick launch” side of the bar.

    As of now, going back to XP is not the best choice since Microsoft tends to greedily force consumers to leave the old versions behind so they can sell the new ones. So the only reason I’m not moving into Mac is because I’m a frequent gamer and unfortunately games are still relying mostly in this inconsistent OS, and also because spending more money in computers is, at this moment, definitely not a priority for me.

  255. Lis

    I don’t like the new taskbar for one reason: I have eyestrain and suffer from ocular migraines, and the new taskbar is hard on the eyes. For that reason I have set it to work more like the old one and restored the quicklaunch bar. However, there is no way to turn off the tool tips like there was in xp. If you have eye strain, you know what I’m talking about when I say tool tips can really bother your eyes. I think it was a real oversight not to provide a way to turn them off. Not everyone needs them or wants them.

  256. AAA

    i wish i could use the classic right click menu on the tasks of the taskbar(without using SHIFT) , and that the menu won’t have an offset from the place that you’ve done the right click .how come “pin to desktop” is more important than minimize,close,move,maximize ?
    in the previous versions, i could also choose multiple tasks and close them all. i don’t think it’s possible now.
    also, the current taskbar doesn’t show well which task has the focus . i wish i could change that too.

  257. kimmmmm;

    i accidently did something to my task bar and now it doesnt show icons it just shows like words when i scroll over the tasks. how do i go back to seeing icons or pictures while scrolling over these?

  258. Df

    I bought a new laptop for my kids at xmas and my youngest who has autism, just could not get the hang of W7 so thanks for this, it has made things much easier for him to move around like he does on the PC. The multiple windows was just too much for him.

  259. andrej

    Just what I’ve been searching for. Thanks for the tutorial!

  260. lee

    I hate the dockable taskbar. Why can’t MSN put more effort into making a stable system instead of changing the interface every other year.

  261. Win7 Regression

    The poster taking about the windows 7 interface regression was right on.

    Why is it that the Windows 7 technical improvements have to be tethered to eye candy and additional clicking for those of us who just want to get work done?

  262. Mike

    I still think XP is better, I had to temporarlily install VISTA the only thing I liked on that was the chess program AWESOME….WIN 7 is it a side step of Vista? so far it is taking me a couple hours to customize 7, XP I was done in minutes. I just hope the program does not ask my permission on everything like Vista, “Would you like to leave your computer chair now?” ,” Are you sure Y or N ? ” It gets irritating when you get asked 50 time those questions in a span of 30 minutes. I was never so happy to find that disable button! Why does Windows make us change the look of it and the way things work? Why just not leave it the same and give us the options to change if we want to? Must be the yuppy New FRESH Look, that America must have the newest and the best or we may stop breathing in an instant.

    One other question Why does Microsoft make us pay to ask questions on errors on their software? Shouldn’t that be free as a customer service??? Every other company gives you free help on their products if you have an issue with it! ….Or is it just Greediness???

  263. Jan Valk

    The most important thing keeping me from migrating to windows 7 IS the user interface. Heck it took me several hours to make XP look and feel like my favourite windows 98 looks again. Good to see Windows 7 has a “Windows Classic” possibilty.
    Now I am most afraid of what else microsoft is automatically doing under the hood. Also in XP Microsoft does way way too much things without asking on the background. I am sure this has increased again in windows 7.

  264. Windows Crisis

    Windows XP has stuck around because XP already does what people need it to.

    MS is desperate to differentiate it’s “new” operating system and office suite. It needs to look new, otherwise new versions will be seen as nothing more than bug fixes.

    In reality, customers only want the old product + bug fixes, but its extremely difficult for MS to sell “just bug fixes” to customers at full price. Therefore MS decided to change the product to try and convince customers that it’s worth paying full price for the new version.

    The other strategy MS uses as a monopoly is making things incompatible and forcing us to upgrade even though there’s no actual benefit to doing so (other than solving the introduced incompatibility).

  265. XP no longer for available

    To those suggesting that we don’t have to use windows 7 if we prefer XP, you are forgetting that we as consumers don’t really have a choice.

    MS has banned partners from selling any new copies of XP since last year.

    Most consumer products such as laptops have removed XP as an option long before then.

    Compound this with the fact that MS prohibits users from reinstalling XP on new hardware, and those of us who found the XP interface better are at a dead end.

    Therefore, the only way to get XP is to pirate it.

    Of course, we can change our routine to do things MS’s new way…but as many have already pointed out above, the changes are not always for the better. We all know most users would opt for the cleaner interface if given a choice. Explorer was easy to use in 2k & xp, but it got more complicated. No, the problem is not us, it has to do with the keep it simple philosophy. What’s with not giving users a choice?

    Arbitrary changes by MS are killing productivity, like the networking and control panels which worked well in 2k, and got progressively worse through vista and 7. I’m trying to be fair and consider what I’d think if the win7 control panel existed first. But the win7 interface is objectively worse due to added indirection it’s terribly non-obvious navigation paths. It is so much more difficult to walk people through win7 control panel over the phone. If there is nothing wrong, then don’t fix it.

  266. Nokriinfo

    Really thanks for sharing that tip, i find it for many days, i just go back to win xp for that thing, but now i will stay at win 7.

    Thanks a lot.

  267. Jens

    I love XP, 2000 and I love WIN 7 but, I also had a thing for 98. Therefore classic style for me. Simple as really. I don’t need any fancy stuff. Plain and simple. Living in the past is the best step forward. Shiny things are for kids and monkeys. Would love it if there was a 98 theme for download……LOL

  268. Sargetech

    Sorry, I’ve Stopped using windows. I use only LINUX now. and love it. I don’t need or miss microsoft products at all, GOOD RIDDANCE to bad RUBBISH…..I can now surf the internet safely!!!

  269. Duh

    Ok, I’m not computer literate so I don’t follow what you mean by docking, etc. However my grouse is that I really don’t like the transparent area around the “X” which you use to close the window. I open several windows at a time (hate waiting) and several times I closed the wrong window because I mistook the one for the other, if you know what I mean. Secondly I really don’t like that the when I open a couple of windows, they vanish down into the corner (minimized) and group together (is that docking?) so that I can’t instantly make out which one I’m looking for. If I have six windows open, I want to look down at the bottom and say “yeah, gmail” or “weather” and wala! I’m there. Now I have to poke at the stuff all stuck in one place (like trash in a bag) and often I re-open the same window a couple of times till I get to the one I wanted. So I’d like to shut off the transparent thing near the “close” button and have my minimized icons tell me what they are, not vanish into a corner where I have to sort them out. The rest seems ok, except that it doesn’t work with really important old apps which I seriously need, but that has no relevance in this context. Don’t mind my lack of acumen, I’m an old housewife who had to figure out computers all on my own, without a manual or a teacher. All I do know how to do is ask people who know, and there are plenty of people out there who are decent enough to reply. That’s what I love best about the net!

  270. Brian

    Thanks for the tip but like so many I am peeved by the way that the launch button and window for an app are combined. I often launch multiple versions of the same app so need a separate app button as well as buttons for each open window.
    Why does Microsoft think this new taskbar is an improvement? I want my XP toolbar back so I can get on with my work not look at eye candy!
    Even the windows classic does not seem to do what I want from what I see of your tip. Will try a few options just to check it out.

  271. Helen

    I hate my Windows 7 and its IIS, Microsoft Office 2010, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 expierience. I moved 1 week ago. And now I spend a lot of time looking how:
    1. Make icons smaller.
    2. Put SQL server to mixed authentication mode
    3. Create IIS application (nice content/ settins tab)
    4. See desktop
    5. Make quick launch (not possible)

    Some pieces of UI are changed for no particluar reason and counterintuitive.
    Specially mixing start icons of former Quick launch and already running applications. Everything moves because of frames. I used to click quick launch without looking at icons. Now I have to find where the icon is. I do not see in properties of shortcut actual program’s location but place where toolbar is configured. I do not know how to put command line for my shortcuts. I used to keep my icons with different command lines to start what I needed at once.
    I really cannot argue that they did not please housewives. May be they did. But they are wasting a lot of my time.

  272. Helen

    Microsoft I have one more UI extension for you. Make one more nice button somewhere at Windows 7. Call it “Go back to Windows XP UI”. We will press it after installation. At least we will not spend time looking for desktop etc.

  273. devha

    Sargetech you are surfing the net safer than windows 7 but that does not necessarily mean it is better than windows. hackers reach 75% of the market with windows pc. why would they even bother writing hacking programs for linux? stop bullying about microsoft, if there was no microsoft there would be no linux. end of the story! and yes i like the new taskbar feature in windows 7.

  274. craig

    I hate the new taskbar! I often have several IE windows open at the same time and have trouble working out which one I want to click on next, because the mini icons that appear all look very similar. Classic windows taskbar for me!

  275. Storm

    win7 is even worse than vista. there i could at least change the start menu, quick launch and taskbar to the old good XP style. now i have to stick with this new confusing and absolutely hateful interface. to click on the “show desktop” icon i must hover 20 miles all the way to the bottom-right corner of the screen. if this is the way windows is going, i’m probably switching to linux soon. at least i can use the classic win98 windows style. that’s a relief at least.

  276. Buarzhan Valiyev

    I am new in Win7. But so far I had a problem with the new taskbar buttons.
    I do not like combining buttons at the taskbar.. so the problem was as follows:
    I worked with two very similar powerpoint files, editing one in accordance with another one. So if I clicked on button of the first file, it brought the first file on the screen, if I clicked the same button, it minimized the first file, and the second file appeared on the screen. It’s Ok, but the appearing of the button on the taskbar was almost the same!! so I made corrections from old file to the new one…. and I never know which file exactly I am working on… and I switched to Classic style, at least I see which button is pressed and which file is on the screen now.

  277. Roger

    No – I don’t like it and I don’t like Win 7 – It is a real bunch of crap. I bought a new HP Pavilion and unfortunately wasn’t able to ‘downgrade’ to XP – I’m stuck with Windows 7 Home Premium which has given me nothing but trouble. Won’t install iTunes or if it does, then iTunes freezes as soon as I try to do anything. Paid a small fortune for Office Professional to get MS Access, which is the only reason I still persist with Windows at all – it won’t install!

    What an absolute con – costly, crappy software that shouldn’t be on the market. I’ve been using computers since the Trash 80 (Tandy – around 1980) ) and never had anything like this happen in all that time.

    Can’t express my disdain and disbelief that so many people continue to be conned by the MS hype.


  278. John

    Thanks a lot !!!

  279. Frank Lee

    Classic Shell saved my life. Google it. Microsoft trying to make Windows 7 look and act like a MAC is not what 20+ year users of Windows want.


    Now, we have Firefox trying to be Opera. Put the damn toolbars back!

  280. Jeanne T

    Hate it! In the course of my day I get dozens of interruptions and the new style groups my open (in-progress) work by the application in use, but my brain thinks in terms of TIME. I want to be able to EASILY see what i was most recently working on because that’s probably bubbled up to the top of the priority list. Knowing that I was working in either Outlook email response or Excel isn’t helpful but the relative time reference is critical.

  281. LPC

    There is little about Windows 7 that I lke. I gave the taskbar a good trial and find it more confusing than helpful. Maybe if I just had a few apps open it would be OK, but I usually have many, many apps open so it actually confuses things. Windows Explorer is much more cumbersome to use…you can’t click on the right without being very careful not to open the wrong file or folder. There are so many other issues, I can’t list them all. Windows 7 is actually an insult to the user’s intelligence. MS is assuming most of you are too dumb to understand what you are doing, so they will try to make it easy. When it works, that is great. But if it does not work can be a nightmare to make it work. The more they cater to the lowest common denominator of user, the more complex things get if things go wrong. I am forced to have Windows 7 running on a couple of computers because I am a software developer, but prefer XP without exception on all of my other computers.

    I used to be a great fan and loyal supported of Microsoft. Now, If someone ever comes out with a good alternative operating system, I would try it in a second. For the most part, MS is just repackaging there old work with new, completely unneccessary tweaks so they can sell more software. When Bill Gates was running things there was a minimum of that.

  282. palloy

    Scrap the article and replace with :
    1. Go to the desktop, right-click Personalise.
    2. Choose the Windows Classic theme, then add your background, colour scheme, screensaver, and switch off all sounds, except possibly the “device comes on-line” and “device goes off-line” sounds. Save as your theme.
    3. Right-click the taskbar and choose Properties.
    4. Under the Taskbar tab, location on screen = left (much better for wide screens), and OK.
    5. Drag the righthand edge of the taskbar to the right about an inch.
    6. Right-click the taskbar, choose Toolbars > New Toolbar > and select a folder that has shortcuts to all the programs you may want to launch (it could be C:/users/yourusername/Quick Launch)

    This will add a new section to your Taskbar which will expand with one click to show you a list of all your quick launch apps, which is not as good as having icons side by side, like they are in the tray, but is probably as good as you are going to get.

    Win 7 is a definite step BACKWARDS in this area.

  283. Baurzhan Valiyev

    palloy! good advice! and if you twick a little bit you will get quick lunch exactly the same as for WinXP!!!!
    I placed the tackbar on the bottom as per palloy instructions, then right click in the area of the new toolbar and deselect ‘show title’, ‘show text’, ‘view’->’small icons’, then moved the new toolbar closer to Start button and “voila”!

  284. Meghan

    Thank you thank you….i have enough to get used to..(different touchpad, keyboard, and screen come to mind!) i don’t need the classic look, but i do not like being unable to find things!

  285. TomDac

    HATE HATE HATE the new “dock”.
    pressing ALT+TAB to switch to different applications is very confusing now. Show me the different apps I’m running and nothing else.. It’s confusing how the screens become transparent..

    and first thing I did after upgrading from XP is to turn OFF grouping and try to make the taskbar look more like XP. Why change something when it was perfect to begin with… and you folks who are migrating from Vista have no clue.

  286. Tom U

    Echo Jeanne T’s comment. I hate that new windows are opening into the middle of the taskbar. For example, if I have a few apps running, like IE, Outlook, Excel, and Word, and I open a new email window for Outlook, that new email window will be grouped into the Outlook portion of the taskbar, which could be somewhere in the middle of 15-20 other open windows… so I have to go hunting down the most recent window I just opened. Windows XP/Office/Vista would simply put the newest/most recently opened window at the very end of the taskbar, so I’ll know exactly where to point my mouse when I want to get to it. This is annoying because I may want to write an email while referring to an excel spreadsheet, which means I have to hunt down that spreadsheet among the many spreadsheets I have open, find what I want, then hunt down the new email window I just opened in order to start writing. In the old days, I would just be able to look at the spreadsheet, then immediately click on the most recently opened item (far right, or bottom far right on the taskbar) and hit exactly what I want. Very annoying. And switching to classic view doesn’t solve this problem as all the items are still grouped by app vs. chronological order.

  287. Teegan

    Thanks a lot!
    I really disliked Windows 7 until I found your blog to give me back quick reference tabs on the task bar for windows … saves oodles of time and frustration to see which window is what. I’m a web and graphic designer, I usually have half a dozen windows open at once. Then again, who doesn’t have a bunch of windows going at once?! DUH, Microsoft!
    Oh, the other beef I had was the ‘Show desktop’ waaaaay over to the very right. I followed other tips to reenact the old desktop buttons on the left (
    I’m happy with 7 now, thanks to the community out there in the cyberworld!

  288. Bill Cady

    I hate it. This thing keeps moving my Firefox icon to the right. I want Outlook on the left, then Firefox, so I have to continue dragging it back. I’m VERY UNHAPPY with this feature. It’s a lot like an ex-wife.

    How do I divorce Windows 7 without being stuck with Vista again?

  289. zarnaik

    How do I get the usual right-click menu’s back?
    Also, is it possible to prevent windows from showing the two paints when you hover over one of the two that are open?

  290. Angry customer

    “If you wanted to be really silly, you can choose the “Windows Classic” theme under the Desktop \ Personalize section… but that would be taking it a little too far, I think.”

    I came here just to figure out to do that, and you call yourself’s geeks. Any real geek would know the prime task of getting your taskbar like vista is how it looks. Yeah this helps you do th easy things liek ungroup but not

  291. Angry customer

    “If you wanted to be really silly, you can choose the “Windows Classic” theme under the Desktop \ Personalize section… but that would be taking it a little too far, I think.”

    I came here just to figure out to do that, and you call your self’s geeks. Any real geek would know the prime task of getting your taskbar like vista is how it looks.


  292. Alan

    A few comments.
    1. Pinning programs to the taskbar is a pain because it gives no indication of whether the applications are actually open or just taking up valuable space on the bar. One of the first things I did to Win 7 was unpin everything.
    2. The old quick launch bar using small icons is a much more space efficient way of providing rapid access to frequently used apps. Fortunately this can still be used in Win 7 as it’s part of IE. To activate, right click on an empty part of the taskbar, select Toolbars > New Toolbar then in the folder line of the dialog box type %userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch and finally click the Select Folder button. Voila! You may need to save your theme to make it stick as it can otherwise disappear on restart.
    3. Grouping suits some situations but for me is more trouble than it’s worth mainly because I frequently have several spreadsheets open at once and need a single click jump from one to another. Ungrouping them to individual icons allows this and it’s quicker than changing windows in Excel.
    4. I use Win 7 on widescreens where vertical space is at a premium for working on mostly vertically orientated documents. I have found that by moving my taskbar to a vertical position on the left of a widescreen, I can have a fairly wide bar with plenty of space for small icons in the quick launch area without unduly encroaching on viewing area.
    The confuration I have arrived at works well for the type of work I mostly do but obviously won’t suit everyone. The good thing about Win 7 is that it has the flexibility to allow each of us to choose the combination of options that works best. It is unfortunate that some of those options are not easy to find or not mentioned anywhere in the on-line documentation at all.

  293. Lindsay

    For work, I hate it. For home use it’s great.

    For work because I mostly work with internet explorer windows/tabs, I like to see all the different ones on the task bar and be able to click back and forth quickly between them. The new style task bar just makes me have to have an extra click, which one would think is not a big deal, but when you are doing it ALL day, that extra click is VERY annoying. I just changed my taskbar to never combine and am happy again. In the software business, getting tasks down to FEWER clicks is always considered progress. Adding MORE steps ? That’s not something a customer ever wants to see. Thanks Microsoft, for at least keeping the option to go back to the way things were in XP.

  294. ari-free

    Why can’t they make an OS that is easier to use to do actual work instead of copying Apple?

  295. mrleroybrown

    The new Window’s 7 task bar is fine with one exception for me…the buttons on the task bar get shifted around after several buttons are opened. For instance…my Outlook email button that I open first every morning starts out on the left hand side of the task bar but by midmorning after several other programs have been opened, when I look at the task bar to click on the Outlook button, I have to search for it because everytime you open a program it’s button occupies the far left hand side of the task bar slidding all the other buttons over. I know it sounds petty but it is one of those small yet aggravating things that I would like to correct.

  296. Gary Cameron

    I am forced to use Windows 7 from time to time and absolutely hate the new look and feel. My biggest complaint against Microsoft is with each and every version of the OS they have to change how things work. I love how XP works and will be migrating to MAC for my next machine. (Apple is consistent and their stuff just WORKS)

  297. Keep Familiarity

    What’s with the user interface “craze” of “grouping” or folding-up common frequent actions? It increases the number of clicks and now gmail is doing that too (for sign-out). I think it’s all Marketing and under the guise of it’s “cleaner” blah blah blah. I want a linear, flat, non-animated, fast, non-cpu-intensive, familiar, efficient, time-testing, proven interface and instead employees at software companies sit around and invent ways to make it look “prettier” and break user familiarity, causing everyone to “relearn” which causes millions of wasted hours. Every company wants their website to look like a TV show now and every company wants their operating system to look like a website. It’s annoying.

  298. JJ

    Honestly at the beginning I loved the new interface and now its just annoying me! My next laptop is for sure a Mac. A Mac change their of and it look like the old one but with new things on it so you don’t need to relearn where to do in your configuration panel to change something. Also the biggest advantage for me the Mac has is that is not only extremely fast but the look of the interface is nice and doesn’t take allot of memory like Windows oh god I hate Windows since I tried a Mac!

  299. Buckmann

    I hate not just the Win7 taskbar, but the entire Aero theme. I refuse to upgrade to Win 7. I’ve even went to huge lengths to keep my WinXP running. Microsoft needs to keep Windows user-friendly by having a single option that reverts the system to run like WinXP.

  300. ElsieHar

    I don’t like it….as per usual any changes microsoft make they add more clicks! I used to be able to open a second copy of a program such as word by just clicking on the icon in the task bar, now I have to right click and then click again! Clearly they don’t design these things for people that want to work efficiently!!!!

  301. david

    Windows 7.0 may be a more productive environment, once one works one’s way up the learning curve. My problem is that I work for a living. We just got new computers with windows 7.0 installed, and suddenly I have to learn how to do everything from scratch. I can see how it would be a great environment for people who like to share photos and videos and manage music libraries, etc. For actually performing work-related tasks, everything I have been doing for years suddenly doesn’t work.
    I don’t object to new features, but why can’t they offer a button that says ‘ I have real work to do and will figure out where you hid all the options later’. Most of the changes I’ve seen so far are purely cosmetic – things go here now instead of over there because someone thought it was better. I paid for this machine and the software – why don’t I get a vote about how I want to work?

  302. Patricia

    Wow! David, ditto! To begin with, I am not computer savvy at all but I do like the Windows 7 task bar now that I learned all the features and am still learning. However, this is my problem and it’s a very big one. When I download a document, say, from an attachment of an email, after I read it and save it, I can’t find it later on. I think I saved it in documents but when I return to open it later, darned if I can find it.Another example is when I copy an article from my on line university and send it to my computer, I can never find it! I never had this problem with Windows XP. I had all my files above and downloads below. Then I would drag the document to the file. Here, I finally locate a document but can’t drag it to the file because only Zoos knows where it all went to. I can’t seem to get organized with the Windows 7 system. Oh, and I really do not like the new Control Panel. Give me back the five or six choices that I had before not a bunch of banners that I have to figure out where “remove”is. I went and bought a new computer because mine was slow and outdated. Give me back my slower computer with Windows X P. At least I made progress like the turtle but at least I kept moving forward. Here, some days, I feel as if I have reached a stalemate.

  303. Hugo

    I love seeing all my windows at the same time! Even though the dock doesn’t work for me I’d set it to combine when full for those clutter emergencies! When I found out my computer had 7 I was really scared because they have 7 at school and I really dislike using the dock. Thanks for this!

  304. A

    I want the xp look feel and buttons,progress bar everything man. 7 is good but the look and feel is often disgusting. I want some simplicity and XP .

  305. Kissy L

    This just made me decide not to throw my new-ish computer out the window. Thanks!

  306. lol

    May 14, 2009 11:42 am

    I installed 7 RC like 2 days with a dual boot with Vista Business 64 and first I didn’t like the taskbar, but after testing it’s functionality is very useful. I love OSX and thought that the dock in 7 wasn’t all that useful compared to Dock+Expos� but it really boost productivity.

    I’d recommend to try it for a whole month before giving it a thumb down. Now that I’ve been using 7, I feel that Vista is lacking features.

    Give it a try!
    ….obvious microsoft buttkisser is obvious….xp is good…and so too,is vista after some decent stabilizing updates…as far as change goes…Obama ain’t really doing the world a favor now is he?..Happy with your change?…7 sucks ass hard…poor design..good use of multi-core processing though…ui sucks…mac sucks…..linux sucks…enjoy formatting every day linux users…enjoy bending over for jobs mac users…umad?

  307. Someone

    Just before I started installing win 7, I searched how to replace the ugly new bar, thanks.

  308. Paul

    the new taskbar is just awful i dont keep anything on my wallpaper so i like to keep shortcuts in the taskbar …ya know so they work like shortcuts not like longcuts

  309. Uli

    I like the way it groups the icons and allows access to both open and closed programs.
    What I don’t like is that tabbed browsers offer each tab individually. I don’t like clicking back on a program and having to select the tab I was in (specially with firefox and tab groups, in which choosing one won’t even open a window with tab I wanted to quickly jump to it). I’d like that the option was there if you wanted it, but double clicking on the icon just brought up the last view of that program.

    I haven’t read the many responses to this thread, any chance this can be accomplished?


  310. Junior

    I wonder who designed the new UI of Windows Explorer, which the taskbar belongs to. The UI is stupid, Only a junior programmer can do that in my mind.

    It’ll surely pleased the average user that merely uses the explorer and put everything in a single folder, but for the ones that want to move files in a well thought tree of folders it is harder to work.

    I’ve seen many people complaining about explorer and claiming they have swapped it with another product. I’m still with the MS one, but the more I work with 7, the more I’m displeased by the UI.

    I don’t say 7 is not as good than XP, 7 is more powerful. Just the UI is stupid, particularly Windows Explorer and the tree management. Having all icons of Explorer stacked needs to hover over the button, to expand the mini windows replica, and then to select the one you want to restore. Two clicks instead of one, but as some say: this is great to save space. If you like it, then download an addon that stack all your desktop shortcuts or object icons. This is equivalent, what a saving dude, never seen a cleaner desktop!


    I think that is easy because I’ve did it before I saw this website and I can make the windows 7 start menu Looks better!!!!

  312. Chet

    I’m not a big fan of windows 7 at all … as for the task bar , it’s ridiculous … it shifts launchable icons between tabbed windows , you have to right click and reselect IE to get a new window instead of a new tab which often doesnt work anyways … its completely dysfunctional compared to sleek simple design … Basically Microsoft is desperately trying to keep up with the Mac look( and failing at it ) while handicapping themselves with a ridiculously vulnerable operating system compared the unix based languages … Not to mention that most of the absolutely crypticly nonsensically long titled services they add to each new failure of an operating system , are USELESS … they are all services that are completely unnecessary to the average human being and in fact … use bandwidth like the cookie monster eats Chips ahoy … Qos, people, reserves 20% of your bandwidth for Microsoft usage … just Qos … think about that … its like a bandwidth tax … do yourself a favor and disable it , and any other useless services Bill Gates and his team of thick browed idiots has come up with for you … And after all that … None of this would be so bad you know , if they wouldn’t force you at the computer store to buy it … Happy with XP ?( which was an apology for ME and millenium ) … cat pissed on your computer ? forget it … Youre going Vista and or 7 and you have no choice about it … I’m all for the advancement and new slick features … It makes the experience of working on a computer nicer … but for god sakes man … let the people choose what they want …

  313. Chet

    and one more thing addressed to Mac … wtf … invent a right click and context menus … take over the world … whats wrong with you ? DO it …

  314. Qatari

    I… I love you ♥_♥

    Words cannot express my gratitude, yadda yadda yadda– thank you so much! I was THIS close to returning this super awesome cpu over the taskbar lol. Thanks again!

  315. X

    Still one thing – if I open a 2nd instance of an app, the task bar groups the 2nd instance alongside the first instead of adding it to the end. This means I have to search alphabetically to find the most recently openend windows.

    There is so much that is just bad with Windows 7 design. In File Explorer, why remove the “Up one leve” button? Sure, I can now click on any node in the path – but again, that’s work – you need to scan the whole address, read the words to find where to click. Why not a single button in a predictable location. Worse – they had such a button – why remove it?

    I’ll stop there. The people at MS just really don’t think about user interface design very well, imo. It’s all about trying to look pretty and predict what you want. Well what I want is a machine that I can direct at will.

  316. Ellie

    I’m THRILLED to have discovered HowToGeek. After an OS crash earlier this week which left me running Windows 7 Ultimate (I’m quite certain I didn’t have this OS before, but rather XP), this site has helped me get FireFox’s appearance back the way I want, and make the taskbar a normal size rather than the seemingly huge Windows 7 Ultimate size. I agree that the taskbar has some nice features, like the thumbnail peeks… Regardless, I’m ever grateful for your help. Keep it comin’!

  317. Truman Rodder

    This new set up is terrible. Is it no wonder Microsoft is falling off its perch.

  318. NightOwl888

    Ok, is it just me or has almost nobody realized that you can right click anything in Windows to get a context menu with more functionality? Note that this feature has been there since Windows 95.

    Specifically, in Windows 7 you can right click one of the pinned icons and open another instance of the application. For example, you can open 2 instances of Internet Explorer. Many people here seem to think it is not possible…

    Anyway, I found this post because I am trying to set up my toolbars (not taskbar) the same as they were in XP. You used to be able to drag the taskbar up to resize it and then drag the toolbar over the adjacent toolbar/taskbar to make them stack vertically like bricks. This made it possible to have a row of toolbars stack on top of the normal taskbar. I like to set it up this way to have the most common functions available in 1 click. Unfortunately, it looks like you can no longer make them stack vertically – meaning less horizontal space for the taskbar and a bunch of crowded toolbars. I will keep looking for a way to do this, but if anyone has an alternative, I would appreciate any suggestions.

  319. Pete

    I HATE the new taskbar. I liked having the Quick Launch buttons on one side and my open windows next to it. Now a program that is open is mixed in with programs that are closed. It’s horrible. What is more frustrating is that there is not option to bring back the Quick Launch. Microsoft seems to be regressing with Windows 7. Why people are raving about it is beyond me. I want my XP back. Unfortunately it’s a work computer, so I’m limited in changes I can make, and they already denied my request to get rid of Windows 7.

  320. Matty

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for the tip! There are things about Windows 7 I like, but one of my biggest complaints is how MS changee the task bar and the Aero thingy that I just hate. I always liked how Windows XP taskbar behaved. Cannot figure out why they changed it. Trying way to hard to be like Mac. If I wanted a Mac, I would by by one. I want to visually see every window I have open at a glance. Not have to mouse over an icon and then see all the windows pop up. Also, I just hate Aero. Is there a way to get rid of it completely? It seems to be wasting a lot of processor cycles.

  321. Madness

    The old taskbar is better. I don’t like the new one because it’s like the Mac OS dock. And Mac sucks

  322. meme

    Hello, w7 style is sh1t (sorry), win classic style FOREVER, even when there will be windows 2050 or smth with 20 cores and 50gbs of ram..

  323. Sailorcurt

    I know this article is old, but I just got Windows 7 on a work computer. I use a Mac at home and, if I had to pick one thing that I think Windows has always done better than the Mac, I’d choose the Taskbar and start menu versus the Dock.

    The one thing I think Windows does better than the Mac…and MS tries to emulate Mac. Figures.

    Thanks for telling me how to get the functionality back that I like so much better.

  324. SunnyLee

    Great article!! Helped a bunch. Quick question though:
    When you have the taskbar to show more than 1 level (unlocking the taskbar and making it bigger so there’s two rows of bars), and when the first bar gets full and the second bar starts to populate, the two bars are uneven; the top bar has more windows, so the bars are smaller than the bottom. This creates a very unsymmetrical, annoying view. Does anyone know how to change this behaviour??? If THIS were fixed then it’d be like I’m back in my comfy windows XP. Please help if possible!

  325. Barbara

    With the new quick launch and task bar, things I do all the time, that used to take one click, now take two:
    >>Open new web browser window:Browser icon disappears when browser window is already open, so you have to use the file menu in the browser instead of just a Quick Launch click.
    >>Show the desktop is now right click, find the menu item and click again instead of just click the quick launch icon.
    >>I can’t put a My documents” link on the quick launch without it’s going into the explorer folder where I have to go through the whole damn tree to find my stuff. I used to put folder shortcuts in and out of the Quick Launch at will if I was working on a big project.
    These sound like minor points, but the whole drive in online navigation is make users slick less, not more, and the computer itself, as a browser, should be treated no differently. Windows is moving backward.

  326. Bibi

    Thanks for this interesting informative article!
    OTOH It took me like forever to learn this: Turn Off Taskbar Thumbnail Preview in Windows 7 (Switch to List View), because I didn’t know the technical lingo “Thumbnail Preview”, synonym to me for “VERY annoying side-by-side mini panels that Windows 7 shows when you have several windows of an application opened and you hover your mouse over the program’s button or icon on the Taskbar”. And by the way it also affects the toggle between applications function (Alt + Tab). When I finally learned the appropriate term, I also found out that all I had to do is right-click mouse on desktop, choose personalize and select any theme other than “Aero Themes” and voila, that IMO stupid and annoying space-wasting new feature was disabled… but as I mentioned before, it took me an eternity to find this out, and of course not by the almost useless Windows Help center –F1–,Why do they complicate things so much at Microsoft? And don’t get me started with the new versions of Win Media Player, hiding/docking everything and making you rack your brains to find out how to display it again, delivering poor video in some older video formats.., you name it…

  327. Steve

    This is a start. XP was the most useable OS I’ve ever used. Win 7 still sucks after 2 years; I absolutely hate the interface. MS can sure screw things up when the marketing dept gives the marching orders.

  328. John

    Has anyone else noticed that the taskbar titles don’t align perfectly like they did in XP and Vista? It’s annoying because when you’ve got 3 rows of windows open on the taskbar, it looks jumbled and is hard to locate some windows.
    I like in XP and Vista how if I had a few columns and 3 rows of windows open that were on the taskbar, that they all lined up evenly (vertically).

  329. Angie

    I will definitely give this a shot. I hate, can’t say that enough, hate win7 taskbar.

  330. blahber

    OK, I think we established that Win7 and it’s bar are garbage. What I don’t understand is why I have to be really carefull not to click the button on the taskbar while the window that button represents is in forefront? otherwise, it gets minimized, and I have to find it and click it again! this really pisses me off, FU MS!

  331. HelloWorld

    The taskbar buttons are not even. I can’t stand it! If you have similar taskbar buttons, it groups them closer and gives a wider space to non-similar adjacent buttons. It really looks ugly when you have a lot windows open and have two rows on the taskbar.

  332. Mark Wallace

    Here’s a handy one:

    – Right-click on a blank bit of the taskbar.
    – Select Toolbars > New Toolbar to create a new toolbar directory in an explorer window
    – Drag in any program shortcuts you want.
    – Right-click on a blank bit of the taskbar again, and hover over “Toolbars”.
    – Your new toolbar will be in the list. Select it to make it show up on the taskbar.
    – Drag your toolbar to where you want it (Here’s an idea: How about next to the Windows button?)

    You then have a pseudo-QuickLaunch bar, which nothing else can mess with, and you no longer have to repeatedly search for “pinned” buttons that move every time you open a window.

  333. rb

    I HATE Windows 7. I HATE everything about it. I HATE the fact that microsoft thinks it needs to fix something that isn’t broken. If they need to change some programming issues, then do that, but NEVER change the USER VIEW. Provide new options, but never FORCE a user to change. Office is even WORSE! I HATE Microsoft. I wish it would DIE. Alas I have no choice but to use it becausemy employer buys this crap.

  334. Gretchen

    Don’t get me wrong — I like windows 7; it is leaps and bounds ahead of XP.

    That said, I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE the new taskbar. I am a word person, I have to think (even now 6 months into using windows 7) about which icon goes with the program I want. Note — I typcially have many windows open in the same app (lots of documents, lots of terminal sessions, logs of DOS windows, etc) and having to swing back and forth to select the windows is driving me nuts. I liked my nice compact menu. I miss my nice compact little menu. I need my nice compact little menu of windows– and I can’t figure out how to get it back!

  335. Mike

    Simple answer…

    Most people have lives. Computers are tools used to get real work done. Every time the OS makers move everything around it pisses off users who want to JUST GET THE WORK DONE! It makes it harder for them to find the nobs and cranks they need to get their jobs done so they can move on to living their lives.

    Microsoft bean counters want a one size fits all GUI so that they can save a couple of nickles for each OS copy and we have to suffer for their thrashing around in their quest to find this magic solution.

  336. A Luciano

    I couln’t possibly HATE the win7 interface more. The “new” taskber is the worst change of so MANY changes.

    If my workplace had not foced win7 on me, I would NEVER use it. Period.

  337. A Luciano

    Previous comment should read:

    …so MANY crappy changes….

  338. A Luciano

    Also – Your tip is great for making the win7 taskbar LOOK like the old style taksbar, but is there a way you can make it WORK like the old taskbar?

    I HATE, HATE, HATE this new taskbar format. It’s worse than useless.

  339. Anthony

    I hate the dock taskbar. Only an idiot would like it.

    It is gaudy, intrusive, and useless.

    It MS wants to introduce new “features” they should allow the individual users decide if they want to use them or not, instead of ramming it down your throat.

    Kudos to you bill gates. You, your company and your “premier” product now ALL suck.

    Oh, yes, and office 2010 sucks, too.

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