Tagged: taskbar

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Get back the Quick Launch bar

Windows 7’s new taskbar functions as a program launcher as well as task switcher. As a result, the old Quick Launch bar, the area on the left side of the taskbar that contained shortcuts for frequently used programs, has been banished. However, if you really miss the little applet, you can add it back. Here’s how to do it: 1....

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Run multiple copies of applications from the taskbar

The Windows 7 taskbar serves a dual purpose, which can get confusing at times. It’s used to launch programs, and also to switch between programs that are running. So you launch a program by clicking its icon, and also switch to that program after it’s running by clicking its icon. But what if you want to launch a second instance...

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Launch taskbar apps without a mouse

Likewise, you can launch any program on the taskbar without the mouse. Press the Windows key and the number that corresponds to the position of the application on the taskbar — for example, Windows key-1 to launch the left-most application on the taskbar, Windows key-2 to launch the second left-most application and so on.

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See taskbar thumbnails without a mouse

If you’re a fan of using the keyboard rather than your mouse whenever possible, you can move your cursor from icon to icon in the taskbar without a mouse — and still see thumbnail previews. Press Windows key-T, and you’ll move the focus to the leftmost icon on the taskbar. Then, while still pressing the Windows key, press T again...

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Take control of the taskbar notification area

The notification area, at the far right of the taskbar, shows system messages and alerts, and displays the icons of programs and services that typically run in the background, such as Windows 7’s wireless service. But what determines when, how and which icons show up there seems one of Windows’ great mysteries. There’s a simple way to find out, and...

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Rearrange taskbar icons

It’s easy to rearrange the icons across the bottom of the screen — simply drag an icon to where you want it to live. You can also add icons to the taskbar by dragging them from an application, and delete the icons by highlighting them and pressing the Delete key.

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Speed up the display of thumbnails on the taskbar

One of the nicest things about the taskbar is that when you hover your mouse over the icons in it, you can see thumbnail previews of all open windows for each of those applications. When you do so, there is a slight delay before the thumbnail appears. But you can make the thumbnails display more quickly by using a Registry...

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Set a new Windows Explorer launch folder

When you run Windows Explorer, it always opens to the Libraries folder. That’s fine if you use Microsoft’s default file organization, which designates Libraries as the overall container for your folders. But what if you don’t? You might prefer to have Windows Explorer open to Computer or any other folder you choose. Here’s how to do it: 1. Right-click the...

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Search the Internet from the Start Menu

Note: This tip relies on the Group Policy Editor, which isn’t available in some versions of Windows 7. Thus, this tip will not work if you have the Home Premium, Starter, or Home Basic editions of Windows 7. The Start Menu’s search box is a convenient way to search through your PC — but you can also have it do...

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Shake your desktop free of clutter

If you frequently run multiple programs simultaneously, your desktop can get extremely cluttered. This can get annoying if you’re working on one program and want to minimize all the other windows — in previous versions of Windows you had to minimize them individually. With Windows 7’s “shake” feature, though, you can minimize every window except the one in which you’re...