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Windows 7 Taskbar

Windows 7 has some major improvements to the taskbar. There are tons of new features and functionality which make the taskbar way more useful for accessing files and programs and managing the way you work within Windows.

The first thing you will notice is the look and feel of the new Windows 7 taskbar. It has a more stylish design and the icons are larger (they can be made smaller if you prefer).

windows 7 taskbar

Below is an example of having the programs combined on the taskbar. So all of the Internet Explorer windows will be grouped together and accessible when you hover over the IE icon.

windows 7 taskbar stacked

You can also select to never combine the programs or to only combine them when the taskbar is full. Below is the appearance of not combining items. This will be more familiar to most Windows users. Each instance of an open program will have its own clickable icon.

windows 7 taskbar never combine

Editing Taskbar Settings

You can easily change the appearance of the taskbar, simply by right clicking on the taskbar and selecting "Properties". You will then see the following window.

As you can see, it is very easy to change the size of icons, taskbar location, whether to combine or not. Just trial and error with the settings until you are happy.

windows 7 taskbar properties

Jump Lists

The other new feature of the Windows 7 taskbar are jump lists. Read more about them in our Windows 7 Jump Lists article. Jump lists allow you to access frequently used programs, files, movies, songs etc, simply by hovering over a program icon. Each program icon will show a jump list that is relevant to that program. For example: Media Player will display recently accessed media files, IE will show frequently used websites and so on.

windows7 jump lists

Aero Peek

If you have many windows open, you can easily view the content of other windows without needing to switch away from the current window you might be working in. This feature is called Aero Peek. Simply hover over the program icon in the taskbar and it will show a preview of the other windows that are open, you can then easily switch over to one of those windows and all the other windows will fade away. When you want to restore the window you were working on, simply move your mouse away from the thumbnail preview windows.

Pin Items

Pinning items to the taskbar is much easier in Windows 7. You can now pin programs directly to the taskbar by right-clicking and selecting "Pin to Taskbar". You can also drag items directly to the taskbar to pin them.

Notification Area and Show Desktop

The notification area in Windows 7 has also been improved. It is now less cluttered with icons and you can customize what will appear in the notification area. There is also a new button on the far right side of the notification area. Clicking this button will show or hide the desktop.

windows 7 taskbar

That is just a brief summary of the new features found in the Windows 7 taskbar. It has become much more useful and powerful. So try it out for yourself.

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