Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Customize Your Taskbar

Recently, a geek friend* mentioned to me to me a free, handy utility that lets you ‘tweak’ (aka “customize”) your Windows 7 Taskbar easily.

7 Taskbar Tweaker is portable utility and easy-to-use as well. It features some of the best tweaks available for Windows 7 Taskbar. Below is the list of tweaks available in 7 Taskbar Tweaker:

# Disable grouping of windows by file path or application ID

# Open with while dropping a file on a Taskbar button instead of pinning

# Close or focus a window on middle click instead of running a new instance

# Show standard window menu on right click instead of jump list

# Cycle through windows of a grouped button on left click instead of showing a thumbnail preview

# Disable thumbnail preview

I have not tried it yet myself, but it is recommended in PC World and elsewhere as one of the best ‘tweak tools’. My geek friend also tried to get me to move my Taskbar to the vertical, arguing that on widescreen monitors (in particular) doing so frees up valuable “screen real estate”, and really helps, as he likes to have two window panes open side-by-side when he’s working.

Doing so is easy, simply:
1) right-click on a blank area of the Taskbar..
2) Click on “Lock the Taskbar” to uncheck it.
3) Left click on a blank area of the Taskbar (to “grab” it) and “drag” it to the right, or left, edge of your screen.
(Then, right-click on a blank area of the Taskbar and click on “Lock the Taskbar” to check it again, and keep it in place.)

If this should prove to be “too weird” for you, and you want to revert to ‘normal’ .. simply repeat the process and drag-and-drop to the bottom edge. But my friend swears, once you try it, you won’t go back…

* Here at T4E Headquarters, “geek” is a compliment.

Do you have a ‘tweak tool’ you simply love, and want me to know about? Tell me about it. Leave a comment!

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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February 9, 2011 - Posted by | advice, computers, how to, Microsoft, PC, software, tech, tweaks, Vista, Windows 7 | , , , , , , , , , , ,

8 Comments »

  1. Hello Paul

    I love tweak gadgets like this. I’ve always downloaded the MS “Powertoys” to get cool stuff like this. I downloaded this one to give it a try. I like it so far!

    One thing that they have consistently left out of all of the Windows Operating Systems is an Icon Restorer, which allows you to save your Desktop Icon placement and then restore it after they have moved. There are versions of this cool little tweak for Win 95 through Win 7. I don’t understand why MS still ignores this obvious flaw in Windows, but since the tweak is out there and free, I suppose it’s not worth the time for them.

    I have never been able to get used to having my taskbar on the side, and I used the Office sidebar for years at work. (Not just for Office applications, for all of my frequently used programs). It just doesn’t feel “right” to me somehow to have my taskbar on the side. I suppose that is a personal preference, and I AM a dinosaur geek after all…

    Like

    Comment by KsTinMan | February 10, 2011 | Reply

    • KsTinMan,
      Ah, yes… Powertoys. I remember. And Konfabulator’s new-fangled Desktop widgets.. And a wallpaper slideshow.. and a decent calculator..
      All things that come standard now. Except – you’re right of course – an icon restorer.
      What do you use for that?

      As for the Taskbar on the side.. well, I too have been using Windows for too long (with the Taskbar on the bottom) to feel OK with that trick; but then, I am almost never working on things where pivoting my monitor to Portrait mode, or side-by-side windows, would be best. But those working in Desktop Publishing, or often referring to spreadsheets may (probably will) prefer it.

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | February 11, 2011 | Reply

      • Paul,

        I sent you an email with links to the ones I use for XP and Windows 7. I really like them.

        As you well know, even if you have “Auto Arrange” deselcted, some games or changing screen resolution can move the icons around. I don’t have that many Icons on my desktop, but I want them to stay in the same place.

        Thanks!

        Like

        Comment by KsTinMan | February 11, 2011 | Reply

        • KsTinMan,
          Thank you for letting me post your reco’s.

          Folks, here is what he wrote…

          http://download.cnet.com/Icon-Restore/3000-2072_4-10163500.html for Win XP and earlier… It’s my favorite hands down. Has context menus when you right click My Computer or the Recycle bin to save or restore the layout. One thing people have to keep in mind is to save the layout every time they add or remove icons.
          http://www.midiox.com/index.htm?http://www.midiox.com/desktoprestore.htm has versions for 32 and 64 bit Windows, and is a similar utility. With this one you right click on the desktop instead. I use it on my win 7 machines, and it works fine.. I’m sure it would work just as well as the first one for Win XP, but I haven’t tried it on XP so I can’t vouch for it….

          Like

          Comment by techpaul | February 11, 2011 | Reply

  2. TechPaul,

    Kick in “autohide” with moving the taskbar and you got me sold. Definitely frees up some screen real estate. As always, enjoyable to be here…

    Rick

    Like

    Comment by Ramblinrick | February 11, 2011 | Reply

    • Rick,
      You crack me up with that whacky sense of humor of yours. Hide the most important invention since the toaster..? Imagine!

      (Seriously now, the old hide-the-taskbar prank still ‘gets’ people.. and my How To Get The Taskbar Back article is still a top performer.. 3rd or 4th article I wrote, if I remember right.. “My Taskbar disappeared” and other simple tweaks (updated).)

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | February 11, 2011 | Reply

      • Hmmm… Now you really got me going before I hit the sack here… Who did invent the toaster?

        Take care buddy…

        Rick

        Like

        Comment by Ramblinrick | February 11, 2011 | Reply

        • Ha! Thank you, Rick.

          (I do not know the inventor of the first toaster.. but the fella who invented my toaster? I think his name was Burnsit.)

          Like

          Comment by techpaul | February 11, 2011 | Reply


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