The Taskbar

Anatomy of the Taskbar

Our new Windows 7 Taskbar still resembles the older Windows XP Versions, with some great usable features added on.


Old Windows XP Task Bar

New Windows 7 Task Bar


Whenever you open an application in Windows 7, an icon now appears along your task bar.
One of the changes Microsoft has made, is that it is now combining multiple files for the same program under one icon.  The look has been updated with larger icons as well.

Aero Peek

This is a new feature which allows you to quickly locate items on your desktop, or open windows.
To view the desktop, slide the mouse all the way to the shaded rectangle on the right end of the task bar.  The windows you currently have open will become transparent, and you should be able to see directly through to your desktop.

To quickly find a window, hover over the individual icons along your task bar, small windows will pop up showing you a snapshot of that window.  You can click on that window to bring it to the forefront.  You can also click on the X in the top right corner, and close out of that window completely.

Right-Click Options on Icons
Windows 7 Also gives you a whole new host of options when you right click on an icon.

For example: If you hover over the Internet Explorer Icon, and right click, you will see the following Menu:

(Insert Pic Here.)

This allows you to:

Open a second window
By sliding up to the Internet Explorer item on the menu, and releasing the mouse, you will automatically open a second window of Internet Explorer.  This will work for a host of other applications

Taskbar Properties Menu

To reach this menu, go to any blank spot on the task bar and right click.  This menu should pop up with the Task Bar tab on top. (Insert Picture here) The following features are accessible from this menu:

Lock - Unlock the Taskbar

To lock-  Check the box next to "Lock the Taskbar".  This will keep your task bar firmly in place in the location it currently exists in.

To unlock-  Uncheck the box next to "Lock the Taskbar".  This will allow you to move the task bar to any of the four edges of your screen, as often as you would like.

Move the Taskbar Manually
  • Start by clicking on the Taskbar Properties Menu, and un-checkthe box next to Lock the Taskbar.
  • Close the menu
  • Click on the task bar and drag it to the edge of the screen you want it on. 
  • Release the mouse.
  • You now have the option to lock it in place by re-opening the Taskbar Properties Menu and locking the menu into place, or leaving it unlocked to drag it to another area of your screen whenever you want.

Auto-Hide The Taskbar

Many people do not like to have the task bar visible while they are working.  One way to do this is to check the auto-hide button on the Task Bar Properties Menu. This will make the task bar disappear unless you are hovering over it.

Use Smaller Icons on the Taskbar

By clicking the Use Small Icons option, this will shrink the default icons to smaller ones.

Change the Taskbar Location On Screen

This drop-down menu will allow you to move the taskbar to any of the four edges of your screen.

Taskbar Options

This menu allows you to set the rules for how the task bar presents its icons.  You can choose:
  • Always combine hide labels   - this will show all open windows in any application under one icon.  For example:  all of your open internet explorer windows will be grouped together, and all of your open Word documents will be grouped together.
  • Combine when taskbar is full  - this will show individual icons for each window you have open, only combining them when there are too many for them all to be seen at once.
  • Never combine  -  this option gives every open window its own icon, no matter how many are open on the desk top.