How to to disable and enable Taskbar Thumbnail Preview in Windows 7

  • January 14, 2010
  • 04:14 PM
  • Read 180,787 times
 

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. How to to disable Taskbar Thumbnail Preview in Windows 7 using the Registry
  3. How to to enable Taskbar Thumbnail Preview in Windows 7 using the Registry
  4. How to use 7 Taskbar Tweaker to disable the Taskbar Thumbnail Preview

Introduction

A feature of Windows 7 is that it will show you a preview, or small thumbnail image, of the open windows for a particular program when you hover over it. For example, if you have 3 Internet Explorer windows open and hover your mouse cursor over the Internet Explorer icon on your taskbar, it will pop-up 3 small images of each of your Internet Explorer windows and allow you to select the one you want to make active. An example of this feature can be seen in the image below.

 

Example of the Windows 7 Taskbar Thumbnail Preview
Example of the Windows 7 Taskbar Thumbnail Preview

 

Though, in theory this feature is a good one, for many other people it is really annoying and can actually get in the way of productivity when these thumbnails pop-up over work you are trying to do.

Unfortunately, Microsoft decided to not provide a method that can be used to disable this feature in Windows 7. Thankfully, ways have been figured out how to, if not totally disable it, at least make it so it is not annoying anymore. The first way is to set a particular Windows Registry entry so that the thumbnail previews will not pop-up instantly, but instead pop-up after a certain amount of seconds of hovering, essentially disabling this feature. The second method is to use a program called 7 Taskbar Tweak to disable it for us. At the time of this writing, the site for 7 Taskbar Tweaker is down so we will provide both methods in this tutorial.

 

How to to disable Taskbar Thumbnail Preview in Windows 7 using the Registry

Warning: Improperly modifying the Windows Registry can cause Windows to not operate correctly. Therefore if you do not feel comfortable editing the Windows Registry then you can download a registry file to perform these steps for you. Otherwise, please continue with these steps:

  1. Close all open windows so you are at your desktop.
     
  2. Click on the start button and enter Regedit in the search field.
     
  3. When User Account Control asks if you would like to allow this program to make changes, click on the Yes button.
     
  4. Navigate to the following Registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
     
  5. Create a new DWORD (32-bit) value named ExtendedUIHoverTime under the above key.
     
  6. When the value has been created, double-click on the ExtendedUIHoverTime value and click on the Decimal option.
     
  7. In the Value data: field enter the delay you want. For every second you want the delay you should add 1000. So if you want a 10 second delay you should enter 10000 into this field.
     
  8. When done press the OK button and then close the Registry Editor.
     
  9. To put these changes into effect you can reboot, logoff and logon again, or kill the Explorer.exe process, which will automatically restart.

The Windows 7 Thumbnail Taskbar Preview should now be so delayed that it is effectively no longer working.

If you did not feel comfortable modifying the Windows Registry, then you can just download the following file to your desktop and double-click on it. When Windows asks if you want to continue to add the data from the reg file, allow it to do so, and the ExtendedUIHoverTime value will be added for you automatically with a delay of 10 seconds. Then reboot or logoff/logon for these changes to go into affect.

Disable Taskbar Thumbnail Preview Registry File Download Link

 

How to to enable Taskbar Thumbnail Preview in Windows 7 using the Registry

Warning: Improperly modifying the Windows Registry can cause Windows to not operate correctly. Therefore if you do not feel comfortable editing the Windows Registry then you can download a registry file to perform these steps for you. Otherwise, please continue with these steps:

  1. Close all open windows so you are at your desktop.
     
  2. Click on the start button and enter Regedit in the search field.
     
  3. When User Account Control asks if you would like to allow this program to make changes, click on the Yes button.
     
  4. Navigate to the following Registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
     
  5. On the right hand portion of the Registry Editor screen, scroll through the list of values till you see the ExtendedUIHoverTime value. Then right-click on the ExtendedUIHoverTime and select Delete to delete the value.
     
  6. When done you can close the Registry Editor.
     
  7. To put these changes into effect you can reboot, logoff and logon again, or kill the Explorer.exe process, which will automatically restart.

The Windows 7 Thumbnail Taskbar Preview should now be enabled again.

If you did not feel comfortable modifying the Windows Registry, then you can just download the following file to your desktop and double-click on it. When Windows asks if you want to merge the data, allow it to do so, and the ExtendedUIHoverTime value will be removed from the Registry. Then reboot or logoff/logon for these changes to go into affect.

Enable Taskbar Thumbnail Preview Registry File Download Link

 

How to use 7 Taskbar Tweaker to disable the Taskbar Thumbnail Preview

An easier way to disable and enable the Windows 7 Taskbar Thumbnail Preview is to use a program called 7 Taskbar Tweaker. This program comes in 32-bit and 64-bit flavors and you must use the appropriate version for your version of Windows. Once downloaded, run the program and you will be presented with a screen similar to the one below.

7 Taskbar Tweaker
7 Taskbar Tweaker

To enable and disable the preview simply check or uncheck the Disable checkbox under Thumbnail Preview. When ready, click on the Apply button to save your settings. You can now close the 7 Taskbar Tweaker program.

 

If you need any help using this tutorial or following the steps, then please feel free to post them in our Windows 7 forums.

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