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Microsoft Windows 7 Hints & Tips Guide
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How Do I Prevent Windows From Combining My Taskbar Icons?

The new taskbar in Microsoft Windows 7 automatically groups multiple instances of the same applications or documents under the same icon. A similar feature was introduced in Windows Vista but there are a few key differences.

Windows 7 groups similar icons right from the start, unlike Windows Vista which only combines the taskbar icons when there are too many cluttering the taskbar. Windows 7 also omits any labels, while Windows Vista not only provides a label but also indicates how many instances are being grouped under the same icon.

Such automatic grouping of taskbar icons makes for a very neat taskbar. However, it takes some getting used to. Some users may still prefer the old system of laying out all the icons on the taskbar. If you are one of them, this is what you should do.

  1. Right click on any free space on the taskbar, and select Properties.

  1. In the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties screen that pops up, look for the Taskbar buttons: scroll list. By default, it's set to Always combine, hide labels.

  1. If you select Combine when taskbar is full, Windows 7 will not combine the icons unless there are too many of them. This is what it will look like, with 5 Notepad documents grouped under a single icon. *

  1. If you select Never combine, Windows 7 will never combine the icons. It will keep truncating the labels as you add more icons. Note that the 5 Notepad documents are now fully visible on the taskbar. *

  1. After selecting the option you prefer, click OK or Apply and enjoy the clutter!

* These options is best used with small taskbar icons. It will allow more icons (with their labels) to be visible.


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Introduction & Revision History


How Do I Get Control Panel To Show Individual Applets?


How Do I Disable Or Enable User Account Control?


How Do I Prevent My Computer From Going To Sleep?


How Do I Change The Size Of The Taskbar Icons?


How Do I Prevent Windows From Combining My Taskbar Icons?


Where Is The Quick Launch Taskbar?


Where Is The Show Desktop Shortcut?


How Do I Add Or Remove Icons In The Notification Area Of The Taskbar?


What Happened To The Sidebar Gadgets?


How Do I Make The Text In Windows 7 Look Better?

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