Do you find it hard getting used to the new large taskbar of Windows 7? Do you dislike the icons with no text? Do you have trouble figuring out which are open windows and which are pinned items? Want the overall looks of Windows Vista’s taskbar back as much as possible without downloading additional software? I personally like the new design but I read that some people have trouble getting used to it.
Before You Start:
Difficulty: Very Easy
Time Required: 5 minutes
Skills Needed: None
Windows 7 introduces a new taskbar style where instead of a Quick Launch area, the whole thing is technically a quick launch. Programs are pinned to the taskbar. Open windows have a square around them and multiple squares if there are multiple windows (or multiple tabs/windows in IE). Many users find this new feature better than the old way. But some users may prefer the old way better.
Step 1: Right click on the taskbar and click on Properties.
Step 2: Check “Use Small Icons” and select “Never Combine” for Taskbar Buttons. Then click Apply or OK.
Now, your taskbar should look like this.
Step 3: Unpin all pinned items from the taskbar.
Step 4: Just because you don’t see the Quick Launch folder and its not in the Toolbars list doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Programs still ask you to place a shortcut there. Now where is that folder? Right click on the Taskbar, hover over Toolbars, then click Add New Toolbar.
Step 5: When the Explorer window comes up, enter the following into the URL bar: C:\Users\~USERNAME~\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\. Replace ~USERNAME~ with your own Username. Then click on the folder “Quick Launch” and then click Select Folder. If the folder does not exist, create a folder called “Quick Launch” and click Select Folder.
Step 6: Right click and unlock the taskbar (uncheck it) and then drag Quick Launch to its original location next to the Start menu.
Step 7: Right click on Quick Launch and uncheck Show Text and Show Title.
Step 8: If you want, relock the taskbar. Rearrange the items as desired.
If you are missing Show Desktop or Switch Between Windows for some reason, you may download them by clicking here. Simply extract the shortcuts from the zip file to C:\Users\~USERNAME~\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch.
This is as much as you can go to make the taskbar work as much like Windows Vista as possible.