How to Get Back Vista / XP Taskbar Under Windows 7

Like me, you maybe didn’t like the new way the Taskbar works under Windows 7, big icons, no descriptions, & the annoying thing (for me at least), grouping all the windows of a program systematically, which was confusing me & forcing me to make extra mouse moves & clicks.

Windows 7 Aero Taskbar

I probably just didn’t give the system enough time to get used to it, but anyways the guys at Microsoft made it possible to switch to the old fashioned task bar. Here are simple steps to follow,

First open the Properties window of the Taskbar, the simplest way to do that is a right click on an empty place of the Taskbar, then choosing Properties.

If there’s no empty space in your Taskbar (because of too many programs open maybe), open the Start menu, right click on an empty place, click on Properties & in the window that opens choose the Taskbar tab.

No empty space there too? :| OK, open the Control Panel & look for Taskbar & Start Menu (if the Control Panel is Viewed by: Category, choose 1st Appearance & Personalization).

OK, now that the Taskbar & Start Menu Properties window is open & the Taskbar tab chosen, let’s customize our task bar.

– Check Use Small Icons
– For Taskbar buttons: choose Combine when taskbar is full.

Taskbar Start Menu Properties

You’re done! But you can do more:

• Win 7 Taskbar, by default, hides most icons in the notification area (on the right), you can choose to display icons of some or all your programs. To do so, still under the Taskbar tab, & under Notification area, click on Customize…, you’ll be shown a list of programs installed that use the Notification area, & options for them.

• I like also to have two rows in my Taskbar. To do that, 1st unlock the Taskbar by unchecking Lock the taskbar from the Taskbar & Start Menu Properties window, or by right clicking on the Taskbar. Now move your mouse pointer to the Taskbar’s border, click, hold your click & move the mouse. I recommend you lock the Taskbar again when you’re finished.

Customized Windows 7 Taskbar