#378 Tweak Your Windows Taskbar

You probably give very little, if any thought to your Windows taskbar.  We all use it differently but one thing we have in common is that usually it just sits there taking up space. Although it doesn’t take up much space if you want to maximize your screen real estate you can  set your taskbar so that its only there when you need it.

Autohide Your Taskbar

Here’s how to set it to autohide:

1. Right-click on the taskbar

2. In the menu that appears, select Properties.

3. Under the Taskbar tab—which should be the first open tab you see—check the box next to Auto-hide the taskbar.

4. Then click Apply and OK.

After you’ve done this your taskbar should disappear into the bottom of your screen. But don’t worry it is still there – it is just waiting in the wings until you need it.

To bring the taskbar back, just move your mouse to the bottom of the screen and it’ll pop back up ready for action.

Another good option, especially for those of you with wide-screen monitors is to drag it over and dock it to the left side of your screen instead of having it down at the bottom. (That’s what I do.)

Bringing back the Windows XP’s taskbar

In Windows 7, the taskbar merges all the open windows of  each program under a single icon called a taskbar button.  So ff you have four Excel worksheets open, you’ll only see one Excel button. When you mouse over that icon you’ll see four mini-previews – one for each window.

These combined buttons are a good way to keep your taskbar uncluttered, but if you  prefer the old XP approach of having individual taskbar buttons for each open window it is easy to change back. Here’s how:

1. Right-click on the taskbar and select Properties.

2. Under the Taskbar tab look for the Taskbar buttons setting. Click the drop-down menu to the right of that setting and select Never combine, or Combine when taskbar is full for a more practical approach.

3. Then click Apply and OK and you’re all set.



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