One of the best thing about Windows is the sheer number of customization that is possible to make to change the way the operating system behaves and looks. Throughout the operating system there are scattered various customization options which can be accessed from toolbar menus or by right-clicking on an UI element. Starting from simple customization such as changing wallpaper and themes to more advanced ones that involve editing the Registry or tweaking the group policy editor, there are a lot of things that can be changed and tailored to one’s need. However, not all of these are readily accessible and there is no official documentation of all these features. This is where tweaking tools such as 7+ Taskbar Tweaker comes real handy.
7+ Taskbar Tweaker contains all tweaks related to the Windows taskbar under a single interface, and neatly organized under various sections. Let’s look to all the tweaks that is possible with this tool.
- Specify what happens when you right-click on a program icon in the taskbar – show jumplist for the program or show the standard Windows menu.
- Specify what happens when you middle-click on a program icon in the taskbar – launch a new instance of the program, or switch to minimize or close.
- Specify what happens when you drag and drop in the taskbar – pin the item to taskbar or open the file with the associated program.
- Specify what happens when you hover mouse pointer above a taskbar item – show thumbnail, list, tooltip or do nothing.
- Enable or disable drag to reorder items in the taskbar.
- Allow minimize of window by left-clicking on a thumbnail.
- Remove extra gap between pinned items.
- Open pinned items on double-click
Grouping and Combining
- Enable grouping of program windows
- Disable grouping of pinned items
- Enable dragging within or between groups using the right-click. This allows you to reorder windows within a group, which is something that I’ve been looking for ages.
- Enable combining of grouped buttons.
- Decombine a group on mouse hover. This is especially useful when you have labels hidden.
- Specify what happens when you left-click on combined items – open thumbnail previews, cycle through windows, open last window if inactive.
Other Taskbar Options
- Use mouse wheel to cycle between taskbar buttons.
- Minimize or restore a window when the mouse pointer is above a taskbar button or a thumbnail.
- Control volume when the mouse is over taskbar or over the notification area.
- Specify what happens when you double click or middle click on a empty space in the taskbar – show desktop, show task manager, press Ctrl+Alt+Tab or Ctrl+Win+Tab, toggle system mute button, toggle autohide taskbar option, or open task inspector
- Reserve empty space on taskbar
- Hide show desktop button
7+ Taskbar Tweaker comes with another interesting tool called the Taskbar Inspector, that allows you to set different window grouping and combining rules to different application. By default, Windows will either group all application window or none. Taskbar Inspector provides a way to override this and apply rules on per window basis. For instance, you can group Firefox windows but keep Explorer windows ungrouped, or hide labels on Firefox windows reducing them to buttons but keep labels on Windows Media Player visible. The following screenshot will help you understand and appreciate the flexibility it imparts to taskbar items.
Above, Windows Explorer (left) is set to “Show labels” and “Do not combine”, FeedDemon (middle) is set to “Hide labels”, while Opera (right) is set to “Show labels” and “Always combine”. This is possibly the most amazing taskbar hack I’ve ever seen.
7+ Taskbar Tweaker is designed for Windows 7 and Windows 8, and supports both 32-bit and 64-bit edition.