Windows 7 / Getting Started

Customize Taskbar Icon Sizes

Customize the taskbar icon size on my laptop because it has a small screen. The large taskbar icons look great on my desktop LCD monitors that run at high resolutions but they take up too much space on the small screen of my laptop. Customizing this setting also allows you to fit many more pinned and open applications on the taskbar.

Enabling small icons is set in Taskbar and Start Menu Properties:

  1. Right-click the Start button and select Properties.
  2. Click the Taskbar tab.
  3. Check Use small icons located under Taskbar appearance.
  4. Click OK or Apply to see the result.

Tweaking Taskbar Preview Delay

Taskbar previews have been improved in Windows 7 with Aero Peek that allows you to take a quick peek at a window by hovering over its taskbar preview. Also new to Windows 7 are previews of each tab open within Internet Explorer and other applications that support the new taskbar API. Instead of viewing only the currently open tab in IE, you can view all the tabs and jump directly to a specific tab.

All the new features add a lot to the new taskbar but my biggest complaint is the delay before the taskbar previews are shown. I want to use the new features but the amount of time I have to hover over a taskbar application is too long. This can be tweaked with a simple registry hack:

  1. Click the Start button, type in regedit, and hit Enter.
  2. When Registry Editor is started, navigate through HKEY_CURRENT_ USER, Software, Microsoft, Windows, CurrentVersion, Explorer and Advanced.
  3. Right-click Advanced and select New and then DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name the new value ExtendedUIHoverTime.
  4. Right-click the new ExtendedUIHoverTime value you just created and select Modify.
  5. Enter the new value in milliseconds and click OK. The default value is 400, which is 400 milliseconds. I like to set mine to 100.
  6. Reboot and test your new setting.
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