Windows 7 / Getting Started

Modifying Icon Locations

The taskbar in Windows 7 was designed with you in mind. For the first time you can determine the location of each program. Even the location of programs you open yourself are currently open.

Moving your programs are very simple, just left-click and hold any icon and drag it where you want it to be. Applications that are not pinned will always start up by default at the end of the list, but you can move them again as soon as they load.

Tweaking Jump Lists

Jump Lists are a major component of the new taskbar. When you right-click an application, you are presented with a number of new options relevant to that application. Depending on the application, you are shown recent items, common tasks, and more. Most applications will show recently opened items, such as Word documents when you right-click Microsoft Word. Other applications such as Windows Messenger and Windows Media player have enhanced Jump Lists that allow you to do common tasks. If you want to appear offline on Windows Messenger, just right-click the taskbar shortcut and you can quickly change your setting.

Overall, Jump Lists are a great addition to the new taskbar because they allow you to jump to tasks faster than before. To make Jump Lists work better for you there is a tweak that will help you customize the feature.

Adjusting the Recent List

All applications that participate in the Windows MRU (most recently used) list automatically have a recent items component on their Jump List. Microsoft Word shows recent documents; Internet Explorer shows recent web sites; and Microsoft Paint shows recently opened pictures on their Jump Lists. By default, Windows shows the ten most recent used items. If you think that is too much or too little, I'm going to show you how to tweak that setting.

Windows sets a maximum of 60 recent items possible to show in the Jump List, although I never see that many even when I have it set to the max. I recommend that you set the value between 5 and 20 to keep the recent list useful. The setting to change the value is a little hard to find because it is not where you would expect it. Follow these steps to customize how many items are displayed in your recent lists:

  1. Right-click the Start button and select Properties.
  2. Click the Customize button on the Start Menu tab.
  3. Under Start menu size, adjust the Number of recent items to display in Jump Lists box.
  4. Click OK twice and you are finished.
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