Windows 7 / Getting Started

Modifying the Taskbar Location

The Windows taskbar is always seen on the bottom of the screen, but did you know that you can move it to any side you want? It is possible to move the taskbar and create a very different look in Windows 7. Figure below shows what your screen might look like if you move your taskbar to the left side of the screen. Moving the taskbar is simple. There are just four basic steps:

Move Taskbar Left Side

Windows 7 with the taskbar on the left side of the screen

  1. Right-click the Start button and select Properties.
  2. Click the Taskbar tab.
  3. Locate the Taskbar location on the screen drop-down box and select the position you want to use.
  4. Click OK or Apply and view your new location.

Customizing the Notification Area

Over the years the Notification area, previously known as the system tray, has become more and more cluttered. It seems as though just about every application you install wants to create a Notification area icon when it is running. In Windows 7, Microsoft finally decided enough is enough and cleaned up the Notification area by creating a new overflow container. Now when any application creates a Notification area icon it does not show up by default. Instead, you have to click the arrow on the end of the Notification area to view the overflow container. Then if you decide that the Notification area icon actually is useful, you can drag it from the overflow container to the main Notification area. Now you are in full control of your Notification area and can keep it nice and neat or cluttered depending on how you like it.

In the next few sections I show you how you can fine-tune your Notification area by customizing the appearance and behavior.

Hiding Icons

As mentioned earlier, the only additional icons that appear in your Notification area are icons that you personally drag into it. If you want to hide any of those icons, including the default system icons, you can simply drag them off it and they will fall in the overflow container. This works great most of the time, but there is another way to get more control:

  1. Click the arrow to the left of the Notification area and then select Customize.
  2. This will load the Notification Area Icons Control Panel screen where you can fine-tune each icon that ever attempted to load in the Notification area. Scroll through the list and select the behavior you want to use for each icon. You can choose from Show icon and notifications, Hide icons and notifications, and Only show notifications.
  3. After you have adjusted all your icons, click OK.

Removing System Icons and the Clock

Tweaking the system icons such as the Volume, Network, and Clock icons require an additional step. Follow these instructions to hide any of the default system icons:

  1. Click the arrow to the left of the Notification area and then select Customize.
  2. When the Notification Area Icons Control Panel screen loads, click Turn system icons on or off.
  3. For each system icon toggle the drop-down list to turn each item on or off.
  4. Click OK when you are finished.
[Previous] [Contents] [Next]