Friday, January 1, 2010

Change the Windows 7 Taskbar to Work Like Vista

SkyHi @ Friday, January 01, 2010

While many think the new taskbar feature in Windows 7 is a great improvement, others may not want to use it. Today we take a look at how to get the Vista style taskbar back on Windows 7.

The new Windows 7 taskbar does take some getting used to for sure. However, if you need to get things done on your new OS quickly, you don’t have time to learn how it works.


To get the Vista style taskbar back Right-click an open area on the Taskbar and select Properties.


The Taskbar and Start Menu Properties windows opens up where you will want to click the box next to “Use small icons” and select “Combine when taskbar is full” from the drop down next to Taskbar buttons.


Now the Taskbar look similar to how it did in Vista. It doesn’t look exactly the same but has similar functionality.


Another tweak is to unpin all programs from the Windows 7 Taskbar.


Then follow The Geek’s tutorial on adding the Quick Launch Bar in Windows 7 to get a look and feel that is exactly like Vista with the Quick Launch Bar enabled.


This should help you out when you are too busy to sit and learn the new Windows 7 Taskbar or simply are not a fan of it.

These steps do NOT give you back the Vista taskbar. IT is as close as you can get in 7, but sadly many things are missing.
1) a double height taskbar in Vista will efficiently triple-stack notification icons. A double height taskbar in 7 gives you a very poorly spaced double-stack arrangement.
2) a double height taskbar in Vista allows you to designate one row for quicklaunch, and another for active program windows. In 7, it’s all one big goulash.
3) in Vista, you can fit TWICE as many quicklaunch icons into a row. In 7, each icon has a glob of wasted space around it.
4) in Vista, you can launch a second instance of a program by clicking your quicklaunch icon again. In 7, your icon becomes the active program bar, making launching a second instance require a different process from the first (that is truly stupid and probably breaks some philosophical design law somewhere).
5)in Vista, your quicklaunch icons are always in the same place. In 7, they move around based on what you have open.
6) In Vista, you can make pretty much anything you want into a quicklaunch icon just by dragging the icon there. In 7, certain things are not “pinned” the way you might expect them to be, depending on what they are.
7) In Vista, the taskbar and associated areas are functional. In 7, they’re just pretty.

I have yet to find any redeeming qualities about the 7 taskbar. In fact, I HATE IT. I see people lauding it everywhere, but I have yet to hear someone say exactly what it is that they like about it. Yes, it is “cool looking”, but how is it more functional? As far as I can tell, it’s just a pain in the ass. I use the hell out of quicklaunch, and now it is ruined.



Vista like taskbar in Windows 7
If you don't like the new Windows 7 taskbar, you can always revert to the old order and make it look like the one from Windows Vista.
When you get to the part where you create the quick launch toolbar, this is what you paste in the address: "%appdata%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch". What we forgot in the video because we thought is implied is that you must hit Enter after pasting the address. Good luck!