In a previous post, I wrote about why Windows might not show a preview of the taskbar thumbnails by default, but instead only shows a text list.
However, if thumbnail preview is enabled on Windows, you will see actual screenshots of programs or windows that open when you hover over the icon.
Unfortunately, not everyone likes it! If you are used to a plain old list, this will be very annoying. Some users are more visual and some are not. In this article, I’ll walk you through the various ways to disable thumbnail preview in the taskbar.
The first method – Group Policy
If you are using Windows 7/8/10 Professional, Ultimate or Enterprise versions, you can turn off the taskbar preview in Group Policy. If you have Windows 7/8/10 Starter, Home, or Home Premium, go to the next method.
Click Start and type gpedit.msc and then navigate to the following option:
User Configuration – Administrative Templates – Start Menu and Taskbar
In the right pane, double-click the Disable Taskbar Thumbnails icon and select the Enabled radio button.
Now just restart your computer and the taskbar thumbnails should be disabled! Pretty simple!
Method 2 – Turn off Aero in Windows 7/8/10
The second way to disable taskbar preview is to simply disable Aero in Windows 7. Note that you will lose all the fancy Aero stuff once you do this, like Aero Peek and Aero Shake.
To disable Aero in Windows, right-click on the desktop and choose Personalize.
Now scroll down and select the main theme. That’s all you need to do to turn off Aero!
For Windows 10 users, you need to edit the registry to return to the default list view. Navigate to the next key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER SOFTWARE Microsoft Windows CurrentVersion Explorer Taskband
In the right pane, right-click and select New – DWORD (32-bit). Name it NumThumbnails. You will create a 32-bit DWORD whether you are using 32-bit or 64-bit Windows. By default, it should be set to 0, which is what we need.
It’s worth noting that this method doesn’t work with the latest Creator update on Windows 10! Apparently Microsoft made it so that you just can’t turn off the taskbar preview anymore in the latest version of Windows 10.
The only workaround that can be solved is to increase the hover lag time so that the preview is not displayed for 30 seconds. However, when using this method, not even a text list will be displayed, so it depends on your preference. To extend hover time, navigate to the following key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER SOFTWARE Microsoft Windows CurrentVersion Explorer Advanced
Here you want to create a new DWORD (32-bit) value named ExtendedUIHoverTime and set it to 10000 or higher. Basically, this is the number of milliseconds it waits before displaying a preview of the taskbar. You can set 20,000 for 20 seconds, 30,000 for 30 seconds, etc.
Method 3 – Use 7+ Taskbar Tweaker
The latter method involves downloading a small application that you can use to disable the taskbar preview. The only thing about this program is that it turns everything off!
What I mean is that when you hover over the icons in the taskbar, absolutely nothing is displayed, not even a text list of windows!
The program is called 7+ Taskbar Tweaker and comes in 32-bit and 64-bit versions, so make sure you download the correct one.
Just check the Disable box in the lower right corner below the thumbnail preview. Hopefully one of the methods will work for you, even if you are using Windows 10. Enjoy!