Windows 7 tips and tricks

Two Microsoft employees have posted helpful Windows 7 tips, tricks and secrets this week.

Tim Sneath has posted 30 secrets/tips on his blog. Some of the highlights include the following:

Get Quick Launch toolbar back

  1. Right-click the taskbar, choose Toolbars / New Toolbar
  2. In the folder selection dialog, enter the following string and hit OK:
    %userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch
  3. Turn off the "lock the taskbar" setting, and right-click on the divider. Make sure that "Show text" and "Show title" are disabled and the view is set to "small icons".
  4. Use the dividers to rearrange the toolbar ordering to choice, and then lock the taskbar again.
Windows Vista taskbar

Right-click on the taskbar and choose the properties dialog. Select the "small icons" checkbox and under the "taskbar buttons" setting, choose "combine when taskbar is full".

Starting explorer from "My Computer"

To do this, navigate to Windows Explorer in the Start Menu (it's in the Accessories folder). Then edit the properties and change the target to read:
%SystemRoot%\explorer.exe ::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}

Old behaviour for Windows Live Messenger

Navigate to C:\Program Files\Windows Live\Messenger\ and set the properties of msnmsgr.exe to Vista compatibility mode. This will place the Messenger icon back in your system tray and remove the 2 annoying tabs on the taskbar.

If you're wondering about the fish in the Windows 7 fish then it's a Betta Fish and also has 7 bubbles to signify Windows 7.

Brandon Paddock has posted a full list of the Winkey combinations for Windows 7 on his blog too.

Don't forget so far in our Windows 7 Overview series, we have published the following:


Over the next few weeks we will be adding many more focus items on Windows 7 including Touch, Windows 7 networking and media enhancements. Stay tuned for the ultimate Windows 7 focus from Neowin.net.

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23 Comments

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Its good that they are trying to make the taskbar better. It is something I am very picky about. I really hope that they provide an option to switch to the old vista style tastbar in the RTM version. I don't think its needed in the betas as the that does not need any testing but this option should be there in the final version.

unknownsoldierX said,
Weird thing about the quick launch toolbar, is that there's an option in group policy to enable it. But it doesn't do anything.





Pls submit this as a bug :-) its critical too...bcos grouppolicy is wat most of enterprise rely upon.

Anyone notice #11 - "I love that I can quickly fire up a Notepad2 instance on my machine with a simple Win+5 keystroke, for instance."

The guy, whom is a Microsoft employee, has to use a third-party text editor. That's pretty sad, no?

Tikitiki said,
Anyone notice #11 - "I love that I can quickly fire up a Notepad2 instance on my machine with a simple Win+5 keystroke, for instance."

The guy, whom is a Microsoft employee, has to use a third-party text editor. That's pretty sad, no?


Why is that sad? Notepad2 is awesome, I use it as well.

This suggestion is incorrect:

To do this, navigate to Windows Explorer in the Start Menu (it's in the Accessories folder). Then edit the properties and change the target to read:
%SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /root,::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}

The /root option is incorrect here and will cause unexpected behavior in the window that is launched.

Instead, just make the shortcut to:
%SystemRoot%\explorer.exe ::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}

...and it will work much better.

I don´t understand... They create a new taskbar, a new concept, and they release tricks to use the taskbar the old fashioned way. That´s not consistent.

some people are resistant to change...

i was bitchin about the loss of quicklaunch, but for the few days using win7, i realize i only used 5% of them, which can be pinned to the taskbar.


not sure if this is mentioned before, but for those people adverse to using right-clicks (or using a 1-button apple mouse for your PC), you can hold and drag a taskbar icon (in an upward motion) to show the jump-list.

to close the jump list, just hold and drag downwards.