How to Turn Off Windows 7 Taskbar Thumbnail Previews

I love the Windows 7 taskbar thumbnail preview because it shows the contents of a window (though only a thumbnail) and aids in quickly swapping open windows. However, you may have a different perspective towards it and may consider it a sheer disturbance while you are working.

If that’s true, let me tell you that you can easily disable the thumbnail preview. Having done that, you will see only the title of the window when you hover on an icon on the taskbar (like one shown in the image below).

No More Thumbnail

Here’s how you may configure the same look for your computer. Before that, let us also see how a thumbnail of the above appears to be.

Thumbnail Preview1

Steps to Disable Taskbar Thumbnail Preview

Be sure that you are logged on as the administrator before you start looking into the steps elaborated below.

Step 1: Right-click on Computer (there are multiple placed to do that from) and click to launch its Properties.

Computer Properties

Step 2: Towards the left pane of the window that opens up, you will find a link for Advanced system settings. Click on this link.

Advanced System Settings

Step 3: The dialog for System Properties will open. Keep the highlight on Advanced tab and click on the Settings  button under Performance  section.

Advanced Performance

Step 4: A new window for Performance Options  will pop up. Select the Custom radio button and then uncheck the option reading Enable desktop composition.

Performance Options

That is it. Click on Apply  and Ok before your preview is settled in line with what you like.

Steps for Vista Users/Alternate for Windows 7

If you are a Vista user you can try doing this through the Local Group Policy Editor. Here is the detailed step by step process.

Note: This tool is only available in the Ultimate, Enterprise and Professional (Business) editions of Windows Vista and 7.

Step 1: Open the Run dialog by pressing Windows+R together and run the command gpedit.msc.

Run Gpedit

Step 2: On the Local Group Policy Editor window, navigate to User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Start Menu and Taskbar from the left pane.

Group Policy Editor E1339699601941

Step 3: Click on Standard tab on the bottom of the interface. Now scroll the list till you come across Turn off taskbar thumbnails.

Step 4: Double click on the option and check the radio button reading Enabled. This will disable the taskbar thumbnail preview.

Enable Setting

Note: This process also works on Windows 7 provided you have the Aero theme switched on. If you want to try you may first enable Aero theme here.


If you are one of those who dislike the taskbar thumbnail preview, this may prove helpful to you. Give it a try right away and change your experience.

We have some more taskbar thumbnail tips lined up for our Quick Tip section. So, keep a watch on our posts, lest you may miss something interesting.

Last updated on 02 February, 2022

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