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33. Disable Live Preview For Taskbar Thumbnails

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The Windows 7 taskbar icons now have an option which allows you to preview an open application simply by hovering the mouse cursor over the relevant icon.

Some find this option useful, others do not. However, Microsoft, in their infinite wisdom, decided, when Windows 7 was shipped, to remove all options that would allow the user to disable this feature. Yes they were all there when Windows 7 was in beta, but not when Windows 7 shipped to the general public.

Unfortunately, there is no way of actually turning this feature off completely; however, there is a workaround and this invloves delaying the time it takes for a preview to appear, thus, effectively, partially disabling the feature.

The Microsoft default setting is approximately two seconds; therefore, if you extend this period to, say, twenty seconds, the preview will not appear. After all, you are not going to sit there hovering your mouse cursor over a taskbar icon for twenty seconds or more, are you?

Below you will find details of how to extend the delay time:

  1. Click the Start button.
  2. In the Start Search box type: regedit
  3. Regedit should now appear at the top of the search box.
  4. Double click the Regedit application to launch it.
  5. When User Account Control requests permission to allow your request, Click OK. Please Note: If you are not the Administrator you will need to input the User Name and Password before you will be able to continue.
  6. The Registry Editor will now open.
  7. In the Registry editor window, Navigate to the following key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced.
  8. Right click on the Advanced option and, from the drop down menu, Select New followed by DWORD (32-Bit) Value.
  9. A New Value #1 box will appear at the bottom of the registry window.
  10. In this New Value #1 box type: ExtendedUIHoverTime and press Enter.
  11. Next Right click on the ExtendedUIHoverTime option you have just create and, from the drop down menu, Select Modify. Fig: 33-1 Registry window showing ExtendUIHoverTime key

    Fig: 33-1 Registry window showing ExtendUIHoverTime key

  12. In the Edit DWORD box that appears, Click on the Decimal option in the Base section of the window and then, in the Value Data, box type 20000 (twenty thousand).
  13. Fig: 33-2 Edit DWORD value window

    Fig: 33-2 Edit DWORD value window

  14. When completed, Click the OK button.
  15. Next Close the Registry editor window.
  16. Finally Re-Start your PC.
  17. Now, when you hover your cursor over the taskbar icons for less than twenty seconds, no preview windows will appear.
  18. If you need to re-enable this feature then follow steps 1 to 7. In the Right hand pane, Look down the list until you come to the ExtendedUIHoverTime you created, Right click on this option and, from the Drop down menu click Delete. Once you have Deleted the entry, Close the Registry Editor and then Re-Start your PC.