Windows 7 taskbar icons misbehaving

  Ian in Northampton 15:26 29 Oct 2013
Locked

Normally, when you pin a program to the taskbar in Windows 7, if that program is open, the icon is highlighted differently to the icons for programs that aren’t open.

I just took delivery of a new Windows 7 PC with Office 2010 installed, and it’s exhibiting a couple of strange behaviours:

  1. Even when a program – e.g. Chrome – is active, the taskbar icon isn’t highlighted. If I click on the relevant icon, instead of restoring my original program window, it opens another one.

  2. The Outlook taskbar icon exhibits a similar behaviour. However, in addition, where I’m used to hovering over the illuminated icon and showing a list of all the open items/emails, there’s nothing there.

I’ve tried Googling the problem without success. Does anyone have any thoughts?

  Woolwell 19:20 29 Oct 2013

I'm sorry but I'm not sure I can replicate your problem. Is the TaskBar just showing icons only with no labels?

  Ian in Northampton 09:04 30 Oct 2013

Woolwell, thanks. The best way I can describe it is that, when I open a program, the taskbar icon is not highlighted - it remains looking like a taskbar icon does when its program is not active. Beyond that: previously, if I had multiple Outlook items open, they would appear in a list when I hovered over the Outlook icon in the taskbar. Now, they don't. The net result is that if, for example, Outlook is 'hidden' on the screen by e.g. Chrome, when I click on the Outlook taskbar button, instead of restoring Outlook to be 'on top', it opens another copy of Outlook. Same with other programs.

  chub_tor 09:47 30 Oct 2013

If the taskbar items are not showing thumbnails then maybe this tutorial will help

  Ian in Northampton 19:07 30 Oct 2013

Thanks chub_tor - much appreciated. I downloaded the piece of software mentioned there but, frustratingly, can't find an option that looks like it will do what I want it to. For people who like tweaking how Windows works, though, it looks brilliant.

  chub_tor 19:22 30 Oct 2013

From reading that article it would seem that you need to change a setting in the Registry to get the thumbnails back and just before the link to the tweaking program there is another link Enable Taskbar Thumbnail Preview Registry File Download Link which if you click on it should take you to a download you can install on your desktop or whatever and then when you execute that it should merge the appropriate registry setting for you. But back up your registry first before you do so.

  Ian in Northampton 08:48 31 Oct 2013

chub_tor: you know how we often say on here "Well, if you'd have told us that at the beginning, we'd have been better able to help"? So...

I've solved the problem, and it was one of my own making. I left out three important pieces of information. I'm accessing the PC in question via VPN. The PC in question has two screens. And I'd installed MultiMon Taskbar to make it easier to switch between windows.

I suddenly had a thought as I was falling asleep last night. Supposing all the minimised programs and the thumbnails were dropping to the taskbar on the monitor that I can't see remotely?

So this morning, I stopped MultiMon running and uninstalled it - and, problem solved. Everything is now minimising to the main screen, and I am a very happy camper.

But: I really appreciate your and Woolwell's interest.

  Woolwell 10:24 31 Oct 2013

Thanks for letting us know. I have in the past, and probably will in the future, created problems of my own making and been sat looking at the screen for hours scratching my head before the penny dropped.

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