Configuring Microsoft Windows 7 to Display Full Names in the Taskbar

Taskbar buttons are the small icons that are automatically displayed in the taskbar when their respective applications are initialized. In previous versions of Microsoft Windows, the taskbar buttons also displayed the names of the applications to which they belonged. Whereas in Microsoft Windows Vista and Windows 7, the interfaces of the operating systems have been changed and now only the symbols of the applications are displayed in the taskbars. For people who are quite familiar to the applications and Windows products, this minor modification in the interface doesn’t cause any trouble at all. However for those who are quite new to the operating systems and computers field, sometimes it might be challenging to identify the applications just by looking at their icons or symbols.

In order to eliminate the above problem, Microsoft Windows 7 allows users to configure the taskbar in such a way that it can also display the entire name of the application or the dialog box that is opened. The negative side to this modification is that the taskbar buttons occupy more space in the taskbar. This is because instead of displaying just the icons, which consume very small space on taskbar, buttons of the applications along with their respective names become comparatively larger and need more space. This results in displaying fewer icons in the taskbar. Even in this configuration, Microsoft Windows 7 automatically adjusts the taskbar buttons by combining together all the buttons of common types when the taskbar is full. An example of such adjustment can be multiple opened instances of Internet Explorer, multiple opened folders or any other such entity.

Modifying the taskbar buttons is a user specific configuration and is done on per user basis. This means that no elevated privileges are required in order to perform the task and users can make this modification on their own. Because of this, changes made by one user are not reflected on the user profile of any other account.

Enabling the Operating System to Display Taskbar Buttons along with Their Full Names

In order to enable Microsoft Windows 7 to display taskbar buttons along with their full names, steps given below must be followed:

  1. Log on to Windows 7 computer with the account on which modifications are to be done.
  2. Right-click the taskbar, and from the displayed context menu, click Properties.
  3. On Taskbar and Start Menu Properties box, make sure that Taskbar tab is selected and from the Taskbar buttons drop-down list, select Combine then taskbar is full option.

    Display Full Names in Taskbar

  4. Click OK to save the changes when done.
Author: Vivek Nayyar

Works as Systems Admin in Siskin Technologies, India. Corporate trainer on Microsoft and Cisco platform. Specialized in Virtualization Technology. LAN Consultant for some local organizations.
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