Taskbar - Group Similar Buttons

ByLine
How to Turn Group Similar Taskbar Buttons On or Off in Vista
Synopsis
This will show you how to turn group similar taskbar buttons on or off, and how to change how many similar buttons it takes before they group to one taskbar button in Vista.
How to Turn Group Similar Taskbar Buttons On or Off in Vista

information   Information
A taskbar button represents an open folder or program window. These buttons appear on the taskbar (the horizontal bar at the bottom of your desktop). You can click on a taskbar button to switch between these open windows. This will show you how to turn group similar taskbar buttons on or off, and how to change how many similar taskbar buttons it takes before they group to one taskbar button in Vista.
Note   Note
When you have more than one similar window open, say IE7 windows, you could set the taskbar to group the same IE7 taskbar buttons to just one button instead of multiple buttons. This can help organize the taskbar and save space when you have multiple windows open.
Tip   Tip
To have open window thumbnail previews on or off for the taskbar buttons, see: How to Turn Open Window Thumbnail Previews On or Off for the Taskbar in Vista

EXAMPLE: Default and Changed Similar Group Taskbar Buttons
NOTE:
A)
When this is turned on, the similar taskbar buttons will not group to one button until the taskbar runs out of space for the buttons by default. See the left example.
B) You can change this to group similar taskbar buttons after a number of similar windows you specify have opened instead. See right example.
Default_Group.jpg Group2.jpg
EXAMPLE: Left and Right click on a Group Taskbar button
NOTE:
This is what you will see when you left or right click on a group taskbar button.

Left_Click.jpg
Right_Click.jpg




OPTION ONE
Turn Group Similar Taskbar Buttons On or Off

NOTE: This will just turn the Group similar taskbar buttons on or off with just the default settings. With the default settings, the similar taskbar buttons will not group until the taskbar runs out of space for the buttons.
1. Right click on a empty area of the taskbar.​
2. Click on Properties.​
3. To Turn On Group Similar Taskbar Buttons
A) In the Taskbar tab, check Group similar taskbar buttons. (See screenshot below step 5)​
B) Go to step 5.​

4. To Turn Off Group Similar Taskbar Buttons
A) In the Taskbar tab, uncheck Group similar taskbar buttons. (See screenshot below step 5)​

5. Click on OK.​
Taskbar_Properties.jpg






OPTION TWO
Change Number of Similar Taskbar Buttons Before Group

NOTE: This will allow you to change how many similar taskbar buttons for open windows it takes before they will group to one taskbar button instead of using just the default settings in OPTION ONE.



Method One
Using a REG File Download
1. Change to Group Two Similar Taskbar Buttons
NOTE: This will set similar taskbar buttons to group when the second similar window is open, say 2 IE7 windows. If you want to have a different amount, then do the manual way below instead.​
A) Click on the Download button below to download the file below.​
Group_2_Taskbar_Buttons.reg
download

B) Go to step 3.​

2. To Restore the Default Group Similar Taskbar Buttons
NOTE: This is when the similar taskbar buttons fo not group until the taskbar runs out of space for the buttons.​
A) Click on the Download button below to download the file below.​
Default_Group_Taskbar.reg
download

3. Click on Save, and save the .reg file to the Desktop.​
4. Right click on the downloaded .reg file and click on Merge.​
5. Click on Run, Continue (UAC), Yes, and then OK when prompted.​
6. Turn the Group Similar Taskbar Buttons off and on in OPTION ONE to apply the changes.​
7. When done, you can delete the .reg file (On Desktop).​




Method Two
Manually in Registry Editor
1. Open the Start Menu.​
2. In the white line (Start Search) area, type regedit and press Enter.​
3. Click on Continue in the UAC prompt.​
4. In regedit, go to: (See screenshot below)​
Code:
HKEY_CURRRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
Reg1.jpg

5. Change Group Similar Taskbar Buttons Amount
A) In the right pane of Advanced, right click on a empty area and click New, then DWORD (32-bit) Value. (See screenshot above)​
B) Type TaskbarGroupSize and press Enter. (See screenshot below)​
C) Right click on TaskbarGroupSize and click on Modify.​
Reg2.jpg

D) Type in the amount of similar taskbar buttons you want opened before they group and click on OK. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: For example, 2. You can use whatever number you want.​
Modify.jpg

E) The registry will now look like this. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: With the example of 2.​
Reg3.jpg

F) Go to step 7.​

6. To Restore the Default Group Similar Taskbar Buttons Amount
A) In the right pane, right click on TaskbarGroupSize and click on Delete. (See screenshot above)​
B) Click on Yes to confirm the deletion.​

7. Close regedit.​
8. Turn the Group Similar Taskbar Buttons off and on in OPTION ONE to apply the changes.​

That's it,
Shawn


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Shawn Brink

Comments

thx for all the tut you provide to everyone on this site. It helps curing bad temper ;))lolol
I would've been so happy to find it all when I bought this vista after ten years without PC (it was a Win95, the best they made).

But some tut do not work on my vista (home family version; not basic nor ultimate). My taskbar is always on right side of the screen. The stacks only works with XP in that manner (it was my brothers PC which I had fun to reinstall. XP is really fast too).
It only works in vista and 7 when the bar is either at the top or bottom.

Peace
Ghis
 
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