Rearrange taskbar icons
It's easy to rearrange the icons across the bottom of the screen -- simply drag an icon to where you want it to live. You can also add icons to the taskbar by dragging them from an application, and delete the icons by highlighting them and pressing the Delete key.
Take control of the taskbar notification area
The notification area, at the far right of the taskbar, shows system messages and alerts, and displays the icons of programs and services that typically run in the background, such as Windows 7's wireless service. But what determines when, how and which icons show up there seems one of Windows' great mysteries.
There's a simple way to find out, and better yet, to customize it.
1. Right-click the taskbar, select Properties, and from the dialog box in the notification area section, click Customize.
2. For each application, select from the drop-down box whether you want the icon and notifications to always be displayed, to never be displayed or to have an icon appear only when there's a notification of some kind. Click OK when you're done.
You can also customize the system icons and services that appear there, including the clock, volume, network, power and Action Center icons. At the bottom of the same screen, click "Turn system icons on or off," and from the screen that appears, choose whether to turn on or off the icon and notifications. Click OK twice when you're done.
See taskbar thumbnails without a mouse
If you're a fan of using the keyboard rather than your mouse whenever possible, you can move your cursor from icon to icon in the taskbar without a mouse -- and still see thumbnail previews. Press Windows key-T, and you'll move the focus to the leftmost icon on the taskbar. Then, while still pressing the Windows key, press T again to change the focus to the next icon to the right. You can keep doing this as long as you like.
Launch taskbar apps without a mouse
Likewise, you can launch any program on the taskbar without the mouse. Press the Windows key and the number that corresponds to the position of the application on the taskbar -- for example, Windows key-1 to launch the left-most application on the taskbar, Windows key-2 to launch the second left-most application and so on.
Run multiple copies of applications from the taskbar
The Windows 7 taskbar serves a dual purpose, which can get confusing at times. It's used to launch programs, and also to switch between programs that are running. So you launch a program by clicking its icon, and also switch to that program after it's running by clicking its icon.
But what if you want to launch a second instance of the program? Once the program is running, it seems there's no way to launch a second instance, because when you click its icon, you only switch to the running instance.
There's a simple fix: If a program is already running and you want to launch a second instance from the taskbar, hold down the Shift key and click the icon. A second instance will launch. You can keep launching new instances this way.
Get back the Quick Launch bar
Windows 7's new taskbar functions as a program launcher as well as task switcher. As a result, the old Quick Launch bar, the area on the left side of the taskbar that contained shortcuts for frequently used programs, has been banished. However, if you really miss the little applet, you can add it back. Here's how to do it:
1. Right-click the taskbar and choose Toolbars --> New Toolbar.
2 . You'll be asked to select a folder for where the new toolbar should live. In the Folder text box at the bottom of the dialog box, enter this text:
%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch