In a previous post, I wrote about why Windows may not be showing taskbar thumbnail previews by default, but instead show just a text list.

turn off thumbnail previews

However, if you do have thumbnail previews enabled in Windows, you will see actual screenshots of the programs or windows that are open when you hover your mouse over the icon.

windows 7 taskbar previews

Unfortunately, not everyone likes this! If you’re used to just a plain old list, this is going to be very annoying. Some users are more visual and some are not. In this article, I will tell you the different ways you can turn off thumbnail previews in the taskbar.

Method 1 – Group Policy

If you are running Windows 7/8/10 Professional, Ultimate, or Enterprise editions, you can disable taskbar previews in group policy. If you have Windows 7/8/10 Starter, Home, or Home Premium, move on to the next method.

Click on Start and type in gpedit.msc and then navigate to the following setting:

User Configuration – Administrative Templates – Start Menu and Taskbar

In the right-hand pane, double-click on Turn off taskbar thumbnails and choose the Enabled radio button.

Now just restart your computer and taskbar thumbnails should be turned off! Pretty easy!

Method 2 – Turn Off Aero in Windows 7/8/10

The second way to turn off taskbar previews is to simply turn off Aero in Windows 7. Note that you will lose out on all the fancy Aero stuff once you do this like Aero Peek and Aero Shake.

To disable Aero in Windows, right-click on the Desktop and choose Personalize.

desktop personazlie

Now scroll down and choose a basictheme. That’s all you have to do to turn off Aero!

basic theme windows 7

For Windows 10 users, you have to edit the registry in order to go back to the default list view. Navigate to the following key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Taskband

In the right-hand pane, right-click and choose New DWORD (32-bit) Value . Give it the name NumThumbnailsYou’ll create the 32-bit DWORD whether you have 32-bit or 64-bit Windows. By default, it should have a value of 0, which is what we want.

It’s worth noting that this method doesn’t work with the latest Creator’s update in Windows 10! Apparently, Microsoft has made it so that you simply cannot disable the taskbar previews anymore in the latest version of Windows 10.

The only workaround that kind of works is extending the hover delay time so that the preview doesn’t show up for like 30 seconds. However, using this method, not even a text list will show up, so it depends on your preference. To extend the hover time, go to the following key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

Here, you want to create a new DWORD (32-bit) Value called ExtendedUIHoverTime and give it a value of 10000 or higher. Basically, this is the number of milliseconds it waits before showing the taskbar previews. You can set it to 20000 for 20 seconds, 30000 for 30 seconds, etc.

Method 3 – Use 7+ Taskbar Tweaker

The last method involves download a small app that you can use to turn off taskbar previews. The only thing about this program is that it disables everything!

What I mean is that when you hover over the icons in the taskbar, absolutely nothing shows up, not even a text listing of the windows!

The program is called 7+ Taskbar Tweaker and it comes in a 32-bit and 64-bit version, so make sure you download the right one.

turn off taskbar previews

Simply check the Disable box at the bottom right under Thumbnail preview. Hopefully, one of the methods works for you even if you are running Windows 10. Enjoy!