When you hover your mouse cursor over an open app’s taskbar icon, you get a little preview window of it. We covered a little trick that lets you change the size of the preview window if the default one doesn’t suit you. If you’d rather replace the taskbar previews with list view, you can do that as well. This list view is a relic from Windows 7 (perhaps older). Back then, the taskbar icons didn’t show preview windows, they instead gave you a list of the open windows. Here’s how you can get the list view back.

Taskbar list view for apps

In order to replace the taskbar preview window with list view, you will have to edit the registry and for that you need admin rights.

Tap the Win+R keyboard shortcut to open the run box. In the run box, type ‘regedit’ and tap Enter. Alternatively, you can search for the Registry Editor in Windows Search and run it from there.

Once you have the registry editor open, navigate to the following location;

HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerTaskband

Right-click the Taskband key and select NewDWOORD (32-bit) Value. Name the value NumThumbnails. Make sure its value is set to 0.

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After that, you need to restart File Explorer. The easiest way to do this is to open the Task Manager and look for Windows Explorer on the Processes tab. Select it, and click Restart at the bottom right.

When you hover your mouse cursor over the taskbar icon of a running app, you will get a list of the open windows instead of the previews.

If you want, you can completely disable the previews and the list.

This isn’t just a cosmetic change. If your system tends to run slow or is sluggish when handling heavier apps, this will allow you to switch between windows much more quickly. Windows 10 will no longer try to show a preview which is a more resource intensive process than just listing the title of a window.

The list will appear when you hover the mouse cursor over an open app’s taskbar icon or when you left click it. Click any window in the list to switch to it. The jumplist will still be there. You have to right-click an app’s taskbar icon to get it, the same as before.

For slower systems, this is a really practical modification to make. You should also consider turning of animations. Doing so won’t make your system lightning fast but it will still have an impact.