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How to Ungroup Similar Taskbar Buttons

When you have a lot of windows open in Vista, you might have a hard time finding one of them because it's been grouped.  It gets annoying having to click on the little arrow beside the grouping to find the window you want.  It also makes the wonderful thumbnail previews pretty well useless as they stack behind each other when they're grouped.

If you don't like Vista grouping similar taskbar buttons, just follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on an empty space of your taskbar.
  2. Click on "Properties"
  3. In the "Taskbar and Start Menu Properties" dialogue box, uncheck "Group similar taskbar buttons".  You will be able to see a little preview of the change you are making just above "Lock the taskbar" (see illustration below).

Taskbar Properties Dialogue Box Picture

* If the Preview area is blank and shows no preview, it's because "Auto-hide the taskbar" is checked.  Uncheck it for now to see the preview and then you can check it again afterwards.

  1. Now click "Apply".
  2. Click "OK" and you're done!

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How to Ungroup Similar Taskbar Buttons