How to Fix: Increase Taskbar Thumbnail Preview in Windows 7, 8, 10

Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Increase Taskbar Thumbnail Preview in Windows 7, 8, 10

Infopackets Reader Tim R. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I just purchased a brand new laptop with Windows 10 and it has a 4K screen resolution of 3840 X 2160 (exactly twice the resolution of Blu-Ray, at 1920 x 1080). The problem is that when I have many programs open on my task bar, I cannot see the taskbar thumbnail preview - it is far too small to read. Therefore I have a very difficult time figuring out which thumbnail belongs to which program I have open. Is there any way I can increase the taskbar thumbnail preview so it is larger than the default? "

My response:

This is an interesting question. It took me a while to figure out the answer to this problem, and I'll explain two methods you can use to resolve it.

How to Fix: Increase Taskbar Thumbnail Preview in Windows 7, 8, 10

There are two options when it comes to tackling this problem.

In the first option, you can leave the entire desktop the way it is and only increase (or decrease) the size of the taskbar thumbnail previews. Alternatively, you can increase the size of everything on the desktop - including desktop icons, the start menu button, the task bar itself, Windows Explorer thumbnails - literally everything - including taskbar thumbnail previews. Option #1 is a registry hack, where as Option #2 deals with DPI (dots per inch) scaling.

1. Adjust Taskbar Thumbnail Preview: Using a Registry Hack

If you only want to adjust the taskbar thumbnail preview size - whether it's larger or smaller than the default - you can do this using the Windows Registry. To do so: click Start, then type in "regedit" (no quotes); wait for the blue Regedit icon to appear in the list, then click on it. Inside the Windows Registry window, scroll to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ Taskband.

On the right hand side of the Registry window, you should see the headings: "Name", "Type", and "Data" at the top. Right click an empty space under the Name heading, then select New -> DWORD (32-Bit Value), then type in the name "MinThumbSizePx" and set it to 800, then select Decimal as the base using the radio button, then click OK. Do the exact same again, except set the name as "MaxThumbSizePx".

Your changes in the registry automatically save. Now it's time to log out of Windows, then log back in. To do so: click Start, then hit the power icon, then log off. When you've logged back in, click Start, and select "This PC"; wait for "This PC" to appear on the task bar and hover your mouse over top of it. You should now see the taskbar thumbnail preview is much larger than it was before. If you need to adjust the taskbar thumbnail preview size, then follow this step again and play with the numbers. Don't forget to save it your registry value as a "Decimal" value.

2. Adjust Taskbar Thumbnail Preview: Using DPI Scaling

This option will modify all aspects of the Windows desktop, including the desktop icons, Windows Explorer icons (and previews), the taskbar thumbnail preview, and much, much more. To do so: click Start, then type in "DPIscaling"; wait for the "DPIscaling" icon to appear, then click it. A new window will with the title "Display" will appear; click the link that reads "set a custom scaling level". A new window will appear with the title "Custom sizing options."

Next to the heading that says: "Scale to this percentage of normal size," select 150%, then click OK. You will need to log off the system and log back in. When complete, you will see your desktop is considerably larger than before. If it's not big enough, you can adjust it by following these steps again and setting the scaling to a different level.

I hope that helps.

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About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.

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dickmorris_3365's picture

I can't use the DPI fix because I already have my DPI set to 155%. I tried the registry hack, but nothing changed. I'm running Win7 sp1 64-bit on a Dell Inspiron. Instead of using a 32-bit DWORD for Min/MaxThumbSizePx, should I use a 64-bit QWORD?

Dennis Faas's picture

Please follow the instructions as detailed. You will also need to log out and log back in for the changes to take effect. I tested both methods on my machine (Windows 10) before I wrote the article.

YankeeVictor's picture

first ,thank you Dennis for "Infopackets", very good, I read it almost daily.

I have been using Ultimate Windows Tweaker 4 Windows 10

for 6 months now, no issues whatsoever, works like a charm.

it fixes Tim's question in a flash:

customization--Taskbar thumbnail, I put mine to max on 1920x1080 screen and thumbnails are huge.

good luck,
have a great day,

YankeeVictor's picture

also very helpful

absolute must for win10 Taskbar [ specially for high-res. screens ]

two things: 1] make sure you check "run at startup" in settings [ or windows will reverse your tweaks at startup ]

2] right click tray icon 7TT to find "advanced options"

here you will find "w10_large _icons" to make Taskbar icons bigger than w10 allows in settings,

32x32 iso 24x24

YankeeVictor's picture

and last but not least another awesome tweaker

allows you to tweak pretty much everything in w10,

I use all 3 above mentioned tweakers simultaneously, and haven't encountered any

incompatibilities yet.

ps: for Ultimate Windows Tweaker 4, same as 7TT, make sure it runs at startup:

"Additional"--check Automatically start.