How to Fix: Disable Taskbar Thumbnail Previews in Windows 7, 8, 10

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Vema H. writes:

" Dear Dennis

I just upgraded to Windows 10 and one thing that really bothers me is the taskbar thumbnail previews. For example, if I place my mouse over top of a task on the taskbar, a preview will show up. The problem is that most of the time I don't mean to do this, so part of the screen is being taken away by some task preview that I don't care about. Is there any way to disable the taskbar thumbnail previews? It's driving me nuts! "

My response:

I completely agree with you - I have never had any use for this feature which I believe started some time around Windows Vista. Personally I use the same style taskbar as the Windows XP days (always use small icons, and never group them together). So, for me, there is no need to use taskbar thumbnail previews because I know which task belongs to which process I'm working on.

As far as I understand it is not possible to completely disable the thumbnail previews, but it is possible to delay the previews for an extended period of time, which basically makes them disappear. In this case, you could modify the registry so that the previews won't appear until 30 seconds after you've placed your mouse over top of a task. This is how I've got mine set and I never get bothered by taskbar thumbnail previews.

Below I'll explain how to do this step-by-step and using an automated script I created. Note that this registry hack works for Windows 7, 8, and 10.

How to Fix: Disable Taskbar Thumbnail Previews in Windows 7, 8, 10

  1. The first thing you need to do is open up an administrative command prompt. To do so: click Start, then type in "cmd" (no quotes); wait for "CMD.EXE" or "Command Prompt" to appear in the list, then right click it and select "Run as Administrator".
  2. Highlight the text below using your mouse.

    reg add "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced" /v ExtendedUIHoverTime /t REG_DWORD /d 30000 /f
    echo this is a dummy line
  3. Right click over top of the highlighted text above and select "Copy" from the dialogue menu.
  4. Next, right click in the middle of the administrative command prompt and select "Paste" from the dialogue menu. The text you copied in Step #2 should now be output to the command line.
  5. Now it's time to reboot. Before you do that, bookmark this page so you can come back to it by pressing CTRL + D on the keyboard. You will need to reboot the machine to make the registry changes stick. To do so, click Start then click the power button, and choose "Restart" to reboot the computer.
  6. When you get back to the desktop, open up your web browser and come back to this page. After that, move your mouse on the task bar where the browser is and see if the thumbnail has disappeared. It should be gone. If you leave the mouse on the task for more than 30 seconds, the thumbnail preview will appear as it did before.

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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nospam_5346's picture

I agree with you, Dennis. I've never had any use for this "feature". I set mine for even longer just in case I don't realize that the cursor is on a tab.

I also use the XP style taskbar and Windows Classic style. I use 7+ Taskbar Tweaker so I can separate and move the tabs which Windows started grouping together in Windows 7 to where I want on the taskbar.

Frankly, I've had little use for any of the "features" introduced in Windows since XP and always disable as many as I can as well as use Classic Shell for Windows so I can have a functional start menu without all the scrolling. They just seem like eye candy to me and a way to "justify" the upgrade when most of the changes are behind the scene and not visible to the user. I've never seen any functionality that is useful to me.

sytruck_8413's picture

Has anyone tried this? It has a disable check box.