written by: Tricia Goss•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 3/31/2010
Even though the taskbar in Windows 7 looks and acts quite differently than it did in previous versions of Windows, you can still customize Windows 7 taskbar.
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There are several ways to customize Windows 7 taskbar and personalize it to your liking. You can change the way taskbar icons look and where or whether they appear at all. You can add toolbars to the taskbar, change the transparency of the taskbar or even hide it from view completely. Read on to learn all about how to customize Windows 7 taskbar.
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When it comes to Windows 7 taskbar items, you have many options. First of all, you can determine which icons you want on your taskbar. At the right side of the taskbar just to the left of your system clock is a small up arrow, called the Notification Area. If you click on this arrow you will see that it contains program icons. These icons give you information about the status of a program or notifications related to it, such as updates available or messages waiting. You can customize how these and other icons in your system tray appear and behave. To do so, click the up arrow for the Notification Area and click Customize.
You can choose whether to display or hide icons and notifications, turn system icons on or off and reset defaults for this area. Another way to remove an icon from the Notification Area is to click the up arrow, right-click the icon and click Close.
The icons on the left side of the Windows 7 taskbar are your Jump List icons. You can pin these icons to the taskbar, remove them or rearrange them by dragging and dropping them as you choose. Read Office 2010 Jump Lists to learn more about using Jump Lists in Windows 7.
To further customize Windows 7 taskbar icons, right-click any blank area of the taskbar and select Properties. Select or clear the Use Small Icons check box to determine the size of your Windows 7 taskbar icons. You can also click the Customize button here to customize the Notification Area.
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As with Windows 7 taskbar icons, there are several ways that you can customize Windows 7 taskbar itself. Right-click a blank area of the taskbar and select Properties. In the Taskbar Appearance section, you can choose to lock the taskbar, auto-hide it, change its location on your screen or combine taskbar buttons.
If you want to resize the taskbar, make sure that it is not locked first. Point your mouse to the upper border of the taskbar until your pointer becomes a double-headed arrow. Then click and drag the taskbar so that it becomes wider or more narrow.
To add a toolbar to the taskbar, right-click an empty area of the taskbar, point to Toolbars and select a toolbar from the list or choose New Toolbar to add a custom toolbar.
Finally, you can customize Windows 7 taskbar by changing the color or the transparency of it. Right-click a blank area of your Windows 7 desktop and select Personalize. Click Window Color at the bottom of the Personalization window. Click a color under Change the Color of Your Windows Borders, Start Menu and Taskbar to customize the taskbar color. Clear the Enable Transparency check box if you do not want to view your desktop background through the taskbar. Use the Color Intensity slider to make the taskbar color more or less intense. When you are done, click Save Changes and close the Personalization window.