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Tip: Quick way to change taskbar tray icon visibility

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Windows 7 has kept the taskbar tray from previous versions of Windows, but is providing a different means of managing which icons always show up and when (e.g. can set a specific icon to show up only if they have notifications, or even to never show up on the tray). When you press the “up” arrow UI button that is just before the taskbar tray you see a popup with the hidden icons and pressing “Customize…” you see a dialog where you can set per icon options or select to “Always show all icons and notifications on the taskbar”.

A quick (and quite useful on both tablets and classic desktops/notebooks) trick though is that you don’t need to show that Customize dialog, you can just show the small popup with the hidden icons and drag an icon from there to the taskbar tray to make it always show up. The inverse is also true, you can drag an icon from the tray to that popup to make an icon show up only when it has notifications.

Note that if the Customize dialog is already open its UI gets updated with your changes on the fly, but you then have to press OK to keep the changes, pressing Cancel will undo even the changes you did via drag-drop.

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Tip: Display Process Task menu without right click

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You probably know already that on Windows 7 you can right click icons for executing tasks (applications) on the taskbar and select to Pin them there. You must have also noticed that Windows 7 aware applications show common tasks there, while Windows also shows recent files opened by some application even at cases where the application is not Windows 7 aware itself.

What you probably haven’t noticed yet (found out by accident myself recently too on a Tablet PC), is that apart from right clicking on the taskbar icons to see that popup menu, you can also drag them a bit outwards and presto!, you get the popup. Very useful with tablets, since for right click you have to hold down the finger for a while which is not as quick as this nifty shortcut.

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