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7 RTM, need a way to restore the "keep taskbar on top of other windows" option, Top Taskbar user...

    Question

  • I have tried the only steps that I could find to restore the "keep taskbar on top of other windows" option, in Windows 7 RTM. But they get over written each time I try.

    This is a "feature" that needs to be available in Windows 7. I have used my taskbar at the top of the screen for many years (after years of using it at the bottom of the screen and getting a sore neck after many hours of use looking down at the TB). Think of it as a Ergo style, using the taskbar at the top (I don't get a sore neck anymore), anyway one of the settings I have always used was to "uncheck" the "keep taskbar on top of other windows" option, this allowed great flexibility with the windows I use during the day. BTW I am a System Engineer and spend a greater part of the day staring at computer displays. I have never had any issue with finding the taskbar when needed (some have said that this change was to keep people from losing the taskbar behind other windows).

    Think of it this way; I am being denied using the complete/entire desktop for the window of my choice, the taskbar is always there on the screen now and limits my use of the complete/entire desktop. I really feel that this is a reduction of my resources and limits my capabilities.

    Please O great and wonderful MSFT Devs, please hear my prayers and return the "keep taskbar on top of other windows" option, in future hotfixes and/or patches, I promise not to ____ and moan about simple things again, Amen/Awomen (we have to be equal nowdays, Devs are both)

    Thanks
    Monday, August 31, 2009 11:00 PM

Answers

  • Hi rsharkey1,

    Thanks for your reply.

    I have already forwarded your suggestions to our DEV team, I think your suggestions will be taken seriously by our products team. Currently I'd like to suggest you using Auto-hide to cover the entire screen for your applications. Moreover, it is recommmended to press Alt + Tab keys to switch windows so as not to display the taskbar. For your second concern, you could use the mousable way to open a new window by right clicking the taskbar icon and clicking the icon directly in the jumplist.

    Best Regards.
    Dale Qiao
    Thursday, September 03, 2009 2:56 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi,

    In Windows 7, you still can set the taskbar to show at the top of the screen by righting click the taskbar==>clicking Properties==>selecting Top right besides Taskbar Location on screen. Moreover, you could still open an application to use the entire screen if you check Auto-hide the taskbar box. If I misunderstand, please feel free to let me know. BTW, we'd like to forward your opinion to our related DEV team. Customers' suggestions are always appreciated and taken seriously. Thanks for your suggestions.

    Best Regards.
    Dale Qiao 
    Wednesday, September 02, 2009 5:11 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the response Dale,

    Please feel free to forward any information to the powers that be :)

    Thanks for your suggestion of using Auto-hide, but I have tried using that many times in the past (in fact that is my fathers default way to use it, he is a Office power user). True the Auto-hide feature is a way of using the full screen, but most times it is slow to respond when having many active application windows open and/or switching between those windows. Auto-hide just doesn't provide the functionallity that I am use to with the Windows UI.

    On other items, I am running a couple different Windows 7 systems and several Windows 2008 R2 (Server 7) systems. a couple of the servers are running with the Aero desktop and I am quite impressed with all (I had only run one RC of 7 for a short time before, I was waiting for RTM to really build out). I do love the direction that the current UI is going (I also run fbsd w/kde systems). BTW; Excellent job on the security of 2008 R2 (AD 2008 R2 mode fixed several items that had been hidden issues for years).

    So in the end, I wish that the option "allow application windows to be over the taskbar" was available someday somehow.

    There should also be a "mousable" way of opening additional/new windows from a "pinned" taskbar shortcut/icon/app. Having to hold the shift key works but a way to do it directly through a right click would be a nice feature, nice when your busy with other keyboard activities ctlr/cut/copy/paste

    Thanks again for the response, hope to hear about a fix for the taskbar soon, Please...

    Wednesday, September 02, 2009 7:56 PM
  • I didn't realize that they had removed it.  I never use it, using auto-hide.

    I agree that they should not have removed the feature, because of users like you who depend on it.

    Presumably the setting is in the Registry somewhere, but I can't find it.  I know it's not in [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced].

    Possibly searching the HKEY_CURRENT_USER hive between set and unset would allow you to find it.  You can export suspected keys with it set and unset and compare the files, such as using fc.exe in a command prompt or with windiff.
    Wednesday, September 02, 2009 9:22 PM
  • Hi rsharkey1,

    Thanks for your reply.

    I have already forwarded your suggestions to our DEV team, I think your suggestions will be taken seriously by our products team. Currently I'd like to suggest you using Auto-hide to cover the entire screen for your applications. Moreover, it is recommmended to press Alt + Tab keys to switch windows so as not to display the taskbar. For your second concern, you could use the mousable way to open a new window by right clicking the taskbar icon and clicking the icon directly in the jumplist.

    Best Regards.
    Dale Qiao
    Thursday, September 03, 2009 2:56 AM
    Moderator
  • For your second concern, you could only use the mousable way to open a new window by right clicking the taskbar icon and clicking the icon directly in the jumplist.

    Middle click also works.  Press down on the scroll wheel until it clicks.
    Thursday, September 03, 2009 3:14 AM
  • Hi Brian Brog,

    Yes, you're right. I typed redundantly word "only" in the previous post. I didn't mean it is the only way. Thanks for your supplement.

    Have a nice day.

    Dale Qiao

    Thursday, September 03, 2009 3:57 AM
    Moderator
  • So in the end, I wish that the option "allow application windows to be over the taskbar" was available someday somehow.

    +1

    I totally agree with rsharkey1. This may not be a big deal for users who dock the taskbar at the bottom, but for those who use it in a non-default position, it's important. PLEASE consider bringing back the option to turn off "Keep taskbar on top "!

    I have my task bar docked to the left-side of the screen and created my own version of the "Quick Launch" folder (seems that Windows has deprecated that feature) that displays at the top below the start menu. In it I've placed all the apps I use frequently in a grid of 4x6, essentially giving me one click access to 24 items. The "Pin to taskbar " feature is nice in a horizontal taskbar but on a vertical taskbar it takes up too much real estate. I would only be able to pin six (6) programs in the space that I now have 24 programs (and yes, I use all of them almost daily).

    That leaves a ton of room for running programs to display below and I have "Use small icons " checked as well as "Never combine " taskbar buttons. This way I can quickly scan the name of each running app and just click on the one I want; I don't have to wait for the thumbnails to display. Having it in vertical layout allows easy scan-ability.

    While many of the new Windows 7 taskbar features are great when horizontal, it would be nice if some designers explored how the user experience could be optimized when vertical.

    Personally, I can't imagine having it in any other location than down the left side (at least in a left-to-right language). With a wide screen monitor, it uses screen space efficiently without chewing up precious vertical real estate needed for documents and web pages. It also provides easy access to the start menu, frequently-used programs and running programs since most apps tend to be LTR optimized as far as their layout. So it's more likely that your mouse will be in the upper-left corner of the screen, so having the start menu and my "app pad" in the upper-left corner, takes advantage of Fitt's Law.

    But forcing the taskbar to be on top of other windows, becomes a problem when you want to open two document or browser windows open side-by-side. Even on a 24" monitor, the horizontal real estate used by the taskbar, is the difference between having vertical scrollbars in the windows, or not. I really would like an option—even if it's  a registry hack—to turn it off.

    If any MS employees would like more details on how I've customized my desktop or learn about other issues I've encountered with a left-side docked taskbar, let me know, I think it would be enlightening.
    Monday, October 12, 2009 5:03 PM
  • I like having my taskbar on the left side as well, and agree with the comments/request to bring back the option to make the taskbar stay behind other windows.

    BTW, there is a way to re-add the Quick Launch area to the taskbar. See: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-7/add-the-quick-launch-bar-to-the-taskbar-in-windows-7/
    I had just found that, and it works.
    Sunday, October 25, 2009 3:38 PM
  • I'd like to express my strong support for reimplementing this feature.

    I really need the option to have the taskbar not on top.  I (and the people in my office) use dual monitors, and most of us have the taskbar on the left side of the right monitor.  This is a very convenient and intuitive setup, and is very functional since it can show many open applications simultaneously.  With not-on-top turned on, it saves a lot of space.

    Now that it has to stay on top, the taskbar uses a very large amount of space. Wide vertical taskbars are useless if the have to always be on top.

    I saw that it was possible to achieve this by changing the registry, but even that has been removed in the W7 RTM.  Can we at least get that fix back?

    This is a very important issue to me.  I need my taskbar to be very large, since I have a lot of things open and do a lot of window switching, but I can't have the taskbar taking up 20% of my screen space all of the time.
    Saturday, November 07, 2009 7:52 PM
  • Update to the issue;

    This is now getting to bug level... can we start a bug request from here? :P

    Easy to replicate at anytime bug, move Taskbar to the top of the screen, then open any help link.
    The help window will always pop-up under the taskbar and will not allow you to click the top and move it,
    you can only close it by right clicking the pinned icon and choosing close.

    Other windows can pop-up under the taskbar too and only allow you to close them like above,
    unless you move or autohide the taskbar to get access to the top of the window.

    Scenario; taskbar on top, auto window expand "off", taskbar locked or unlocked doesn't matter.

    Idea; use the taskbar "locked or unlocked" feature to set if other windows can be above the taskbar or not?

    Question; Why is taskmgr.exe still able to work above the taskbar just fine?

    The registry hacks to the StuckRects2 doesn't work in RTM, you can change it, kill explorer, restart and the change is gone 
    I have been trying processmonitor [thanks MR&DS] to see what watches for the change and reverts it back but no luck yet,
    still in process.

    _R 
    Friday, December 18, 2009 11:16 PM
  • I like this feature in XP.  I put my task bar on the right because that gives room for the app title bar text.  To switch apps, I
    1. hit the windows key,
    2. click the task bar to get the start menu out of the way, and
    3. click my target app. 
    It's the fastest way to switch among many open apps that also let's my apps have the full screen.  I do not like auto-hide because I have to avoid the right edge of the screen or I'll accidentally bring out the task bar.  Tell the developers I would like to skip step 2 somehow.  Maybe let me configure it so the windows key brings up the task bar and not the start menu.  I don't mind editing the registry.
    • Edited by Brad-2009 Monday, December 21, 2009 9:48 PM
    Saturday, December 19, 2009 11:34 PM
  • Like Brian above, I prefer Auto-Hide.

    Now, when using Auto-Hide one can make the Taskbar very timid, to where it is shaking in its boots and won't come out.  Just changing a background picture will do that for me, for example.

    The workaround for this is to cause another window to open.  One deterministic way to do this is Ctrl-Alt-Delete, then start the Task Manager.  That gives the Taskbar confidence enough to come out and show itself once again.

    By the way, a workaround for any window for which you can't get hold of the title bar, be it behind the Task Bar or off screen or whatever, is this:

    1.  Open the folder, as you have been doing, to where you see the animation "fly" off the screen.

    2.  On the keyboard hold down the Alt key and press the space bar once.  Let up the Alt key.

    3.  Press the M key.

    4.  Press an arrow key (e.g., the left arrow).

    5.  Now (without clicking any button) move the mouse to make the window appear on the screen.

    -Noel
    Saturday, December 19, 2009 11:48 PM
  • Has anything been done to fix this problem? I just got windows 7 and cant find a solution that works to keep the taskbar under running applications. I tried a program that is supposed to fix it but it wont work on my system.
    Tuesday, August 10, 2010 12:26 AM
  • This is a big problem on tablets or will be a big probelm if MS wants to try and compete in the tablet space. Once a window goes under the task bar and in the absence of a mouse and keyboard there's little option but to unlock and drag the task bar and drag it around. Fairly disrutive to keep doing when you're trying to work. You also need the task bar at the top or side to avoid hitting your hand when your inking with a pen. Mosaic and flikr - both out of browser silverlight apps ride up under the taskbar when it's at the top of the screen on my tablet. Hugely annoying.
    Wednesday, May 18, 2011 1:29 AM
  • I am another who is finding the missing option to turn off the "Keep the taskbar on top of other windows" a problem.

    We run a BMX Scoring Application that until recently used a number of XP machines in the public area for riders, officials, coaches and spectators to check the scores in real time. Having just replace the aging XP machines with new Windows7 Profesional Asus eBoxes, we now have a security issue becuase any user can now access the Taskbar even when the application is maximised to full screen.

    Very frustrating with the volunteer cycling association having paid for new PCs and in reality, can't use them.

    Please MS, can we have the Keep the taskbar on top of other windows option back very soon, if not immediately?

    Monday, January 16, 2012 3:08 AM
  • When is this bug going to get fixed?  This is probably one of the biggest mistakes in Win7.  If issue is causing so many complaints, why is it taking so long to fix it?
    Tuesday, January 31, 2012 8:46 PM
  • This thread has what, a few dozen entries?  There are now half a billion Windows 7 users.  That's not a very big complaint ratio.  It might just be that more people like it just the way it is (or don't know any better).

    So why is it not an OPTION?  We can only assume Microsoft felt it makes users less likely to lose control of their desktops (read:  fewer trouble calls to Microsoft) by forcing it to be on top.

    For what it's worth, I've not seen the auto-hide problem I described above since some time in 2010.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my new eBook: Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options

    Wednesday, February 01, 2012 1:04 AM