Taskbar Button: How to always start a new instance on single left click? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have multiple programs/shortcuts pinned to my taskbar.  At one point, several of the buttons had the following functionality:

    -Clicking on the button with a single left-click of the mouse opens up a new instance of the program.

    -The new instance is represented by a newly-created button that is placed on the taskbar, while the old button remains unaffected where it is.  Thus, clicking on the original pinned Internet Explorer button would yield a new instance of IE (in a new window), and a second button would appear in the taskbar representing that new window.

    -If the new instance of the program is later minimized or out-of-focus, clicking on that new button reverts the focus back to that instance.

    -The new button disappears when the instance it represents is shut down and closed for good.

    -Each click of the "original" button yields a new instance of the program in the above manner.

    -If the taskbar is configured to merge buttons (via the taskbar properties in the control panel), then the only buttons that will be merged are the ones representing actual, specific instances.  These buttons will NOT be merged with the original button (used to create new instances), so there will always be at least two visible buttons connected to that program.


    I know the above functionality is possible, as it existed at one point on my computer for several programs (such as Internet Explorer and Microsoft Visual Studio).  However, I recently had a computer error which wiped all my taskbar buttons.  When I re-pinned the programs to the taskbar, now they all act in the default manner:  Forcing me to right-click on the icon and choose a new instance of the program from the small menu that pops up, because the button now defaults to pointing to an instance of the program if it exists (rather than spawning a new button to represent that instance, apart from the original button).

    This is inconvenient, and I would like to configure certain programs to be able to simply click once on a button to get a new instance, even if I already have an instance of that program running.  I do not want to have to right click, or go through extra menus, or an extra Quick Launch menu, or hold down a key like "shift."

    How can I configure this?

    (On a related, but separate, note, how can I configure it so that SOME program buttons with multiple instances are always merged (such as Internet Explorer), but others will not merge their buttons for multiple instances (unless there is no room on the taskbar)?)


    Thank you.

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011 8:42 PM

All replies

  • Did you have a backup? A system restore could help you.



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    Thursday, December 1, 2011 3:11 AM
  • That doesn't really resolve the core issue - how to get the functionality out of my Taskbar that I desire, at will.  For instance, if I were to install a brand new program and add a button to the Taskbar, I would want to set it to use this kind of functionality.  A system restore wouldn't help me in that case.

    The fact that my taskbar used to work this way is only relevant insofar as it means I know this functionality is possible - it's not like I'm asking for the developers at Microsoft to program in a new feature just for me.  I know it's already there.  I just don't know how to enable it deliberately.

    Thursday, December 1, 2011 9:46 PM