Force small icons in taskbar using GPO RRS feed

  • Question

  • Is there any way of doing this?  We've got a problem in that our accounts system needs the taskbar size to be the same as in XP/Vista for it to work properly.  I can see a GPO option in the windows 7 admx to turn off access to task bar resizing, but no option to set the size itself.  It appears to be the default has been reversed from Vista, but there's no way of changing the default with a GPO, not the regular ones anyway.  Is there a registry hack I can load into a GPO to force it?  It's really annoying having to have each individual user set the size manually.
    Friday, February 5, 2010 7:42 PM

All replies

  • This is the registry key that's affected by that setting:

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



    It's 1 for small icons, 0 for large ones.


    • Proposed as answer by Noel Carboni Friday, August 19, 2011 2:57 PM
    Saturday, February 6, 2010 3:46 AM
  • Thanks, that was helpful.

    I'm rapidly developing a strong dislike for the Windows 7 UI, I notice that someone else has just posted another query on how to remove the control panel icon from the desktop, which was the next thing I was about to try!

    Can't get the theme to work properly either, someone else posted on that too.  And the control panel lockdown for "hide icons" doesn't seem to work on 7, the applets are blocked from working but they appear in the control panel.

    And I'm having problems with bitmap wallpaper too, that policy does work but on one of the test machines it seems to be unstable, keeps going black, hit F5 and it comes back again.

    I think I'm abandoning Windows 7 deployment (sorry, Windows 6.1) until the GPOs are more thorough and work properly, haven't got time to be arsed with this.
    Monday, February 8, 2010 7:16 PM
  • IMO it is a mistake to give up too soon.  Assuming you're coming from XP, Windows 7 WILL take some getting used to, but once you do get used to it, and find the many tweaks necessary to make it "work", you will realize that it can actually be a step up in productivity (save for several nagging Explorer issues, but I'm confident we'll be seeing something from Microsoft on that; for now there are some very nice freeware tools to help).

    Windows 7 DOES have significant advantages, and like it or not as a sys admin you really are going to have to deal with it sooner or later.

    By the way, all my Windows 7 installs have been rock solid stable, and everything works.  Yes, it's possible.


    P.S., A pet peeve of mine is admins who lock down everything on GPs.  I realize for some folks this is a necessity because they'll break everything but do try to keep an open mind.  All the rules of XP don't necessarily apply to Windows 7.  Make sure you make it possible for your people to actually work. 
    Tuesday, February 9, 2010 2:01 AM
  • We're not coming from XP, we're about 90% Vista.  I've got to lock down the UI in order for our accounts system to work and make it as consistent as possible with what we're already using.  I'm dealing with a lot of data entry types who don't adapt to change well.  Changing from the classic menu will be shock enough, I expect.

    I'm not saying it's not stable, the problem is the UI appears to be fundamentally different in many respects and the GPOs appear to be incomplete or do not work as described.  I cannot get the theme GPO to work at all.  Usually in the service packs they add some in, so fingers crossed for that I suppose.

    The advantage of 7 over Vista appears to me to be minimal if there is any at least from the standpoint of a data entry clerk.

    Tuesday, February 9, 2010 3:20 PM
  • Bravo to you for having gone to Vista.  Many companies aren't so progressive.

    Well, it's a good bit more efficient on the same hardware, for one.  If you put Win 7 on a system that's been running Vista, they will think you gave them a new PC.

    Another is that if they don't recall where something is the search box on the Start menu does work pretty well.  It's especially nice to be able to help someone long distance...  1.  Click the Start orb.  2.  Enter "Fax".  3.  Click on Windows Fax and Scan...  That sort of thing.  You never have to worry about how they might have reorganized the start menu.

    As far as other advantages...  Well, I concede you have a point.  As an engineer/businessman/entrepreneur with 35 years computer experience I use a huge number of different features, depending on the needs of what I'm working on.  A data entry clerk isn't going to want/need to use quite so many different things to get their job done.  Pretty much they need for the few applications they use to just work solidly.

    I can say this:  Keep at trying to tweak it to be familiar.  Myself, having come from Vista x64 to Windows 7 x64, I can say that I've been able to get my desktop environment very familiar, with a lot of productive features (and which, I suppose because it's a system for the masses, aren't the defaults).

    When I first started working with Windows 7 I had some pretty strong dislikes for some of the changes.  Now that I've been using it for quite a while, when I log onto my Vista (or gawd, XP) systems I feel like they're antiquated.  XP is utterly ancient, IMO.

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010 12:20 AM
  • I haven't noticed that much of a performance increase, it's there but it's not massive, although it does depend on what you're doing with it, anything that requires large amounts of memory does work a lot faster.  But with an old ported COBOL accounts system, not so much.

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010 1:22 AM
  • The Windows 7 Aero UI runs snappier (cleaner? smoother? more reponsively? how to describe it?) than Vista's version, but that can be somewhat intangible.

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010 5:49 PM
  • Noel,


    Is there a way to set this registry setting via group policy?






    Friday, February 25, 2011 2:48 AM
  • I'm sorry to say I haven't found one, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.


    Friday, February 25, 2011 3:17 AM
  • What we did was install it on the PC before anyone has logged onto it, that works, image your reference machine using WDS then deploy.  All new users will get the default as small icons.  If you do it manually, just put in a .reg file and install that before you give the machine to the user.

    I'm firmly convinced the UI on Windows 7 is crap, btw, as evidenced from the other thread I was commenting on about not being able to change the DPI in a remote desktop session, which is a major oversight.  What I've had to do with that one is what is in that thread, then export it as a theme and deploy.


    Hoped some of this would be fixed by SP1, apparently not.

    Wednesday, March 23, 2011 12:07 AM
  • I know this an old post but, as it rates highly when Googling "windows 7 small icons policy", this might be worth trying:

    You could extend Noel's advice above about editing the registry and create a registry preference for the TaskbarSmallIcons value in your group policy object.



    TaskbarSmallIcons = 1

    Friday, August 19, 2011 9:11 AM
  • Hi all,

    I thought I'd chime in and show you all how to create your own GPO for this registry setting posted by Noel.


    1. Create a file with the extension .ADM  mine is Taskbar Extra.ADM on your Domain Controller

    2. Insert this into the file and make sure you save it as .ADM and not .txt


    CATEGORY "Taskbar Extras"

    KEYNAME "Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced"

    POLICY "Enable small icons for the taskbar"

    EXPLAIN "Enabling this policy will enforce the use of small icons in the taskbar.  If not enabled it or disabled large icons will be used.  This 

    Should work for Windows 7 and Vista"  

    VALUENAME "TaskbarSmallIcons"






    Now go into your User GPO you have created you want to attach this to.

    So drill down to "User Configuration" > Policies and right click on "Administrative Templates" and select  "Add/Remove Templates"

    Click Add and browse to your ADM file and click Close to "Save", if you get no pop ups it was added ok, if you get a pop up it will tell you the error.

    Simply Remove and re-add the same ADM to "Update" it if you make changes.

    Now in your GPO drill down to "User Configuration" > Policies > "Administraive Templates" > "Classic Administrative Template"

    and you should see the new GPO we created, enable it and apply to your OU(s) and that should be it.

    Thursday, September 1, 2011 6:11 PM
  • Thanks for this info Neemobeer. Have you tested this?

    Can you please let me know something, will this adm template change anything other than ONLY the sizing of the taskbar? I don't want it to mess with anything else at all.


    Tuesday, January 17, 2012 2:04 AM