Windows 7 Tip: Taskbar Keyboard Shortcuts

See taskbar thumbnails without a mouse

If you’re a fan of using the keyboard rather than your mouse whenever possible, you can move your cursor from icon to icon in the taskbar without a mouse – and still see thumbnail previews.

  1. Press Windows key-T, and you’ll move the focus to the leftmost icon on the taskbar.
  2. Then, while still pressing the Windows key, press T again to change the focus to the next icon to the right. You can keep doing this as long as you like.

Launch any program on the taskbar without the mouse
Press the Windows key and the number that corresponds to the position of the application on the taskbar – for example, Windows key-1 to launch the left-most application on the taskbar, Windows key-2 to launch the second left-most application and so on.

Run multiple instance of applications from the taskbar
The Windows 7 taskbar serves a dual purpose: It’s used to launch programs, and also to switch between programs that are running.

So you launch a program by clicking its icon, and also switch to that program after it’s running by clicking its icon.

Once the program is running, it seems there’s no way to launch a second instance, because when you click its icon, you only switch to the running instance.

If the respective  program is already running, to launch a second instance of the program, from the taskbar, hold down the Shift key and click the icon. You can keep launching new instances this way.

More Taskbar tips…

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