Change Order Of Windows Taskbar Items

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 4, 2008
Updated • Mar 2, 2011
Software, Windows

To be honest I never quite understood why someone would want to change the order of the items that are displayed in the Windows Taskbar but I guess demand is there for a tool like Taskix which I discovered at Lifehacker today. Taskix is one of those lightweight applications that do not use lots of computer memory and provide a good value for the user.

The interesting aspect of this application - besides it minimal resource usage - is that it comes as a 32-bit and 64-bit application, something that contenders like Taskbar Shuffle fail to do. Taskix does not have to be installed and can be started from any location on the computer. It displays a basic menu that gives the user the option to activate it, autostart it with Windows and to leave it inactive.

Upon activating Taskix its main function becomes active. The user can now move the mouse over an entry in the Windows Taskbar and move it to another location. The feature itself works pretty well. Just left-click an entry, hold the mouse button and move it to the desired location.

It is working even if the Windows Taskbar has been moved to the sides of the screen, the top or is hidden until the mouse hovers over it. The main reason why I do not need such a tool is basically that the position on the side offers so much space for items that the taskbar never gets completely filled with them.

Taskix provides one additional interesting feature. Pressing the middle-mouse button on an item in the taskbar closes that item which speeds up that process. The commenters over at Lifehacker seem to love it and I was wondering if someone who uses it would like to explain why he is using a program to change the order of the Windows Taskbar.


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  1. Deskex said on January 4, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Hello, if you need to reorder tasks in your taskbar, then may be you need to combine them in groups? Do try Taskbow, it works on XP too. You can move tasks horizontally and vertically (into groups), also, to see what you have in groups, just move mouse pointer to group head. Or you can use standard click to number button to open the group. Also it have small bonus as small quick launch bar with same behavior. Btw, you can move this bar too.

  2. james said on November 16, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    I will look into this program. I am a programmer so it’s extremely annoying when something crashes (like just now my browser crashed) and I get my order all messed up. When I am coding I like the following format the tabs in my taskbar:

    1) Browser
    2) Explorer (local files)
    3) Explorer (ftp)
    4) Notepad ++
    5) Photoshop
    6) Illustrator

    Any order other than that causes me irritation so I shall definitely look into this, thanks!

  3. Misslinius said on August 13, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    For me, the order matters a lot as I do lot of automation of routine tasks using macro recording and playing them back.

  4. Anonymous said on June 2, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Yay, that’s great to have it run on XP!
    Same reason as many others – having the programs one after another as is my habit! + middle click to close application, fantastic. Thank you so much

  5. SM said on May 18, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    Very helpful, thank you so much!

  6. OCD said on February 11, 2010 at 3:05 am

    Thank you so much! I have been wanting to do this forever…

  7. speedy18us said on January 27, 2010 at 10:52 am

    As everybody said, i also have a habit switching tab items order as i work at least 8 hours a day in front of a computer. I use another program, but it’s doing the same job. I find this tutorial great!

  8. Arrow FTG said on May 29, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    Wow. I was trying to get Windows to let me do this for a while now. This program is awesome.

  9. lylejk said on April 25, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    I agree; this feature should have been implemented by Uncle Bill (he’s retired now of course; RIGHT!). :)

  10. cai said on March 3, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    Very very useful…
    It helps me organize myself at work and be more productive.

    thanks a lot.

  11. KarenD said on September 9, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    I just installed this and love it already.

  12. KallAngo® said on September 6, 2008 at 3:18 am

    Hello All…

    Pablo, you say “I just love to close multiple windows”

    I like to show you that if you like to close multiple applications from taskbar at same time you can use a simple trick…

    Just hold the “ctrl” key and clik on the windows that you want to close on taskbar – It will be selected just like when you select multiple files on Windows Explorer – then, clik with right buton and select the “Close group” option.

    All selected windows will be closed…

    I Think that install Taskix to use the midle button is easier but, I like to share this ctrl key trick.

    Hope you like it…

  13. matt said on September 5, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    I would use something like because I do some DJ type work that requires me to hop in and out of programs on my laptop every few minutes. Having to open programs in specific order to get the ordering I like is annoying, and I don’t like running programs that have 100’s of other features that I don’t use just to get this one bit of functionality

  14. anonymuis said on September 5, 2008 at 7:25 am

    is there a similar program that can refresh the taskbar (to get rid of icons staying there even if the program has ended)?

  15. Bruno said on September 5, 2008 at 1:15 am

    same voice for me, it’s very useful at work, thx

  16. Roman ShaRP said on September 5, 2008 at 12:45 am

    I love Taskbar Shuffle (thanks again for it, Martin).

    I like certain order of windows, I like to move them. Some to the left and some to the right, and some in center.

    You move things on your desk – why not on desktop?

  17. garbanzo said on September 4, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    i used this at work where i can’t change the shell on my XP machine. i’m used to a very strict alt-tab order, and i get really frustrated when that changes. i always have a ‘personal’ firefox window first, then the ‘work’ firefox window. then Word, then my file manager. by keeping this order, i always i know how many times i have to alt-tab to get to whatever window i want without grabbing my mouse. and Taskix helps make that easy.

  18. Benóný said on September 4, 2008 at 8:37 pm

    wow I just set it up! Fantastic… very useful :D

  19. Amos said on September 4, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    I work in an environment where I need more windows open a lot of the time than the task bar can display reasonably, even at the side of the screen (where they split into 2 columns and become unreadable).

    As such, I need applications I’ll be using at one time to be in one place, but I hate grouped entries as I don’t want to have to shuffle through a menu to get the item I want.

    Using Taskbar Shuffle (I read about Taskix on Lifehacker and didn’t see any reason to switch), I can keep all of my windows ordered and easy to get to. It has a minimal footprint and enables Windows to do a basic function it should be able to do anyway.

  20. Pablo said on September 4, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    Well I use Taskbar shuffle only for the middle click close window option. I just love to close multiple windows without having to maximize them and click in the X, or right clicking in the taskbar and choosing close. Saves time.

  21. Dave said on September 4, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    I’ll take a shot at this. For my self, rearranging the taskbar order helps with work flow and speeding myself up by forming habits.

    For example, I like to move my IM windows to the far left, all grouped together and not inbetween applciations I am actually working on.

    I may have a full screen Visual Studio window open and a browser window open that contains information on my task. After a half hour of going back and forth between these windows, I end up forming a habit when switching between them. If I then open two additional applications, accidentally close the browser and reopen it, my short term memory keeps wanting to go back to the original tab order on the task bar, which of course is no longer correct.

    I’m not sure I explained this well, hopefully you’ll understand.

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