How To Disable Web Browser Windows 7 Taskbar Previews

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 20, 2010
Updated • Aug 10, 2016

All modern web browsers support so-called taskbar previews on Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system that display thumbnails of open tabs there.

The Google Chrome web browser was the last of the popular web browsers to get Windows 7 taskbar previews, a feature that displays open tabs of the web browser in the Windows 7 Taskbar. The idea behind the feature is to provide users with a visual overview of open tabs, and options to switch to tabs directly from the taskbar.

Not all Internet users that use Windows 7 on the other hand like the tab preview feature, especially those who regularly open many tabs in the web browser at once. The number of thumbnails is limited based on the screen resolution of the computer monitor.

Once a certain threshold is reached, thumbnail previews will be changed to list mode which eventually will make use of a scrollbar to display all open tabs on the screen.

Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Opera have options to disable the taskbar preview feature in Windows 7. Only Google Chrome does not seem to have an option to disable the Aero Peek feature, but it may be introduced at a later time by the developers.

Disable taskbar previews in Firefox

Firefox users can disable thumbnail previews in the web browser on the about:config configuration page.

All they need to do is to type about:config in the Firefox address bar and filter for the parameter browser.taskbar.previews.enable (users who have entered this for the first time need to confirm that they know what they are doing first).

The feature is disabled by default in the web browser. It might have been activated in the past. The value true indicates that the taskbar preview feature is active, and false that it is disabled.

A double-click on the parameter, or a right-click and the selection of Toggle, changes the parameter to either false or true depending on its initial value. The parameter needs to be set to false to disable the taskbar preview feature.

Disable taskbar previews in Internet Explorer

The tab previews can be disabled in Internet Explorer in the Internet Options. A tap on the Alt-key, and a click on Tools > Internet Options opens the configuration window. Locate the Settings button under Tabs in the General tab of the configuration window.

Uncheck the option "Show previews for individual tabs in the taskbar" to disable the feature in the Internet Explorer web browser.

Disable taskbar previews in Opera

Opera users need to enter opera:config in the address bar of their web browser. There they need to locate User Prefs and the Use Windows 7 Taskbar Thumbnails option. Unchecking that option will disable the taskbar previews in the Opera web browser.

Are you using the taskbar previews? Let us know in the comments.


Read this article on how to disable the taskbar preview feature in Google Chrome.

How To Disable Web Browser Windows 7 Taskbar Previews
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How To Disable Web Browser Windows 7 Taskbar Previews
Find out how to disable Windows taskbar previews for open tabs in the Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Opera web browser.
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  1. Grumpy said on April 25, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    “Show previews for individual tabs in the taskbar” does as its wording suggests, not as you describe.

  2. Anders said on April 7, 2010 at 11:33 am

    I’ve used the taskbar preview (aero peek), in both IE and Opera.

    Until now. :)

    I read about people downloading Opera 10.10 or sticks to Windows XP in order to avoid Aero Peek in Opera – how can the browser developers deploy such drastic changes in behaviour without telling how to change it back?! It’s almost like the Windows Vista invasion, with no WinXP-option on many laptop vendors. *Shivers*

  3. Tim Harrell said on March 25, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    This is horrible – the latest Dev version of Chrome has included this preview-by-tab feature but as the article says, there seems to be no way to turn it off as you can on the other browsers.

    I have windows open for different themes (news, mail, ..) and open lots of tabs in each one – almost immediately I lost the thumbnails and end up with a huge scrolling list which is pointless for me.

  4. daitox said on March 24, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    thank god, i can keep using opera since i can turn it off. This would have been a dealbreaker.

  5. Synocus said on March 23, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Is there any way to configure this via a gpo?

  6. Ingo said on March 20, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    There is a mistake: for Opera you have to type opera:config instead of about:opera.

    Thanks anyway! I needed that. :)

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