Windows 7 Taskbar Thumbnails Added To Google Chrome

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 20, 2010
Updated • Aug 11, 2016
Google Chrome, Windows 7

Google introduced another feature in the latest Google Chrome developer version next to the new autofill feature that we reviewed earlier today. This new feature is only available if the user runs the Windows 7 operating system as it is the only Microsoft operating system supporting taskbar thumbnails.

Microsoft introduced so called taskbar thumbnails in Windows 7. These displays a list of thumbnail previews of open pages or tabs of supported applications. Many Microsoft applications like Internet Explorer or Windows Explorer support the feature, as do new versions of Mozilla Firefox and several other applications.

The latest to support Windows 7 taskbar thumbnails is Google's Chrome web browser. Hovering the mouse over Chrome's icon in the Windows 7 taskbar displays a list of open tabs in the web browser.

These tabs can be accessed directly by left-clicking on them in the thumbnail windows. This makes it a  comfortable way of jumping to open sites in the Chrome browser.

The new feature to display thumbnail previews in the Windows 7 taskbar is automatically active in the latest Google Chrome developer releases.

Update: Microsoft or Google seem to have changed the number of thumbnails that you see when you run the Google Chrome web browser on Windows 7 or Windows 8. Instead of seeing all open tabs as thumbnails, or at least more than one, you only see the active tab now when you hover over the Chrome icon in the Windows taskbar.

There is another change that is even more problematic. The compatibility mode that you could run Google Chrome in to avoid seeing thumbnails of open tabs at all. This is no longer working. The Group Policy option that was previously available has been limited by Microsoft to Windows Vista only. There does not seem to be an option available at all to disable thumbnails in Windows 7 or newer versions of Windows. If you do know one, please leave a comment below.

Update 2: One option to disable taskbar thumbnails on Windows 7 devices is to switch to a non-Aero theme. Simply right-click on the desktop and select personalization from the menu. All basic and high contrast themes listed on the page disable thumbnail previews on Windows 7.

Check out this guide on how to disable Aero completely without touching the theme.

Windows 7 Taskbar Thumbnails Added To Google Chrome
Article Name
Windows 7 Taskbar Thumbnails Added To Google Chrome
The latest version of the Google Chrome web browser supports thumbnail previews when run on Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system.
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  1. Grr said on December 16, 2011 at 5:10 am

    Thanks Mike, you have explained some very good points.


  2. Bob Johnson said on December 16, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    Thanks Mike, a good reminder!

  3. Ritwick said on December 17, 2011 at 3:53 am

    Thank you, Mike. Will save a lot of bother this ebook.

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