Theresa from NY writes:
How do I disable the thumbnail preview that pops up when I hover the cursor over anything that is open on my taskbar?
Microsoft decided to include a “feature” (which for many is about as useful as a rock) that creates small pop-up previews of any window currently open when you roll your mouse over their taskbar icons at the bottom of the screen. Clicking the preview opens the window, but the pop-up also includes a button for closing the program, so you may end up accidentally opening or even exiting programs just by dragging your finger across your laptop’s touch pad.
Disabling these thumbnail previews in Windows 7 requires a bit of work, as you’ll need to access and edit the operating system’s registry. To prevent the previews from appearing you must create a new registry entry that delays the amount of time before the pop-up appears, and then set the delay to some absurdly high number, effectively preventing the preview from ever being created on the screen.
Note: This tip deals with editing your Windows Registry. It is recommended you consult a professional if you’re unsure of how to proceed. You have been warned.
To start the process, open the “Start” menu and type “Regedit” in the “Search” box at the bottom of the menu.
Scroll up to the top of the search results and click the blue icon named “Regedit” to access your computer’s registry editor.
Click the “Yes” button when a box appears on your screen asking “Do You Want To Allow The Following Program To Make Changes To Your Computer?”
Locate the list of registry folders in the panel at the left side of the window and open the folder named “HKEY_CURRENT_USER.”
Scroll down through the list of sub-folders underneath the “HKEY_CURRENT_USER” entry and click the folder named “Software.”
Open the sub-folders named “Windows,” “Current Version,” and then “Explorer.” Click the “Advanced” folder to bring up a list of registry entries on the panel at the right side of the window.
Right-click any of the empty, white space in the right hand panel and select the “New” option and then click the option named “DWORD (32 Bit) Value.”
Type the phrase “ExtendedUIHoverTime” in the text box that appears on the screen and then tap “Enter” to save the new registry entry. Right-click the new entry you created and select “Modify.”
Click inside the “Value Data” box and type any large number, such as “200000” or “999999.” Locate the “Base” heading at the left side of the window and click the radio button labeled “Decimal” underneath the “Base” heading. Save the change and disable your taskbar preview windows by clicking the “OK” button.
If you later want to enable the taskbar preview windows again, return to the registry editor and navigate to the “Advanced” folder again. Right-click your entry named “ExtendedUIHoverTime” and select “Delete.”
Click the “Yes” button when a window appears warning you that the registry value is going to be deleted.