The application buttons in my windows taskbar don't resize themselves, they just stay the same minimum size no matter how many applications I have open. See the attached screenshot: I have only 2 applications open and the taskbar application buttons are compressed.
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Right click on your desktop, select properties, select the appearance tab, under the windows and buttons drop down, select windows xp classic, hit apply, then change it back to windows xp and apply again. This should revert everything back to default. I don't know how that got switched on you, but this should fix it.
That was it! The registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetric
s\MinWidth was set wrong, had to be reset to -2310
Thanks! (It's registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetric