Win7 taskbar thumbnails acting weird

Posted on 2011-09-22
Last Modified: 2012-08-13
You know how you hover over the icon in the taskbar to make, for example, Outlook reappear?  For some reason when I hover, it flashes and then disappears, making it impossible to make Outlook reappear.  Yesterday it did this and restarting fixed it, but I would prefer to figure it out and fix it. This applies to any and all programs that are open and running and have been minimized, once they are minimized I cannot hover over the icon to make them reappear.

Question by:wfcrr
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Accepted Solution

LeeTutor earned 500 total points
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Does the problem occur in Safe mode also?  If not, it may be because of some conflict caused by startup programs (which do not run in Safe mode) or some driver that is not used in safe mode.  In Windows 98/ME/XP/Vista/Windows 7, you can choose which programs are run at startup by using the Microsoft Configuration utility:  click on the Start button, choose Run, type in MSCONFIG (doesn't need to be all capitals), click OK.  Choose the Startup tab, deselect programs to run at startup by removing the check mark.  In Windows 9x/ME, you may need to disable just about everything except Explorer, ScanRegistry and SysTray.  In Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7, just click on the button for Disable All. Reboot and see if the problem goes away.  If it does then re-enable the startup programs one (or a few) at a time, reboot, and when the problem occurs again, there is your culprit.  If you have a great number of apps to narrow down on in trying to track down the culprit, do it instead by dividing up the loading programs into successively smaller halves:  disable half of them; if the problem doesn't go away, then the offending app is within the other half, so divide that group into half; or if the problem does go away, then the disabled group contains the offender, so again narrow down by dividing in half.  

In Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7: If the problem continues to come up with all startup programs disabled, then it is probably a driver or service.  You can click on the Services tab in MSCONFIG, click on the button for Hide All Microsoft Services, leaving only third-party services displayed, then try turning them off in the same way you did for startup programs.  Finally, if third-party services are eliminated from being the cause of the problem, you could try narrowing down on Microsoft services in the same way.

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Hi Lee,

Thanks for the input.Unfortunately  I restarted and that solved the problem for the moment.  I expect it will happen again tomorrow. I don't think it is startup programs conflicting. I think it may be something I am doing.  I suspect it may be Windows Media Player and Hiberate/Sleep and Sound preferences window, but am not sure how to track it down. I listen to audio files while doing things in other areas of my office, so I open the Sound prferences window and change my Playback devices to my wireless Plantronics headset, then launch WMP and start my audio file playback and then go into anotther area of office with my headset on.  I find when I come back an hour later, the computer is running the screen saver and when I log back in, the thumbnails aren't working right.  All apps are running and working correctly, but any window I minimize won't come back up due to the thumbnails on the taskbar not working.

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I tried recreating the issue by changing all my power savings and personalization settings to 1 minute, then did my morning routine of change sound preferences for my wireless headset, ran WMP, etc let the computer go into sleep mode, woke it up.  The problem did not occur.  I guess I'll have to post here again if/when it does occur again?  Not having that issue now.

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