Combined Taskbar Items fail in Windows 7

Posted on 2013-10-25
Last Modified: 2016-11-23
When I have combined items on the Taskbar I am unable to switch between them by clicking on them. I don’t get a preview of the windows. e.g If I have multiple instances of Explorer open and I click on Explorer in the Taskbar I don't get any menu or previews of the windows. This makes it so I can’t maximize any minimized windows without using alt-tab. This will happen with any combined items no matter the program. The issue fixes itself after a reboot and usually only appears after an undetermined period of time when the computer is locked and then unlocked. It seems like something is failing after the computer has been on for a while. Setting taskbar items to never combine negates this issue as a temporary fix but I would really like to figure out why I can view or switch between my combined items.

I am using Windows 7 Ent 64 bit on a Dell 6430u. This is also happening with other 6430u's in the company. All of them imaged with MDT and the latest drivers from Dells website.
Question by:SSGIT
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LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 39603482
hello  SSGIT.
Not sure if I can give you a solution here
But to give you something
what I do on my keyboard, and everyone there can too,
with my left thumb put it on the windows logo tab hold it down
then with my left hand pointing finger tap the tab key
The first time you do this especially if you have a lot of windows open it's quite funny.
keep pressing the Tab key and the windows will fly through each page that is open.
release the Tab key at the window you want in front
That's a beauty of a trick.
If it helps take a look at this guide on how to use the group policy settings>
Disable and Turn Off Taskbar Thumbnail Preview in Windows 7 (Switch to List View)
Does that help
Regards Merete

Author Comment

ID: 39616508
Thanks Merete,

I've tried turning off the thumbnail view and the problem still persists. If thumbnails are off instead of failing to show the different thumbnail of each window it fails so show the menu that displays the title of each window. As a temporary solution I’ve either instructed the users to use alt+tab, windows+tab, or I just disable combined items. However; I don't want to do this with every user. This keeps occurring to newly deployed computers and I’m having a hard time figuring out the cause. I would like to refrain from leaving combined items disabled on every computer with the issue.
LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 39616730
combined items on the taskbar< could you show me a snapshot, is the taskbar full?
If there is too many windows may not be able to pull it up?
Are you using large icons or small?
Could be the video card on these systems is a bit low end.
I have a ton of icons pinned to my taskbar but in a single line
Maybe understanding that I could help could also hold a key
I mean I also use Objectdock to combine programs on docks that I can place on top or on the side of my desktop but that's entirely different.
Rightclick your taskbar/properties~>
taskbarIf it helps there's a guide
Change how buttons appear on the taskbar
The taskbar (overview)
Manage multiple windows
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Author Comment

ID: 39652203
It happens even when only a couple windows are up. The computers are brand new and the video cards are fine.
Here is a picture of what is supposed to happen when I click on a set of combined icons.
Whats supposed to happen when I click on a set of combined icons.
And here is a picture of my taskbar settings and me clicking on the Explorer icon trying to select one of them.

Clicking on explorer in the taskbar
Nothing happens and it prevents me from maximizing the window without alt-tabbing

This happens with everything that has combined icons even if its set to only show list of windows. Restarting explorer.exe fixes it temporarily but it comes back again eventually.
LVL 70

Accepted Solution

Merete earned 500 total points
ID: 39652665
Thanks SSGIT
Sounds like a power issue, windows does not give you full access for a moment until it has fully loaded.
you say in refs to this>
(a) The issue fixes itself after a reboot and usually only appears after an undetermined period of time when the computer is locked and then unlocked.
(b)> It seems like something is failing after the computer has been on for a while.
I'd start with with the power options.
Check in control panel power options never turn off hard drives
never turn off to test if this solves it.
leave the display if enabled.
I personally would never turn off the hdd.
Is there only one partition? or two?
Is the AV set to do a boot scan or a login scan
In Control Panel\Network and Internet\Network and Sharing Center
on the left "change adapter settings"
right click local area connection>properties>click on configure>then power management>untick allow power management to turn off this device.
Are there any other accounts on this system/s besides the one Owner?
Have you run a disc cleanup and a defrag?
Even new systems need to do a once  in a while maintenance with all that installing .
The disk cleanup I run a once a week
Windows thumbnails temp files do accumulate quickly and can slow the system to reload after hibernation.
disk cleanupAny windows updates pending?
I always check the task manager to see what is running and log in and the dissappears
The brand model of these systems?
Laptops? desktops?
how much cpu GHz and how much ram.

Good tips here,
For windows 7

I know these are for XP but goodies
Optimize playback / Improve performance
LVL 59

Expert Comment

ID: 39708433
I've requested that this question be deleted for the following reason:

Not enough information to confirm an answer.

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