Taskbar Thumbnail Preview is one of the most useful and interesting features offered by Windows 11 and Windows 10. This feature displays a tiny preview in the form of a small thumbnail image of the open windows programs when you hover over the application icon on the taskbar.
By default, the taskbar thumbnail preview on Windows is enabled and it has a predefined hover time – basically set to half a second. When the user hovers on the thumbnail that pops up, he/she can sneak-peek of what is running on the task window without going to the running program.
For example, if two Google Chrome windows are open and you hover your mouse cursor over the application icon on the taskbar, it will pop up 2 tiny previews of each of your Google Chrome windows. This gives you a small snapshot of the open windows and lets you select the one you wish to activate. We have shown an example of this feature in the image below:
Unquestionably, this feature has been very handy, but for some users, it proved out to be a nuisance. This is because of the increased number of accidents that occur when the mouse hovers over a task and opens an unwanted program fortuitously. This is one reason many users prefer to even disable this feature.
In this blog, we shall discuss both, how to enable and disable this feature on Windows 11/10.
Enable or Disable Taskbar Thumbnail Preview in Windows 11/10
There are three different ways to turn on or turn off taskbar thumbnail preview on Windows 11/10:
- Using System Advanced settings
- Using Group Policy editor
- Using Windows Registry
Let’s look at these three methods in more detail.
1] Turn off Taskbar Thumbnails using System Advanced settings
Taskbar Thumbnail Previews is a peeking feature that is a kind of visual effect on Windows. This visual effect can be turned on or off from the system’s settings. Follow these steps:
- Press ‘Win + X’ to open the Windows shortcuts menu.
- Click on ‘System’
- On the ‘System’ > About page, click on the ‘Advanced System Settings’ link.
- System Properties box will open
- In the ‘Advanced’ tab, locate the ‘Performance’ and click on ‘Settings’.
- In the ‘Visual effects’ tab, locate the following settings:
- Save taskbar thumbnail previews
- Show thumbnails instead of icons
- To enable the Taskbar thumbnail previews, select the boxes; while to disable it, uncheck the boxes.
- Click ‘Apply’ and then hit ‘OK’ to save the changes.
2] Using Group Policy Editor
Follow these steps to Disable Taskbar Thumbnail Preview in Windows 11/10 using Group Policy Editor:
1] Go to the ‘Start Menu’ and type ‘gpedit.msc’ and hit ‘Enter’
2] On the local group policy editor navigate to ‘User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar’
3] On the ‘Standard’ tab appearing on the bottom of the interface, locate ‘Turn off Taskbar Thumbnails’ and double click on it.
4] Select ‘Enabled’ and apply the changes. This will disable thumbnail images on the taskbar.
You can now check your Taskbar; it would not show the Taskbar Thumbnails Preview.
To enable the Taskbar Thumbnail Previews, feature again, select the ‘Disabled’ option in step 4.
3] Enable/Disable taskbar thumbnail preview using Windows Registry
We mentioned that Taskbar Thumbnail Previews work on a predefined hover time. Increasing the hover time will ensure that this feature’s peeking function is delayed, which means it will not have enough time to ever appear. You can do this by making a quick edit to the Windows Registry, follow these steps:
1] Click ‘Start’ and enter ‘Regedit’ in the search field.
2] Click on the ‘Yes’ button when the User Account Control prompts you to agree to allow this program to make changes.
3] Now, navigate to the following Registry key:
4] On the right-pane, create a new DWORD (32-bit) and name it ‘ExtendedUIHoverTime’
5] Once the value is created, double-click on it, and further click on the ‘Decimal’ option.
6] In the Value data field enter the delay time.
Please note – For every second you wish to delay you need to add 1000. So, if you want a 30-second delay you should enter 30000 into this field as shown in the below example.
7] Press ‘Ok’ to save changes and close the Registry Editor.
Now, reboot your system to put these changes into effect. Taskbar Thumbnail Previews would not appear until the specified time (30000ms) has elapsed.
Please note – Improperly modifying the Windows Registry can cause Windows malfunction and Windows may not operate correctly. Also, please take a backup of your registry settings before modifying it. This guide shows the different ways to Backup and Restore the Registry.
The Peek feature is amazing when you need to keep a track of what is happening on your system, mainly when you have a million things open during a busy day. We hope this guide lets you disable/enable at your own convenience and need.
This post will help you if Taskbar Thumbnail Preview is not working.
Related: Enable or Disable Thumbnails in Explorer in Windows
If you need any help using this tutorial or following the steps, please feel free to get in touch with us by dropping a comment in the comments section below.