Show small icons or use large icons for taskbar buttons in Windows 7
By default, Windows 7 uses large icons and large buttons, a new format for the latest version of Windows: but you can customize your taskbar and use small icons and buttons - this also has the side effect of hiding the date from the taskbar's notification area (you can still see the clock and time, as with previous versions of Windows, and still see the date by hovering your mouse cursor above the clock itself). Using smaller icons has the benefit of making the taskbar less "high", and taking less space on your screen than the default, large icons setting.
Switch to small icons and smaller buttons in the taskbar
Follow these steps to reduce the size of taskbar icons and buttons:
- Right-click on the start menu, and choose "Properties" from the context menu.
- Then, select the "Taskbar" tab once in the "Taskbar and Start menu Properties" dialog.
- The third checkbox on that tab reads "Use small icons", and is disabled by default (not checked / selected).
- To switch to using large icons in the taskbar, check this checkbox, and click on the OK button to accept this option. To preview the smaller icons, click on "Apply", and Windows 7 will immediately make the change. Here is a screenshot of the smaller taskbar icons:
- Notice how these taskbar buttons now look like earlier versions of Windows (Vista, XP, 2000...), and that the taskbar itself is noticeably smaller than before.
- Small icons work regardless of how you have positioned your taskbar on screen or combine-buttons settings; likewise, if you resize the taskbar, the buttons will show up on multiple levels if you have too many of them visible, as it did in Vista / XP, and earlier.
Revert to large taskbar icons
If you change your mind, and decide to return to using larger icons in the Windows 7 taskbar, just right-click again on the start menu, choose "Properties", select the "Taskbar" tab, but this time, uncheck the "Use small icons" checkbox before clicking OK.
Windows 7 will now resume using the larger icons and buttons in the taskbar:
And the same, large icons and buttons can be used with the Combine-Taskbar-Buttons option turned off (which doesn't looks that good, though), a kind of hybrid setup: