How to disable taskbar preview thumbnails in Windows 10

In Windows 10, when you hover over a taskbar button of a running app or group of apps, a thumbnail preview appears on the screen. For a single window it shows a single thumbnail, and for multiple windows it shows a number of thumbnail previews in a row. If you wish to disable these thumbnails in Windows 10, I will explain how it can be done with a simple Registry tweak.


To disable taskbar preview thumbnails in Windows 10, do the following:

  1. Open Registry Editor.
  2. Go to the following Registry key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

    Tip: You can access any desired Registry key with one click.

  3. Here, create a new 32-bit DWORD value named ExtendedUIHoverTime. Note: If you are running 64-bit Windows 10, you still need to create a 32-bit DWORD. Set its value data to 9000 in decimals. This means it will show the thumbnail after 9000 milliseconds (or 9 seconds) of hovering over any taskbar button. So, with such a high timeout value, you will never see taskbar thumbnail previews. disable taskbar thumbnails in Windows 10
  4. Restart the Explorer shell or sign out and sign in back to Windows 10.

This will disable taskbar thumbnail previews in Windows 10. See screenshots below.
Before:

single window preview Windows 10

After:

single window preview Windows 10 disabled It is possible to disable taskbar thumbnails only for a group of opened windows i.e.multiple instances of the app. Once this is done, Windows 10 will show a list of windows instead of thumbnails. The list makes it easier to identify them from a group instead of mostly similar looking thumbnails. To do this, follow these instructions:

  1. Go to the following Registry key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Taskband
  2. Create a new 32-bit DWORD value named NumThumbnails. Leave its value as 0. Note: If you are running 64-bit Windows 10, you still need to create a 32-bit DWORD value. disable taskbar preview thumbnails in Windows 10
  3. Restart the Explorer shell or sign out and sign in back to Windows 10.

Before:

multi window preview Windows 10 After:

multi window preview Windows 10 disabled

You are done! To restore the defaults, just delete the above mentioned NumThumbnails and ExtendedUIHoverTime values. Don't forget to restart the Explorer shell.

Winaero Tweaker

If you would like to avoid Registry editing, here is good news for you. In the past, I created a freeware tool called Winaero Tweaker, One of its options is "Taskbar Thumbnails". It can tweak and change many hidden secret taskbar thumbnail parameters which cannot be changed via the Windows 10 GUI.

Winaero Tweaker taskbar thumbnails It can control all mentioned parameters in the article and many more. Using this tool, you will be able:

  • Adjust thumbnail size.
  • Adjust number of grouped application thumbnail windows.
  • Adjust horizontal spacing between the thumbnails.
  • Adjust vertical spacing between the thumbnails.
  • Adjust thumbnail's caption position.
  • Adjust thumbnail's top margin.
  • Adjust thumbnail's bottom margin.
  • Adjust thumbnail's left margin.
  • Adjust thumbnail's right margin.
  • Completely disable taskbar thumbnails.

To run it in Windows 10, download Winaero Tweaker from here. It works in Windows 10, Windows 8 and Windows 7 without issues.

16 thoughts on “How to disable taskbar preview thumbnails in Windows 10

  1. Shyam

    Thanks Sergey! 7+ taskbar tweaker does it as well. http://rammichael.com/7-taskbar-tweaker

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Yep, you can use that app too.

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      Reply
  2. David

    This question is kinda opposite of the article but I have to ask it. I want animations in the thumbnails but when the process is minimised (youtube video, media player, game etc) it just stays frozen. In visual appearance everything is set to the best appearance. Tried to edit in registry but it’s already on (value:1). Thank you for your time

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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  3. Ole Hansen

    ExtendedUIHoverTime makes troubles if you use the program true launch bar

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Never tried this program.

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      Reply
  4. RJ Lafferty

    Is it possible to leave the previews but disable the window popping up when I mouse over the preview?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  5. NC

    This didn’t work when I tried it. I want the thumbnails to go away, and only have a list of text. I implemented the steps above, and it didn’t work

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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    1. Bob

      Then try 7+ Taskbar Tweaker from rammichael.com.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  6. Patashu

    Big thanks for making TaskbarThumbsTuner.exe!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      you are welcome

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      Reply
  7. fsdf

    wtf microsoft with this “features” are fking people’s brains

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  8. Kevin

    Thank you.
    Is there any way to control the time the thumbnail preview stays on the screen? I would like it to appear instantly (and I changed ExtenderUIHoverTime to 1 to make this happen. But I would like the thumbnail preview to disappear as soon as my mouse moves off the thumbnail preview area on the screen; currently the thumbnail preview remains for about a 1/2 second. Thanks.

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  9. Jon in Palawan

    7fffffff seems to be the maximum value.

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  10. Sean

    The reg edit didn’t work but your app worked great!

    I didn’t mind the preview when it worked as intended, but after a few hours they tend to stay open until I click on another window that isn’t active.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  11. Christopher C. Beebe

    There must be a way to disable taskbar preview thumbnails without using the registry editor or a third-party freeware program.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Indeed. This is exactly what you can read in the article.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply

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