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.

22 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

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Yep, you can use that app too.

      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

    Reply
  3. Ole Hansen

    ExtendedUIHoverTime makes troubles if you use the program true launch bar

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Never tried this program.

      Reply
  4. RJ Lafferty

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

    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

    Reply
    1. Bob

      Then try 7+ Taskbar Tweaker from rammichael.com.

      Reply
  6. Patashu

    Big thanks for making TaskbarThumbsTuner.exe!

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      you are welcome

      Reply
  7. fsdf

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

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
  9. Jon in Palawan

    7fffffff seems to be the maximum value.

    Reply
  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.

    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.

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

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

      Reply
      1. Retort80

        Sergey thank you for this webpage. It is helpful.
        One thing though, the above poster asked if there is a way to disable thumbnails with OUT using registry editor or third party programs, and you say “indeed”. But this article is only WITH registry editor or your third party program. In fact, MS has guaranteed we cannot “change many hidden secret taskbar thumbnail parameters via the Windows 10 GUI”.

        I only write this because we on Enterprise machines cannot edit registries or add third party programs. Your page begins to give hope, but realize there is none. Thank you for your app though. For others.

        Reply
  12. Russ

    Microsoft are the dumbest F**ckers on Earth! We use software to block popups and they include them in windows?!!! Are you serious?! Are they that stupid? They thought this was a great idea?!! They! deserve to go out of business!! Bye bye Microsoft! It was nice knowing you! See you in the history books of failure!! Complete and utter MORONS!!!

    Reply
  13. Kris

    Thank you so much, the taskbar preview is really annoying, because 80% it’s kinda “stick”, I need to double click to go to any program at the taskbar. And most of the time, I’m opening maybe around 5 program, so using Alt-Tab is not good.

    After the preview is gone, now I have much better experience :)

    Reply
  14. Jensen

    Thanks! NumThumbnails = 0 is EXACTLY what I need. The W10 Thumbnails are useless cus they truncate the window name. In outlook I used to get “Messages: Containi…” for all my search windows. Cheers!

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      You’re most welcome Jensen

      Reply
  15. CJ

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. Seriously, thank you! I have so many excel files open at once on a daily basis, the thumbnails were killing me.

    Reply

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