How to make the taskbar buttons switch to the previous active window in Windows 7

Windows 7 introduced a new taskbar and a really cool feature of the taskbar called Aero Peek. Showing live thumbnails for every window in the given group, it quickly became a favourite feature of many people. However, there is one little feature that people quickly began hating. When you hover over one of the buttons you get a preview of all the open windows:

How to make the taskbar buttons switch to the previous active window in Windows 7

 

Naturally, one would expect a click on a button to open the last active window of that group. Well’¦ nope. Clicking on a button opens the preview of all windows. And this is really annoying when you have 10 instances of an application and actively use only one.
One way to open the last active window is to hold down the Ctrl key while clicking on a button. However why not make this behaviour the default one? This is easily achieved with a simple registry tweak.

First we will open the Registry Editor. Open the Start menu, enter regedit in the Start menu search box, wait for the regedit.exe result and press Enter:

How to make the taskbar buttons switch to the previous active window in Windows 7

 

The registry editor will open:

How to make the taskbar buttons switch to the previous active window in Windows 7

 

Using the left pane, navigate to “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\\Software\\Microsoft\\Windows\\CurrentVersion\\Explorer\\Advanced”:

How to make the taskbar buttons switch to the previous active window in Windows 7

 

Right-click on an empty space in the left pane and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name the new value LastActiveClick:

How to make the taskbar buttons switch to the previous active window in Windows 7

 

Double-click on the value and a new window will open. In the textbox Value data enter the value 1:

How to make the taskbar buttons switch to the previous active window in Windows 7

 

Press OK and close the Registry Editor. Log off and on, for the changes to take effect. To revert to the default behaviour, simply delete the LastActiveClick value or set it to 0.

Filed Under: Windows 7

Anthony Gee About the Author: Anthony G. is an IT specialist with more than 9 years of solid working experience in the Web Hosting industry. Currently works as server support administrator, involved in consultative discussions about Web Hosting and server administration. One of the first writers in the Onlinehowto.net website, now writing for Free Tutorials community - he is publishing tutorials and articles for the wide public, as well as specific technical solutions.

Leave a Reply