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Windows 7 Taskbar Not Showing Thumbnail Previews?

One of the nice things about Windows 7 is that the taskbar displays a great thumbnail of a window or group of windows when you hover over it. So if you have multiple Internet Explorer tabs open, you can now preview all IE tabs instead of just seeing text descriptions.

This is really great, but when I first installed Windows 7 on my computer, thumbnail preview did not work. All I got were text descriptions!

It won’t work! No thumbnail preview on Windows 7 taskbar! After working for a while and trying a bunch of different things, I finally got the miniatures that showed up on my system! In this article, I will walk you through various methods to fix this problem in Windows 7.

Windows Experience Index Update

After you rate your computer, if you have a score higher than 3, Aero will be automatically enabled. If it is below 3, you will have to either update your graphics card drivers or update your graphics card.

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You can access the Windows Performance Index dialog box in Windows 7 by going to Control Panel, clicking System and Security, and then clicking Check Windows Performance Index.

On my instance, my rating for WMI is not yet set. Click the Rate This PC or Update Now button to get a rating from 1 to 7.9.

If less than 3, you’re out of luck. Unfortunately, Windows 7 Aero requires a newer version of DirectX than previous versions of Windows. If you are using Windows 7 in a virtual environment such as VMWare, Virtual PC 2007 or VirtualBox, you will not be able to enable the Aero feature in Windows 7.

Aero troubleshooter

I heard that there is a way to hack the registry to enable Aero in Windows 7, but I don’t think it worked for many, so I won’t mention it here! You can also try running the Aero troubleshooter on Windows 7 to see if that fixes the problem.

To do this, click “Start” and type “Troubleshoot” to open the “Troubleshoot computer problems” window. Here you will see the option Display Aero Desktop Effects under Appearance and Personalization.

This will check the graphics card drivers, capabilities, memory, etc. to determine if it can support Aero effects or not. He will offer you suggestions or try to solve the problem automatically.

Switch to the Aero theme

Another problem that may arise is that a different main theme has been selected for your system and not the Aero theme. In this case, switching back to the Aero theme can help. Right-click the desktop and select Personalize.

In the Aero Themes section, select any from the list. Again, this will only fix your problem if a base theme or a theme other than Aero was accidentally installed.

Check out the visual effects

Another parameter that you can check is visuals. Sometimes people turn off visuals to improve performance, and this could be the reason why Aero effects are not working.

You can read my previous post on how to change performance settings settings in Windows. In this case, you want to select “Customize for best appearance”.

Check Group Policy settings

Finally, you can also check the Group Policy settings if you are using Windows Pro or later, such as Ultimate, etc. If the computer was previously joined to a domain, it might retain some of the settings from the previous environment.

You can open Group Policy by clicking the Start button and entering gpedit.msc. Now go to the following section:

User Configuration – Administrative Templates – Start Menu and Taskbar

Go ahead and click the settings heading to sort all items and find the taskbar thumbnails Disable. Make sure it is set to Not Configured.

That’s all I could think of to solve this problem! If all else fails, you probably need to update your graphics card because it simply doesn’t support these advanced effects. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to comment. Enjoy!

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