Windows 7 has remade the Taskbar completely to become a Superbar, where the application windows’ button on Taskbar has been replaced with icons, with added features such as ability to pin shortcuts or programs directly to Taskbar (instead of using Quick Launch bar), Jump Lists, and improved thumbnail preview with Aero Peek. But not all people will like the icons-only Taskbar without label though.

Microsoft includes option to allow users who want to revert and get back the classic Windows Vista and Windows XP buttons-style (or bar-style) Taskbar, which not only displaying the icon for the running applications, but displaying button bars with also the label of the windows of opened files or programs.

Windows 7 Icons Only Taskbar

  1. Right click on empty space on the Taskbar, and then select Properties.
  2. In “Taskbar and Start Menu Properties” dialog window, in the Taskbar tab, select Combine when taskbar is full or Never combine for “Taskbar buttons” option.

    Change Windows 7 Taskbar Button Style

  3. Click OK.

Voila, now the Windows 7 Taskbar has been changed to button style with label for running applications.

Windows Vista/XP Buttons-Like Taskbar in Windows 7

Note that the pinned programs which hasn’t been ran or opened will continue to appear as icons. The feature is useful for user to differentiate between running and non-running pinned items. To get exactly the same Taskbar with Windows Vista or Windows XP in Windows 7, unpin all items from Taskbar and then add back the Quick Launch bar.