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Sunday, January 3, 2010

How To: Display the Old Right-Click Menu in the Windows 7 Taskbar

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IMAGE: Taskbar default right click menu

Microsoft made many changes to how users interact with programs in Windows 7, one of these changes involved the replacement of the menu that appears when you right-click on a program’s icon in the taskbar.

The new menu provides many enhanced and useful commands for programs designed to use it, including fast links to certain features in that program and recently opened documents. These features are all very useful, however the original functionality of this menu has been removed as a result.

image: closed program shift right-clickThat is not to say that the old menu is not gone forever, it does however require an additional command to make it appear. Holding down the ‘Shift’ key whilst right-clicking will bring back the old menu. With the shift key held down, right-clicking a closed program’s icon will bring forward the standard shortcut menu (with a very slightly different layout), and right-clicking an open program will, in most cases, open the old right-click menu from Windows 95 – Vista. It’s as simple as that! Some programs do show modernised menus for open programs, such as Microsoft’s Paint and Messenger.

Windows 7 is far more functional and much easier to use than any previous version of Windows. It is especially good for touch screen computers with the new interface designed with this application in mind. Although the new layout of the operating system, such as the taskbar right-click menu, may appear to be reduced in functionality, simple command adjustments within 7 make the new Windows far more productive and accessible than before.image: open program shift right-click


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