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How do I make copies of the same programs open as different items in my taskbar? - Common Computer Questions

Question: How do I make copies of the same programs open as different items in my taskbar?

Answer: Newer versions of Windows try and simplify things for you but assuming it knows how you want your computer configured. A perfect example of this is how Windows will group similar programs into a "program group" on your taskbar so that every instance of that program is takes up one spot on your taskbar. Then to get to that copy of your program you need to click on the program group and then select which copy you want to bring up.

As you can see in the example below there are 3 copies of Windows Explorer open yet there is only one Windows Explorer taskbar item. So to get to the copy you want you will have to hold the mouse over the taskbar button group and find the one you want then click on it to maximize the screen so you can continue working.

Windows Taskbar Buttons

This may be fine if you have a lot programs open all the time and run out of taskbar space quickly. But many people like to see each copy of their open programs on their taskbar because it makes it easier to see what you have open and quickly get to that particular program. To change back to the more classic style view what you need to do is right click a blank spot on your taskbar and choose Properties. Then find the section on the Taskbar tab that says Taskbar Buttons and choose the Never combine option.

Windows Taskbar Buttons

As you can see in this example after the change has been made that there are now 3 separate taskbar items for each open instance of Windows Explorer.

Windows Taskbar Buttons

 



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