How to Turn Off Taskbar Thumbnail Live Previews in Windows 7

Recently we posted about adjusting Taskbar thumbnail live preview delay time. In Windows 7, whenever you hover your mouse cursor over a running application's button in Taskbar, Windows shows a small thumbnail of running application with a close button and if you hover your mouse cursor over the small thumbnail, Windows shows a live preview of the running application and makes all other running applications windows transparent.


If you don't like the live preview feature and want to turn it off, this tutorial will help you. Today we are sharing a small registry trick to disable these live previews.

So here we start the tutorial:

1. Type regedit in RUN or Start Menu Searchbox and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.

2. Now go to following key:


3. In right-side pane, create a new DWORD value DisablePreviewWindow and set its value to 1 to disable live previews.

PS: If the above trick doesn't work for you, create new DWORD DisablePreviewDesktop instead of the above mentioned DWORD and set its value to 1. (Thanks to our reader "TheAslan" for this info)

4. That's it. Log off or restart your system to take effect.

NOTE: If you want to restore default settings, simply delete "DisablePreviewWindow" DWORD value or change its value to 0.

PS: If you want a ready-made script to do the task automatically, download following ZIP file, extract it and run the extracted REG file. It'll ask for confirmation, accept it:

Download Registry Script


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  • The feature is call "Aero Peek"

    Control Panel > System >
    Advanced system settings > Advanced tab > Performance > Visual Effects > Enable Aero Peek

    Uncheck the box.

  • I want to use the taskbar buttons themself to get "a live preview of the running application and makes all other running applications windows transparent". (without the need to hover the preview windows)


  • How to fix the thumbnail goes as follows

    right click you background go to screen resolutions/ Advanced settings / monitor / Colors/

    Set True color (32 bit) for thumbnail previews

    set high color (12 bit) for list view previews.

  • Yes, try what I said below for windows 7 worked for me to get the transparent thumbnail or to switch it to the list view.

  • I attempted all of the above fixes and none of them worked for me on Windows 7 64-Bit Home Premium...

    Following along with Pepe I tried some other options in Control Panel > System > Advanced system settings > Advanced > Performance > Visual Effects.

    I found that disabling "Enable desktop composition" was what actually stopped the preview thumbnail from displaying. I have all other options checked except for "Save taskbar thumbnail previews". Hope this helps.

  • I found this screen changing feature really annoying. The live preview of application (Aero Peek) always switched my screen from the original window I was working in after I accidentally pointed my mouse on the icon preview.

    Pepe, thank you very much! Your answer is the best and helped me a lot!

  • My issue has not solved still. I am unable to get preview my minimized icons

  • this doesn't work for windows 8. I never had this problem with windows 7, but I have this problem with the thumbnails popping up in windows 8. I am not a programmer and do not feel comfortable using regedit. Is there another way?


  • Win 7 Professional

    After any kind of windows update it reverts back to the old thumbnail previews again, even when
    DisablePreviewWindow and DisablePreviewDesktop are set to 1. Disable Aero Peek didn't help.

    Only when I disabled Enable desktop composition did I get rid of the thumbnail previews immediately without logging out, rebooting, etc.

    Thanks to Jon K.

  • What "McLovin" said is correct... Search "Visual Effects" in the start menu, then select Custom and unselect Desktop Composition.

    OP is not using an efficient way of doing this...

  • Hey Pepe, thank you!

    I was at another site where they told me to uncheck another option and it was completely wrong...

  • Thank you! I wish I would have done this years ago.

  • This appears to be a bug in Windoze 7. Unchecking "enable aero peek previews" does NOT actually turn off aero peek previews. The ONLY way to disable them is to turn desktop compositing completely OFF, which will also remove ALL aero/glass theme functionality. It's a bug, and my guess is that windows will never fix it. Solution: Don't use Windows, it is a bad OS.

  • Seems to be working on windows 10 (version 1511) still.

  • Yup, a horrible bug. I cannot get the settings I want. I want to be able to use the Windows 7 built in aero zoom without the peek preview. Turning off "Desktop Composition" does turn off peek preview but it also turns off aero zoom and I get that stupid zoom box. Microsoft, why can't you fix this? I hate the peek preview and I hate the windowed zoom, but I have to have at least one turned on at all times. Please fix this! This is a horrible bug for visually impaired individuals.

  • Ready made registery. hmm wow. a free peace of sweet pie.

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