Monday, April 07, 2014

Windows 8.1 thin vertical taskbar

[Update: The May 2nd 2014 beta release of 7+ Taskbar Tweaker has a fix for Windows 8.1 update. Yay! Also I am now using classic shell in combination with 7+ Taskbar Tweaker.]

[Update: April  20th 2014 Windows 8.1 update has temporarily broken this :( Apparently a new fix is in the works.]

I recently acquired a new laptop with Windows 8.1 on it. I like to dock my task-bar on the left edge of my screen and like it as thin as possible. There are specific reason for this choice:

  • Vertical task-bar because widescreen monitors means plenty of horizontal space but relatively less vertical screen real estate
  • Task-bar docked to left edge because that way the task bar does not interfere with vertical scroll-bar interaction on the right side of maximized windows - when the auto hide task-bar is turned on.
I had blogged about how to get a thin vertical task-bar on Windows 7 here. Unfortunately that does not work on  Windows 8 or 8.1. The task-bar stays 2 icon wide. Bummer.

After a little bit of search I found this excellent utility - 7+ Taskbar Tweaker. This has a set of Advanced options (right-click the 7+ Taskbar Tweaker's system tray icon, select Advanced Options) to remove the minimum width limit on the vertical task-bar. 

How to configure it ?
  • Install 7+ Taskbar Tweaker and run it. You can close the dialog that is displayed.
  • Make sure to dock the task-bar to the left edge
  • Make sure that it is not locked
  • Make sure that you have selected Use small icons option in the task-bar properties
  • In the 7+ Taskbar Tweaker Advanced options (right-click the 7+ Taskbar Tweaker's system tray icon, select Advanced Options) just set the value of no_width_limit to 1 and click OK.
(other options have been removed from the screenshot for focus)
  • Then drag the right edge of the task-bar to make it 1 icon thick

If you do not configure the 7+ Taskbar Tweaker to run at startup, after reboot the task-bar will become 2 icon thick again. Simply run the 7+ Taskbar Tweaker and the 1 icon wide task-bar will be restored. After this you may even exit the 7+ Taskbar Tweaker tray icon.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this info Sandip! I've been wanting to do this for along time!

Jasper T. said...

Thanks so much! It works on Windows 10 pretty well since the software has a beta version now that works on Windows 10.

Miguel said...

tknxs so much...!!!!