Quick cures for the worst Windows 7 annoyances

Scott dunn By Scott Dunn

In its seemingly never-ending quest for a better Windows, Microsoft simply can’t resist tinkering with — and sometimes completely removing — features that many of us loved.

If you find yourself tripping over new Windows 7 features or missing favorite old ones, I’ve got some tips that will come to your rescue.

Lost in all the glowing Windows 7 reviews and marketing hype is the fact that not everything about Microsoft’s new OS is an unqualified success. You don’t have to use Win7 for very long before you notice one of your favorite features of earlier Windows versions is changed or missing.

But if you don’t like the default Win7 interface and the features that Microsoft prefers, no problem! A few simple tweaks can let you adjust Win7 to your own liking. Even better, some of the following tips also apply to Vista and XP.

The return of the Quick Launch toolbar

Annoyance: The latest Windows versions let you place the Quick Launch toolbar on the taskbar. From there, you can launch your favorite applications, documents, or folder windows with a single click. In Windows 7, unfortunately, Quick Launch is MIA.

In Win7, a new Taskbar combines elements of the classic Taskbar and Quick Launch toolbars into one. To be sure, many people like the new Taskbar. Al Arnston is one of several readers who suggests that Win7’s “Pin to Taskbar” feature trumps Quick Launch, as he explains in the Nov. 19, 2009, Known Issues column. But you may disagree.

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All Windows Secrets articles posted on 2010-02-18: