7. Changing the Number of Open Programs Required
to 'Group' on the Taskbar
Windows XP introduced the idea of taskbar 'groups'
wherein a number of similar open applications like multiple Internet Explorer windows
are lumped together into a single taskbar item so things are
less cluttered, and navigation made simpler for the user.
This is fine, but can get annoying if you often work within
several similar windows and want to switch between them fast. In this
circumstance, previous versions of Windows was better, as they would just jam
every open application into a separate taskbar entry regardless of it's
You can change how many similar applications or windows
need to be opened to cause them to 'group' with this simple registry edit:
Open Regedit and navigate to
and double click the 'TaskbarGroupSize' subkey.
Change the value to decimal if necessary. The
decimal number indicates how many similar windows will trigger the grouping
Change it to the required number, then click 'ok' and restart your
8. Reduce Menu Delay to Speed up the Windows
Windows XP adds a slight delay between the time your mouse pointer rests
on a menu button and the time the interface opens the menu. This is
necessary to keep the pointer from activating every icon and menu it passes
over, but the default delay time (0.4th of a second) can seem kind of lengthy after
a while for us super-geeks. You can make the Windows interface seem much,
much snappier just by lowering this menu delay time slightly with a simple
To do this open Regedit and Navigate to
Double click the 'MenuShowDelay' value. The default
value is 400, with lower values reducing the menu delay time. Experiment to see
what suits you best. Note that setting this to zero is not
a good idea,
as it will activate every menu as your pointer passes over it, which will become
really annoying, fast.
9. Show Control Panel as a Menu
For quicker access to the Windows XP control panel's
assortment of applications, you can set the control panel to appear as a submenu
in the start menu, similar to the existing 'accessories' submenu.
To do this Right click on the 'start' button and choose 'properties.' Select
the 'customize' button to the right of the 'start menu' option. Choose
the 'advanced' tab and then in the 'start menu items' box, find
'control panel' and select the 'display as menu' option.