If you like to have a lot of programs open at once, it's a good idea to understand how your program windows are organized on the taskbar and how you can quickly sort through them. Learning to manage multiple windows makes it easier to get to a window quickly and arrange open windows in a way that makes the most sense to you.
All open windows are represented by taskbar buttons. If you have several windows open (for example, if you open more than one file in a single program or if you open several instances of a program such as a web browser), you might run out of space for your taskbar buttons. To create more space, Windows automatically groups open windows from the same program into one taskbar button.
For example, if you have several Internet Explorer windows open, they will be stacked into one group represented by one taskbar button. When you click that taskbar button, you see a preview of the open windows.
If you don't want to group windows, you can turn off grouping. But without grouping, you might not be able to see all of your taskbar buttons at once.
Open Taskbar and Start Menu Properties by clicking the Start button , clicking Control Panel, clicking Appearance and Personalization, and then clicking Taskbar and Start Menu.
If Group similar taskbar buttons has a check mark next to it, the buttons will automatically stack on top of each other. To turn off grouping, click Group similar taskbar buttons, which clears the check mark.
With Flip 3D, you can quickly preview all your open windows (for example, open files, folders, and documents) without having to click the taskbar. Flip 3D displays your open windows in a stack. At the top of the stack, you'll see an open window. To see other windows, you can flip through the stack.
Flip 3D and taskbar window previews will not work unless your computer's video card can display the advanced visual effects in Windows. For more information, see Troubleshoot problems with Windows Aero.
Another way to quickly change which open window you're working with is to press ALT+TAB. When you press ALT+TAB, you see a list of all your open files.
To select a file, press and hold ALT and continue to press TAB until you've highlighted the file you want to open. Release the keys to open the selected window.
You can also press CTRL+ALT+TAB to keep the dialog box open. You can then press TAB to cycle through the windows. Pressing
ENTER opens the selected window. Pressing ESC closes the dialog box.
You can arrange open windows in one of three ways:
Cascade, which puts windows in a single stack that has been fanned out so that the window titles appear.
Stacked, which puts windows in one or more vertical stacks depending on how many windows you have open.
Side by side, which places each window—open, but not maximized—on the desktop so you can see them all at once.
To arrange your open windows, right-click an empty area of the taskbar, then click Cascade Windows, Show Windows Stacked, or Show Windows Side by Side.
To arrange windows that are grouped by program or folder, right-click the taskbar button that is grouped, and then click Cascade, Show Windows Stacked, or Show Windows Side by Side.