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Submission details

37 +42/-5 votes

Clicking a program icon on the taskbar should always bring that program to the front, even if it has multiple windows open.

Submitted by eikonoklastes2 on December 27, 2008 to Annoyance, Usability

The current behavior only brings up the window previews and forces you to choose the window. This is an unnecessary extra step when you want to switch between the windows of two programs.

The preview shows on hover anyway, so a click should logically bring that program to the front.

This issue is exacerbated in Internet Explorer, where there's just one window for all the tabs, yet Windows will not bring that to the front and instead show you the tabs preview. Rather irritating when you know exactly what tab you were on before you switched away and now instead have to look for it in the preview list.

Note: This only occurs when the program has multiple windows open. When there's just a single window, clicking on its icon in the taskbar brings that program to the front.

Always bring the program to the front when you click on its icon in the taskbar. Activate the last window that was being used in the case of multiple windows being open for a single program.

High

High

Not fixed

Discussion (3 comments)

eikonoklastes2 wrote on December 27, 2008, 10:34pm

Changed problem description.

billerr wrote on December 28, 2008, 2:14am

yeah, but if there are 2 or more instances of a program open, what should the re-ordering be? Bring all the windows of that program to the top of all the windows' stack? In what order? Which instance should be in front? Arbitrary solutions to these possibilities are not the best choice.

I think it is pretty intuitive the way it is now. If there is only one window, a click brings it to the front. If there are more windows, which one do you want to bring to the front? Windows asks you, by showing the thumbnails for you to choose.

eikonoklastes2 wrote on December 28, 2008, 7:08am

Changed solution description.

eikonoklastes2 wrote on December 28, 2008, 7:49am

It will be the last window that was active before I switched to the other program. That's the one I want brought to the front, and the one that makes the most logical sense. This issue is exacerbated in Internet Explorer, where there's just one window for all the tabs, yet Windows will not bring that to the front and instead show you the tabs preview. Rather irritating when you know exactly what tab you were on before you switched away and now instead have to look for it in the preview list.

eikonoklastes2 wrote on December 28, 2008, 5:15pm

Changed problem description.

litemininyuszika wrote on January 22, 2009, 10:24am

-1! It's not very logical. However, it is for IE8!
Tip: in Internet Explorer, you can inactivate this with a hidden feature:

Tools -> Internet Options -> Tabs - Settings -> Show previews for individual tabs in the taskbar*

* means you must restart Internet Explorer after (in)activating this option.

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