Remember taskbar button order (of temporarily hidden windows used with virtual desktops)

Anonymous 6 years ago updated by David Pritchard 9 months ago 10


When using virtual desktop managers (like goScreen) and switching desktops, the windows of the desktop you are leaving are hidden, and when you switch back they are shown again. But this makes the order of the taskbar buttons undefined/random after each virtual desktop switch.

Feature request

Remember the order of the window taskbar buttons for not just the active, but also hidden windows, so that when a hidden window is shown again it's placed at the same position as before it was hidden, and not last.

Simple test

You can use this simple AutoHotkey script to test what hiding a window and showing does to the taskbar order:

wid := WinExist("A")
WinHide ahk_id %wid%
sleep 2000
WinShow ahk_id %wid%
Put this code in a file called "test.ahk", run it and use Win+A to hide and show the active window.
Yes please.

This killer feature would really make 7TT the master of the windows taskbar. :-)

But it is not at all trivial to implement.
7TT would need to allow user to rearrange (move up/down) items in the Taskbar Inspector, and then to apply that order to taskbar buttons. Maybe add a command/button 'apply taskbar button ordering now' or implement a timer on a function that would inspect and apply the order periodically. It would also be important to add a setting option 'apply taskbar button ordering on startup' so that 7TT can automatically perform that task when it is started.
Now, for hidden items, 7TT would need to allow to make an entry in the Taskbar Inspector permanent, meaning it would not go away once that window is closed but it would be grayed-out or something, but still allowing to rearrange versus other entries. This would have to be user-managed as keeping a history of all windows that have come and go would create too much clutter and make it unmanageable. Hence, there would need to be a new context-menu (right click) option 'keep this entry even when it's window is not active'. Then, it's ordering would need to be applied once the window is back up on the desktop, but that would require a timer function if a user wouldn't want to apply that manually every time.

Of course, this list/ordering would need to be saved so that it can be restored after a reboot.

For power users like me that have around 30 taskbar buttons present at all times, having their order consistent would help a lot in quick navigation, as for my mind it is easier to photographically remember the order of the taskbar buttons than to read/analyse their icons or captions every time I want to call a window back to the foreground.

Also, it is very, very annoying when I finally set the ordering manually with drag and drop, and then pray that I wouldn't need to restart my windows some time soon, after pushing a browser to full screen (F11), it comes back as the last taskbar button in the order, not the one where I already set it up manually. Arrrgggghhhh!

Please RaMMicHaeL, if at all possible, let's make this happen.

Thank you for this awesome software.

Hi, same here - i am using Win10 and would LOVE to have a feature that periodically rearranges the taskbar icons/buttons. In my setup i am using some 40 instances of an app where i frequently need to access one or the other instance. The instances are named like "app (1)" for instance 1 or "app (20)" for instance 20. After starting up all instances, everything is neatly in order. But after some time of working with it (i actually automate things with autoIT), the order is completely messed up. And yes, I could rearrange this manually, but periodically rearranging the icons would just be faboulous.
Thank you for this great tool and considering this enhancement :-)


As a side note, if your items reside in one group, you can use Taskbar Inspector to sort the items by name. Also, you can use the advanced options to assign a mouse shortcut for sorting.

I don't think that 7+ Taskbar Tweaker can have such a feature - it's difficult to cooperate with an unknown virtual desktop software correctly. You can try using the 7+ Taskbar Tweaking Library to accomplish item reordering on the taskbar without having to hide or show the actual windows.

Other notes:

  • There's a virtual desktop utility of mine, Virtuoz, which provides simple virtual desktop management for Windows 7 and 8, while preserving taskbar order.
  • Windows 10 has a built-in virtual desktop functionality, and 7+ Taskbar Tweaker has an option to keep the taskbar order while using it.
  • I might have a piece of code lying somewhere which can save and restore the taskbar items order. Let me know if it can help, and I'll check if I can find it.


If you still have that code, I'd be interested (which language?). I might just cobble together something with it.


I'd better post with my user so I get replies :-)


Here's some work-in-progress piece of code I wrote more than three years ago. It's C++, and it's based on the Virtuoz project I mentioned above (also open source). As far as I remember, I tried to implement a tool to remember the order of taskbar items between Windows 10 virtual desktop switches. I don't remember whether it worked, and if so, how well.

Hey thanks, I'll take a look at it. 

The antivirus here is flagging ZWWriteVirtualMemory, so I'll have to test it somewhere else or inside a VM...

wow - thank you so much for your fast response!
Reading the above i realize that it might have been misleading as I am not using virtual desktops (sorry....) I actually do everything on the "main desktop" on Win10. The issue is that the initial order (after starting up all instances of the app) is changing over time. I would like to restore this initial order from time to time. I will try playing with grouping - have not done this yet. If there is a more elegant (ie direct) way, i will be a happy receiver of this :-)