Workaround: Taskbar Thumbnail Previews Disappear Too Quickly

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taskbar-previews

In Windows, the taskbar thumbnail preview allows you to hover your mouse over the application icon and see previews of multiple windows you have open, similar to the screenshot above. There are a number of threads in the Microsoft forums where people are reporting issues with these previews and they’re disappearing too quickly and they can’t make a selection.

The trend so far seems to be users that use a dock, users with Windows 10, and users with a Surface Book or Surface Pro 4.

While there has been no official solution to this issue from Microsoft, there are a few workarounds you can try if you’re affected by this issue.

Workaround For Microsoft Surface Users

UPDATE 11/11/2016: If you’re a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 user, try using a different power adapter. According to the Microsoft threads, using a power adapter with model number 1706 makes this issue disappear. Power adapters with model number 1625 are problematic. If you previously disabled the battery driver below, please re-enable it if you get a new power adapter since side effects of disabling this driver could cause issues with your battery.

If you’re a Microsoft Surface Book or Surface Pro 4 user, try disabling this driver and restarting your machine.

NOTE: If you disable this driver, you’ll lose your battery meter and the ability to see how much battery life you have left. You’ll also lose the battery menu in Settings.

Also at this time, we’re unsure if disabling this driver will cause battery overcharging or any damage to the battery. Please use caution!

  • Right-click on the Windows Start Menu
  • Click on Device Manager
  • Expand Batteries
  • Right-click on Microsoft Surface ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery and disable it
  • Restart the computer

Workaround #2: Disable Peek

Any Windows 10 user can try this method as a workaround. This workaround appears to help lessen the frequency of the issue, but doesn’t completely get rid of it.

  • Right-click on the Windows Start Menu
  • Click on System
  • Click Advanced System Settings
  • Go to the Advanced tab and click Settings… in the Performance group.
  • Uncheck Enable Peek
  • Click Apply then OK then OK again.

Workaround #3: Change Registry For Thumbnail Live Preview Delay

  • Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog, type regedit, and press Enter.
  • In regedit, go to:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerAdvanced
  • In the right pane of Advanced, right click on the empty space, and click on New and DWORD (32-bit) Value. Type ThumbnailLivePreviewHoverTime and press enter.
    NOTE: If you already have the ThumbnailLivePreviewHoverTime DWORD, then skip this step.
  • In the right pane of Advanced, double click/tap on ThumbnailLivePreviewHoverTime to modify it.
  • Select (dot) Decimal, type in how many milliseconds (1000 milliseconds = 1 second) you want the delay time to be, and click/tap on OK.
  • Close Regedit.
  • Log off and log on, or restart the computer to apply changes and check.

To restore the default taskbar thumbnail live preview delay time:

  • In the right pane, right click on ThumbnailLivePreviewHoverTime,and click/tap on Delete.
  • Click/tap on Yes to confirm.
  • Close regedit.
  • Log off and log on, or restart the computer to apply the changes.

Conclusion

Hopefully Microsoft will come out with an official fix for all Windows 10 machines. The issue is only affecting certain users, but from the Microsoft Forums, it seems widespread enough to require an official fix.

If you’ve experienced this issue, please leave a comment below letting us know which option worked for you.

11 Comments

  1. Steve Jovanovic October 6, 2016 at 10:20 am - Reply

    Hi Rob,

    Regarding the first workaround, please be careful. We don’t know if disabling that driver could lead to overcharging and damaging the battery.

    Thank you so much for summarizing this! It’s a huge, widespread bug.

    Steve

    • Robert Russell October 7, 2016 at 10:52 am - Reply

      Thank you for the feedback. I really hope Microsoft fixes this soon. We have about 10 Surface Pro 4’s here and so far only 1 experiences the issue. I’ll make a note under Workaround #1.

  2. John Miezitis October 9, 2016 at 4:19 pm - Reply

    Hi Rob,

    I am using a docked Surface Pro 3 and this issues has been a productivity drain since I got the system. Workaround #2 seems to have made a significant improvement for me. I have had the workaround in place for a few days now and have not had a re-occurrence yet.

    Thank you for taking the effort to put this page together.

    • John Miezitis October 11, 2016 at 6:27 pm - Reply

      Bad news the issue has reoccurred. I have checked that workaround #2 is still in place.
      The issue is less severe but definitely still there.

      • Robert Russell October 12, 2016 at 9:38 am - Reply

        I’ve read that with Workaround #2, it just makes the issue less severe but it still occurs. If you’re worried about your battery overcharging, #2 is the safer alternative as long as you can still live with the issue happening occasionally.

  3. Erwin Ried October 13, 2016 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    :/ I would like to use the first workaround but it does not only you lose the hours remaining you also lose the battery percent 🙁

    • Robert Russell October 14, 2016 at 9:56 am - Reply

      I noticed that too. One of my users is docked 99% of the time, so workaround #1 should be okay with him. I would suggest doing #2 if you’re undocked enough. The problem will still be there, but not as often.

  4. Steve Jovanovic November 4, 2016 at 8:02 pm - Reply

    We found out on 11/3/16 that Microsoft has reproduced the bug and is investigating. A fix is believed to be targeted for release in RS2 (Windows 10 Creators Update) in 2017.

    Please beware of workaround #1. It’s not known whether disabling ACPI could damage the battery due to overcharging.

  5. Robert Russell November 11, 2016 at 2:17 pm - Reply

    Please see the updated article. Thanks to Erwin Ried for figuring out that the issue is related to the power adapter. If you’ve disabled the battery driver, please re-enable it and go swap out your power adapter at a Microsoft Store.

  6. akbar sense November 16, 2016 at 11:17 pm - Reply

    work it thanks

  7. mhannigan January 24, 2017 at 10:11 pm - Reply

    This has been driving me absolutely nuts. The hover preview time doesn’t help me, disabling peak does. It seems to no do it only the first time I go to an icon, but then after that it’s OK. At least it’s predictable. Before it was actually a productivity killer when working with multiple windows.
    Mike
    http://www.brainchamber.com

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