How to Move Windows Taskbar Buttons for A Better Multiple Tasking

The benefit of moving and arranging application's button on taskbar is obvious if you're used to work with several windows at the same time. Sometimes or too often you accidentally click a button and open a window you don't intend to. You minimize it but a few minutes later another accidental click takes place. Or may be you find that the two windows you're working with the most are located far away each other.

Ability to move taskbar buttons helps you a bit in productivity, or at least it can reduce or even eliminate the accumulated time you spend on the accidental clicking and the possibly disturbed feeling resulted. It increases your work's speed a bit as you can move any taskbar buttons you want, enable you to jump from button to button in a kind of logical line.

No matter what your purpose is, there are 2 sweet freeware for you to be able to move taskbar buttons.

Taskix is definitely the choice for you if you simply just want to move taskbar button. It has no additional feature other than allowing you to auto run it together with the Windows startup. It doesn't even reside in the system tray, but you know it is running when you check it through the Windows task manager.

A small message window Immediately appears after you double-click the program's icon telling you its status (whether it is being active or not) and asking you to activate it when inactive. Click the 'activate' button and it will run invisibly in the background. Then you can move taskbar buttons by drag and drop action.

Taskix consumes only a small amount of memory, around 500KB.

Pros: A straight-forward and memory friendly application.
Cons: There is no visible option to stop it. The only way to terminate it is by killing its process through the Windows task manager. This may be a bit confusing to a computer beginner or an average computer user.

Taskbar Shuffle
Taskbar Shuffle resides in the system area and comes up with a few options, but basically it enables you to move taskbar button in the same way as Taskix: drag and drop.

While the other bells and whistles are:
- start with windows
- group similar buttons either in order started, or only when there are two or more buttons, or group the buttons but never collapse into one button
- allow middle-click to close group or individual taskbar button
- move tray icons by holding down Ctrl or other custom key while dragging and dropping an icon within the system tray

Pros: more options for better taskbar buttons arrangement.
Cons: consumes much more memory than Taskix, that is around 2MB.

Extra tip
You can use Alt + tab keys combination as an alternative. This hotkey is the most efficient way to move back and forth between 2 windows like in the following example case:

I'm opening Text editor, PDF reader, Image viewer, and Firefox. Currently, I need to work only with the Text editor and Firefox but I want to keep the 2 other applications stay running in the background until I need them. Instead of using any of the freeware above, I use Alt + tab.

After some typing, I move to Firefox using Alt + tab. After some reading, I press Alt + tab once and it brings me back to my Text editor directly in one click. Later if I need Firefox again I only press Alt + tab once again. I can move between them using the keyboard shortcut without ever looking at the thumbnails displayed in the Alt + tab dialog.

My suggestion is:
  • use one of the freeware above if you're working with four or more windows evenly
  • and combine it with the use of Alt + tab keys if you're temporarily working back and forth between two windows
Believe me that once you are already get used to these tips you will find that they really help you in processing multiple tasks at the same time.

Windows Software Buzz, Sunday, December 16, 2007 At 11:24 AM - Permalink
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Blogger Yoni Says:

Thanks for the review of the two programs. I tried out Taskbar Shuffle before finding your blog. Unfortunately it does not come in a 64-bit variety. Taskix does and it works great!

Thanks again!

Anonymous Syllana Says:

Taskbar Shuffle suits me very well. I don't leave it running all the time, just open it when I need to move something. I guess for those who would move things constantly and leave it running, the memory usage might matter.


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