How can I configure the grouping of similar taskbar buttons in Windows XP?

A. XP lets you group multiple instances of the same executable on the taskbar in one of two ways:

  • Clustering--XP places multiple instances of the same executable next to each other on the taskbar.
  • Grouping--XP displays multiple instances of the same executable as one taskbar program instance.
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By default, XP groups multiple instances of the same executable when insufficient space exists on the taskbar to display the appropriate text for each button. To disable grouping, perform the following steps:

  1. Right-click the taskbar, and select Properties.
  2. Select the Taskbar tab.
  3. Clear the "Group similar taskbar buttons" check box in the Taskbar appearance section.
  4. Click OK.

You can also adjust this setting in the registry by performing the following steps:

  1. Start the registry editor (regedit.exe).
  2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced.
  3. Double-click TaskbarGlomming (or create this DWORD value if it doesn't already exist).
  4. Set this value to 1 to enable or 0 to disable, and click OK.
  5. Close the registry editor.
  6. Log off and log back on for the change to take effect, or if you feel brave, kill the Windows Explorer process and use Task Manager to recreate this process.
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