Beginners: Working with Libraries, Taskbar and Index in Windows 7

You have finally upgraded to Windows 7, and you've noticed that there are tons of new features and things you can do now, that you could not do before. To help you get started and more familiar with Windows 7 user interface and features, in this article we included a few great tips, such as how to work around Windows 7 Libraries, Indexing Options, taskbar customization, and more, to make it easier in your everyday tasks and a little bit more productive.

Learning Windows 7 Logo

You have finally upgraded to Windows 7, and you’ve noticed that there are tons of new features and things you can do now, that you could not do before. To help you get started and get more familiar with Windows 7 user interface and features, in this article we included a few great tips such as how to work around Windows 7 Libraries, Indexing Options, taskbar customization and more; just to make it easier in your everyday tasks and a little bit more productive.

Working with Libraries

Libraries is a new feature in Windows 7 that allows you to bring together folders from different locations into one place.

How to create a new library

1. Go to Start Windows Key - Small Monochrome and type Libraries and press enter.

2. Right click on an empty space, select New > Library and type the name.

Creating new library

How to add folders to a library

1. Go to the folder you want to include to the library.

2. From the toolbar click Include a library and select the library to include the folder.

Include folder to a library

or

1. Go to Start Windows Key - Small Monochrome and type Libraries and press enter.

2. By default you have 4 libraries, select the library you want to add a new folder, right-click it and select Properties.

Documents Properties

1. Click Include a folder…, find the folder and click Include folder. You can follow the same steps to add a network folder, but remember that the network folder needs to be indexed in the computer you are trying add it from, to be included correctly.

  • To set a default location where the items will be saved in a library, select one of the library location and click Set save location.
  • Libraries can be optimized by the content that they have such as General items, Documents, Pictures, Music or Video. To change the content type go to Optimize this library for:, and choose the content type.

2. Click Apply and OK.

Include folder documents

How to add folders to Windows index

Windows uses indexing to gather records of common files in your computer to speed up search, by default not all the folders are included for indexing — which is good because indexing can slow down your computer –. In the case you need to add manually folders to the index, do the following:

1. Go to Start Windows Key - Small Monochrome and type Indexing Options and press enter.

2. Click Modify, in the Change selected locations section browse for the folder and choose the folder(s). You can also add external hard drive to the Indexed Locations.

3. Click OK and then Close.

Index modify

Indexed locations

How to add additional clocks

If you travel often or if you watch sports in a different time zone, adding more clocks in Windows 7 is going to come in handy:

1. Go to Start Windows Key - Small Monochrome and type Date and Time and press enter.

2. In the Additional Clocks tab, you have the option to add 2 additional clocks, enable the ones you need, name them, click Apply and OK.

Windows 7 Date and Time

Windows 7 Date and Time Clocks

How to customize Windows Taskbar

Go to Start Windows Key - Small Monochrome and type Taskbar and Start Menu and press enter. When are finished click Apply and OK.

  • Switching back to the old Windows taskbar style: In Taskbar buttons: -select Combine when taskbar is full or Never combine.

Combine when taskbar is full

Combine when taskbar is full

Never combine

Never combine when taskbar is full

  • Repositioning Windows 7 taskbar: In Taskbar location on screen: –choose the position you want.
  • Disable Aero Peek: Under Preview desktop with Aero Peek, uncheck Use Aero Peek to preview the desktop.

Windows 7 taskbar and Start menu properties

  • Setting the number of items in a Jump List:

1. Navigate to the Start Menu tab and click Customize… — in this section you can customize how menus, links, and icons look and act on the start menu, but now we are focusing on Jump Lists –.

2. Choose the number of recent items to display in Jump List in the Start menu size section.

3. Click OK, Apply, and OK to finish.

Windows Customize Start menu

To gain access to a Jump List, you need to right-click on a taskbar icon or you can also gain access by pressing and holding left mouse button and dragging upwards.

Windows 7 Jump List

How to pin a program to the Windows 7 Taskbar

Pinning allows you to keep closer programs that you use everyday.

To pin a program you can just drag the icon and place it on the taskbar.

Drag and Ping to the taskbar

If the program is running, you can right-click the icon and select Pin this program to taskbar.

Pin application to taskbar

Or right-click the application’s icon and select Pin to taskbar.

Pin to taskbar

How to customize notification icons and turn system icons on or off

The notification area is located to the right side of the Taskbar, there you will find system elements (Clock, Volume, Network, Power, Action Center) and program icons (email, chat, Windows updates, etc.) that keep you informed with status and notification. Windows 7 provides you the ability to customize the behaviors of these elements — the ones from Windows and from other programs –, as well as removing system icons.

1. Go to Start Windows Key - Small Monochrome and type Customize icons on the Taskbar and press enter.

2. You have 3 options for each notification icon: Show icon and notification, Hide icon and notification, and Only show notification. Customize each icon the way you need and click OK to finish.

Windows 7 Notification Area Icons

Next, removing or turning on or off system icons

  1. Click on Turn system icons on or off.
  2. Choose the behavior for each System Icon and click OK. If you need to revert to the default settings, just go back, but this time click the link at the bottom Restore default icon behaviors.

Windows 7 System icons

You can also rearrange the position of these icons in the notification area by dragging and placing them in the order you wish, in the tray or outside.

dragging-system-icons

I hope that these tips were helpful. Remember to leave a comment in the section below. Thanks!

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows expert and the Editor-in-Chief who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He is also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 12 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows, software, and related technologies, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me.