Five Annoying Things About Windows 7

Category: Windows-7

If you've recently moved from an XP system to Windows 7, you've already found that it's a feature-rich operating system. But one person's feature can be another's annoyance. Here are five Windows 7 features that many users find annoying, and how to fix them...

How to Fix Window 7 Annoyances

1. User Account Control (UAC): This is a security feature first introduced in Vista. UAC pops up a window every time a program or standard (non-administrator) user tries to make changes to your Windows settings, asking if it is OK to let the change proceed. UAC is a good defense against malware, in theory. But in practice, those "permission" windows pop up all too often. Here is how to disable UAC in Windows 7, if you have administrator privileges on the machine:

  • Go to Start Menu > Control Panel > User Accounts and Family Safety > User Accounts
  • Click on "Change User Account Control settings"
  • Move the slider bar all the way down to "none," meaning you don't want any notifications
  • Close Control Panel and restart the computer to turn off UAC.
Windows 7 Annoyances

2. Hidden File Extensions: Windows Explorer hides the extensions of known file types by default, so the file MYPHOTO.JPG appears in a file list as just MYPHOTO. To fix this annoyance,

  • Click "Organize" on the Windows Explorer menu bar
  • Click "Folder and Search Options"
  • On the "View" tab, uncheck the box next to "hide extensions for known file types"
  • Click OK

3. Balloon Notifications: These regularly pop up in the system tray, telling you things you don't want to know. Here is how to disable all balloon notifications in Windows 7 or Vista:

  • Type regedit.exe in the Start menu search box and press Enter to open Regedit.
  • Browse down the registry key to the following entry: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
  • Right-click in the right-hand pane and create a new DWORD named "EnableBalloonTips" with value: 0
  • Close Regedit. No more balloon tips! To enable balloon tips, change the Value in that key to 1 instead of 0.

Alternatively, download this registry hack file, unzip it, and double-click on the DisableNotificationBalloons.reg file to add the DWORD to your registry automatically. The zip file includes an "enable balloons" reg file to reverse the change.

4. No Quick Launch Toolbar in Taskbar: The Quick Launch toolbar, familiar to Windows XP users, sits in the Taskbar just to the left of the system tray. Program shortcuts added to the Quick Launch toolbar can be launched from the toolbar without having to open the Start menu and browse All Programs. But the Quick Launch toolbar is disabled by default in Windows 7. To get it back, here is what to do:

  • Right-click on an empty area of the Taskbar and highlight Toolbars in the context menu.
  • Click "New Toolbar" to open a Windows Explorer window.
  • In the "Folder" box, enter the following path: %userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch
  • Click "Select folder" and your Quick Launch toolbar will appear in the Taskbar.

5. Aero Snap: This is a Windows 7 feature that maximizes a window whenever you drag it too near to the top of the screen, and arranges windows side by side when you drag them near the other edges of the screen. If you don't want windows jumping around unexpectedly, you can disable Aero Snap from the Control Panel:

  • Go to the Ease of Access Section and click on "Change how your mouse works"
  • Scroll down to "Make it easier to manage windows"
  • Check the box that says "Prevent windows from being automatically arranged when moved to the edge of the screen".

BONUS: I know I said "five annoying things," but here's a bonus. Users moving from XP or Vista may note that there is no built-in email client. On XP, many people use Outlook Express, and Vista has the Windows Mail program. So why did the nice folks at Microsoft leave out this essential tool in Windows 7? The answer is that they want you to use Windows Live Mail. But in early builds of Windows 7, they seem to have forgotten to include it. And even when it's there, you have to dig to find it.

To see if Windows Live Mail is installed, click the Start button then type Windows Live Mail. If it appears in the results, you can click and go. If not, you'll have to download and install the Windows Live Essentials package to get it. Windows Live Mail is similar to Outlook, but you do have options. My preference is to use a web-based email service like Gmail, but if you prefer a desktop email client, check out the free Thunderbird program.

That's my list, what annoys YOU about Windows 7? Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Five Annoying Things About Windows 7"

(See all 23 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

26 Jul 2011

it would be great if your Aero Snap directions were correct, but they are not. I still cannot find this because whoever wrote these did not get the directions right. If you update this, I would love to know how to turn this off.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I just verified the steps again on my own Win7 computer. Are you starting at the Control Panel?

Posted by:

26 Jul 2011

Maybe this is the MOST annoying thing in WIN7 : When you need to replace your motherboard, the only way to get your copy of win7 working again is to REINSTALL it. This means that you also have to reinstall ALL the programs you used. OK, when reinstalling win7 it gives you the option to overwrite only the windows files, and it puts the other data in an "old C" directory, but nevertheless you have to reinstall all your programs again. I remember that in XP, after replacing a motherboard, of course you had to reinstall the drivers. But once that done, you were ready to go again... the "new" and "more powerfull" win7 just don't want to boot AT ALL !!!

Thanks microsoft !!!

Posted by:

26 Jul 2011

Greetings, Bob--

My Windows 7 Home Premium continually ignores my "View" setting preference of "List" and regularly switches back to the "Details" view. I've reset it many times, including the "Apply to all folders" option and Control Panel "Folders" setting, to no avail. I've tried "tricks" (e.g., using the Alt key to exit after setting my view followed by using the Ctrl key to exit “Apply to all folders”) that have "promised" to work but don't. I have to reset my view(s) several time each session.

Please help!

Thank you. Jack

Posted by:

26 Jul 2011

@Tom D' - the Solitaire in XP is called SOL.EXE and the Spider Solitaire is called SPIDER.EXE. Just copy them across - they don't need installing.

Posted by:

26 Jul 2011

Thanks Bob! The first and fifth items saved me here. I already researched item four almost immediately when I got my win7 machine because that IS my main method to access programs and I wasn't about to stop that method. The other items users consider annoyances, I don't mind. Thanks again!

Posted by:

Oliver Joy
27 Jul 2011

How do I get the program "Inbox' off my machine?

I don't know where it ame from, butit wantsme to register every time before I go to my Yahoo e-mail accout. It's very annoying and Inbox doesn't tell me how to remove it. I can't find anything in "remove programs" or "msconfig".

Posted by:

27 Jul 2011

I don't know if it varies on different versions, but on my Win7 Professional 64-bit, the choice in Ease of Access Center is "Make the mouse easier to use."

Posted by:

27 Jul 2011

The Email package Win Live seems unable to display the source of any HTML generated behind the emails. I am dependent on being able to use that feature - more than adicted - a requirement. Can I make the old OUTLOOK run under Win 7? And, would I have to uninstall Win Live to make outlook run ok. I know it would run in WINXP mode - which would be OK. I value your answers. Edward L in texas

EDITOR'S NOTE: Outlook should run fine on W7, and I don't see why you would need to uninstall the other.

Posted by:

27 Jul 2011

I missed the Quick Launch bar for about 2 minutes. Then I discovered "pin to taskbar." Which is MUCH easier to manage, and cooperates better with jump lists...

Posted by:

27 Jul 2011

That aero snap always bothered me, and it never was useful, but I looked all over and couldn't figure out how to disable it! Thanks to your info, it is now finally gone, thanks!

Posted by:

28 Jul 2011

Another aggravating annoyance is Libraries.

I would love Win 7, if I could disable Libraries for good, without messing up the rest of the system.

Posted by:

29 Jul 2011

Another GREAT article.
The most annoying feature I find is when I open a new tab, and then select something off the Favorites menu, it opens another new tab to put the Favorites selection in and then I have a blank tab between each tab.
I moved from Vista and it didn't do that, and everyone knows Win7 is just "fixed Vista" - what am I missing?

Posted by:

31 Jul 2011

Bob wrote, "My preference is to use a web-based email service like Gmail, but if you prefer a desktop email client, check out the free Thunderbird program."

You can have the best of both worlds. Use Gmail with IMAP to expose the account to Thunderbird. That way you can use either the desktop client or the web-based interface at your convenience.

Posted by:

Wynn Jones
01 Aug 2011

Another very annoying item. Would like instructions how to disable &/or remove live messenger in 7 & vista. Very annoying outdated product that Microsoft keeps trying to force on people. Yahoo & hotmail does the same. Most people use facebook or pick up the phone. Not everyone has unlimited hi speed access and time to sit on the internet waiting for someone to show up.

Posted by:

01 Aug 2011

I love the quick launch bar. On my work computer running XP the quick launch bar is a life saver. However I don't believe it is needed in Win 7 because the task bar IS a quick launch bar. All the programs I used to have in the quick launch area are now simply pinned to the task bar.

Posted by:

Bill C
11 Aug 2011

My most annoying thing about Win 7 is the locked files. Can't even read them to see what's there. Have tried going in through Properties to change ownership & permissions, but no go. No help on MS TechNet support and various solutions on forums don't work. Any thoughts from you Bob Rankin followers?

Posted by:

12 Aug 2011

In XP, I was able to send a page or a link by email by going to file, send to but it is now greyed out using gmail or Win live. Whassupwidat?

Posted by:

21 Sep 2011

I get this, "check your registry NOW" so I do the scan and it finds hundreds of problems with my PC.....are these REAL problems or is it I haven't crossed some 'T's' or dotted some 'I's' PC runs then I do the 'free 20 free'

How do I know what has been fixed....PC is just the they weren't problems were they....

EDITOR'S NOTE: Sounds like you downloaded something that might be nasty. I suggest you do a malware scan or run System Restore.

Posted by:

04 May 2012

I just found this post trying to discover how to disable Aero Snap (what a useless annoyance!).

Another thing I really dislike about Win7 is the ridiculous "Libraries". It takes an obscure registry modification to get rid of this, and I haven't completely obliterated it yet. What a needlessly complex system M$ has created!

In the end, I don't think Windows (any flavor) is a wise choice for serious computing. It's a nice office toy, or maybe useful like art work you hang on the wall. The only legitimate thing in Win7 is the NT kernel, which isn't used as designed, so it's not much help either.

Posted by:

R Gray
30 Jan 2013

I mistakenly added two Quicklaunchs to my taskbar OOPS! How can I get rid of the second one. Thanks Rick

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