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Windows 7 - Customizing Aero Peek

Aero Peek is a new feature in Windows 7 which allows you to peek at your desktop. In previous versions of Windows, you had to minimize each window individually to display the desktop or press the "Show Desktop" button on the taskbar. The new button to the right of the system time on the taskbar is the where you can access the Aero Peek feature simply by moving your mouse over it. When Aero Peek is activated, all you will see if a transparent outline of all open windows. Clicking on it will minimize all open windows and display your desktop.

Some users find the Aero Peek feature distracting, since it is automatically activated whenever the mouse pointer hits the bottom-right corner of the screen. To get back to what you were doing, you have to move the mouse pointer away. Fortunately, there is an easy way to disable the feature and you don't need to disable the whole Windows 7 Aero theme to do this. To disable the feature, all you need to do is right-click on the button in the far right of your taskbar and click "Peek at desktop" to remove the check mark. You can easily activate it again at any time.

There are also various alternatives to this feature which some users find less intrusive. Aero Peek is also accessible by pressing down the Windows key and spacebar, regardless of whether you turned the feature on or off using the above method. There is also a keyboard shortcut for displaying the desktop. To display the desktop and minimize all windows, press the Windows key and "D." You can press the same combination again to bring all of the open windows back up again. Pressing the Windows key and "M" will minimize all of the windows as well, but you'll need to manually bring them back up again.

If you are wondering why Aero Peek doesn't work at all, then it is almost certainly because you are using the "Classic" Windows 7 theme. With the classic theme enabled, Aero Peek will not work, regardless of whether you use the button or the keyboard shortcut. Pressing the button will only display the desktop as in previous versions of Windows.


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