Adding Flip 3D to the Windows 7 taskbar

Some of our readers may read the title and say, “Flip 3D is already in Windows 7″ and this is true, so I am technically not showing you how to add it to Windows, but instead, how to find it and add it to the taskbar. Now that we’ve sorted through that, I wanted to explain why I am dedicating an article to a small feature such as Flip 3D.  It’s simple, I was very pleased when I first used Windows Vista and saw Flip 3D for the first time. It signified an actual visual change to the UI. Of course, the toolbar and start button were redone a bit, but Flip 3D created a 3D style that we had not yet seen in Windows and when I first got my hands on Windows 7, I was suprised to find that it was missing and replaced with the normal, boring, alt-tab windows switcher.

I had assumed that because Flip 3D had been removed from the quick launch menu, that it had been removed from the OS altogether. After finally giving up on Flip 3D, I installed the actual drivers for my mouse, which is a Microsoft Comfort Optical Mouse 3000. The software that came with the mouse gave options for button assignments for both Flip and Flip 3D, I thought this was a mistake. After assigning the button and pressing it, I was suprised to see that Flip 3D was still in Windows 7. That’s my introduction, and this is how to find it:

1. Right-click on your desktop, select New, and then select Shortcut.

2. In the location field, type C:WindowsSystem32rundll32.exe dwmapi #105 (assuming that Windows is installed on C:)

3. Click Next, and then type Window Switcher for the shortcut name, then press Finish.

4. Right-click on the Window Switcher shortcut that you just created and then click on Properties.

5. Click on the Change Icon… button.

6. In the Look for icons in this file field type %SYSTEMROOT%system32imageres.dll, and then press Enter.

7. Select the first icon and then click on OK.

8. Click on OK to dismiss the properties dialog.

9. Drag the Window Switcher shortcut from your desktop onto the taskbar.

grey Adding Flip 3D to the Windows 7 taskbar

(Note: Flip 3D will only work if Aero is enabled. You can also access Flip 3D by using Windows Key+Tab)

Yes, I really did just write an article on how to do this. I’m sure some people may find Flip 3D absolutely useless, but I bet there are at least a few users that were like me and wondered why Microsoft got rid of or hid a feature such as this.

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14 Responses to Adding Flip 3D to the Windows 7 taskbar

  1. Jonathan November 1, 2009 at 3:55 am #

    Flip 3D is WinKey+Tab or Ctrl+WinKey+Tab. BUt thatnks for how to add it to the taskbar, I can never see what programs are actaully on the Alt+Tab, which is why I use Flip 3D

  2. Zagorath November 1, 2009 at 4:33 am #

    Interesting. I for one never knew it could be accessed in any way other than Win+Tab, which is the simplest way to access it, for me.

  3. colin November 1, 2009 at 8:10 am #

    I’m surprised how long it took you to realise Flip 3D is still in Windows 7, when it is only Win+Tab away.

  4. Anonymous November 1, 2009 at 1:20 pm #

    Flip 3D was never hidden in Windows 7. It was always win+tab to bring it up just like in Vista and alt+tab for regular flip just like in Vista. If I had to use an icon in the taskbar to bring up Flip 3D then I would never use it because it so much faster to do alt+tab.

  5. nk November 1, 2009 at 2:01 pm #

    You could use %systemroot% in step 2 the same way you did in step 6.
    The shortcut provided with Windows Vista is also available on Windows 7′s quick launch location although, as you know, Windows 7 removed the quick launch bar completely.
    The location is: %appdata%MicrosoftInternet ExplorerQuick Launch

    I find it easier to switch windows using [Alt]+[Tab] on Windows 7 since it reveals the contents of the window if you stop for a brief moment before releasing Alt. It’s way better than Flip3D because it clears the other windows from screen and it doesn’t flip that window sideways which makes it harder to see.
    That feature wasn’t available on Windows Vista, unfortunately.

  6. mark rushworth November 1, 2009 at 4:05 pm #

    I’ve never been a massive fan of this style of task switcher, sure windows 7 one is better than the old xp style but im more of a task manager jockey :)

  7. BleedingEdge November 4, 2009 at 5:43 pm #

    Actually if you hold down WINK+TAB and use the scroll wheel on the mouse you can flip through open apps quickly enough to induce motion sickness…

  8. satyadev November 5, 2009 at 2:25 am #

    hi Jason..
    thanks for uploading gr8 stuff. can u help me? how can we restore the ”new text document”
    option in the right click menu..It is missing from the option. I m using the windows 7 ultimate.
    pls help …

  9. Mike November 28, 2009 at 12:43 am #

    Thanks for the helpful instructions! I actually find the icon shortcut easier to use than Win+tab, when using my laptop and touchpad and not sitting at a desk.

  10. Jay January 27, 2010 at 8:04 am #

    Thanks ..!!!!

  11. Sarah March 15, 2010 at 9:01 am #

    Awesome, thanks. I was just looking around for this and your article saved me a lot of time. Cheers.

  12. anon May 10, 2010 at 10:35 am #

    how do you enable Flip 3D?

  13. BOB June 3, 2010 at 5:33 pm #

    DOUCHE

  14. Serpentracer October 10, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    I get,
    windows can’t find  %SYSTEMROOT%system32imageres.dll
    what do I do?

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