Programming the Windows 7 Taskbar – Using the Taskbar Button Overlay Icons and Progress Bars

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This is the second screencast in a series of Windows 7 screencasts for showing developers how to use the taskbar to Light Up their applications on Windows 7.

This screencast explains how to use the Win 32 API to control the taskbar's Overlay Icons and Progress bar. Both taskbar features exists to compensate for the deprecated Notification Area (AKA as Sys-Try)

The code shown in this screencast is available to download. The other screencasts in this series are:



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The Discussion

  • User profile image

    I found this very interesting and immediately decided to try and add the progress bars to an installer application I have that runs with elevated priviliges (because it is installing a device driver). I was rather surprised when it didn't work. So I tried running your application by right clicking and "Run as administrator". This didn't work either - there was no progress bar. Is this a feature of the taskbar that it is disabled when running as administrator or is there some gotcha. This was on an x64 system and the application was compiled as x64.


  • User profile image

    The Short story: The answer is yes. Taskbar is part of your explorer.exe process, which run as standard user. If you run as admin, the tasbkar manager can't cross the mitigation boundry and therefore the messages are not sent (or recieved) by the elevated running application.


    The Long story:


    Please work through the User Interface Privilege Isolation lab on 9:


    Please also see our general Windows 7 Developer Training on 9:


  • User profile image

    Many thanks Yochay - that is very helpful indeed - I will work through the lab you suggested. In general, these videos are excellent, I hope we will see many more of them.

  • User profile image

    Great video!


    Sasha, Yochay: Are there Get equivalents of the SetOverlayIcon, SetProgressValue and SetProgressState?



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