Here’s a little something that’s just perfect for those of you on prescription medication for your compulsive tendencies.

We’re all running more programs simultaneously than ever before. The items on the task bar at the bottom of the screen are arranged more or less in the order that programs were started, which means they’re not always consistent. That bothers some people. You know who you are.

Here’s a small free utility named Taskbar Shuffle that lets taskbar buttons be rearranged freely. When Taskbar Shuffle is running, taskbar items can be dragged and dropped into order. It doesn’t remember your preferred order after the computer restarts but it’s easy enough to put things back into place. It’s small and simple and runs on Windows XP and Vista.

No more excuses for sloppy task bars! Let’s get those buttons into alphabetical order!

taskbar While you’re staring at your task bar, think about whether you can benefit from one of my favorite tweaks. The task bar can be two or three rows high, which gives more room for Quick Launch buttons, more room for taskbar buttons, and a clock display that includes the day and date.

It only takes a second (but be careful, it’s possible to drag the task bar into terrible positions).

  • Right-click on an empty part of the task bar and uncheck Lock the taskbar.
  • Drag the top border up one row.
  • Drag the divider between the Quick Launch buttons and the task bar buttons into a position that uses the extra space effectively.
  • Then lock the taskbar again.

(Taskbar Shuffle spotted by friend and colleague Brian Dent/CompuDent Systems!)