Windows 7 Dock Toolbar/Gadget

Written by: Oliver Krautscheid - Published: Saturday, February 6th, 2010 - Comments

Do you want a Windows 7 Dock Toolbar Gadget, just like the MAC dock? There are some freeware and shareware solutions that you might want to try.

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Windows 7 Dock Toolbar

Why do you want a Windows 7 Dock Gadget?

Actually, you could say that the new Windows 7 taskbar is almost a dock, because all of the desktop icons can be pinned to the taskbar.

So, the question is, why would you want a dock toolbar for Windows 7?

a) If you want to turn Windows 7 into a MAC, using our MAC Windows 7 Theme
b) The dock gadget simply looks better
c) You can add separators to group dock icons (this is also possible in Windows 7 with a few hacks)

Freeware: XWindows Dock 2.0

The XWindows Dock supports Windows Vista and Windows 7 and can be customized via drag & drop.

Here’s a demonstration how the Windows 7 dock gadget could look on your desktop:

Windows 7 Dock Toolbar

Download  Windows 7 Dock Toolbar/Gadget

So, download the dock toolbar, install it and then you’ll already have a couple of icons on that new dock. Unfortunately, XWindows Dock 2.0 is not able to auto-recognize the icons associated with a shortcut, therefore you have to manually assign each dock icon via drag & drop. It’s really simple, just takes some time.

Drag an icon onto your new dock toolbar and you will see that it’s a blank placeholder. (Btw, dragging an icon onto the dock can be a little tricky, just keep trying).

Right-click on the blank icon and click “Properties”:

Windows 7 Dock: Icon Properties

You can now drag & drop any .ico files and even .png files to replace the blank icon:

Drag & Drop Windows 7 Dock Icon

Windows 7 Dock: Opera Icon

Beautiful Token Dock Icons

But where to get some beautiful dock icons in the first place? At DeviantArt, I found some really cool Dock Icons, that you can also use for our Windows 7 dock bar!

Beautiful Dock Icons

brsev created this amazing set of dock icons, you can download them here.

Freeware Solution: Stardock’s Object Dock

Stardock’s Object Dock is available for free. If you like, you can even upgrade to Object Dock Plus for $19.99, which allows you to create dock tabs (to organize many dock icons) and even colorize your dock toolbar.

Stardock Object Dock for Windows 7

ObjectDock Plus ObjectDock Plus

The great advantage of Object Dock is that it will auto-recognize your icons and simply use the default icon; this seems not to work in XWindows Dock 2.0.

Stardock Object Dock Icons

XWindows Dock + Object Dock = Compatible

If you feel like it, you can simply install both and use two object dock toolbars. If you own the plus edition of Object Dock, you can have multiple docks anyway, but if you don’t this might be a handy track. I’m not sure if this works on dual-monitors, but it will work at least on 1 monitor.

Multi-Dock Toolbar on Windows 7

Multi-Monitor Taskbar

As suggest, you can buy Object Dock Plus for only $19.99 (I own a copy and I’m pretty satisfied) or you might want to check out our post Multi-Monitor Taskbar for Windows 7


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Written by: Oliver Krautscheid
Oliver is the founder and lead editor of this site. He is interested in finding new ways to break Windows, find common errors and help others to fix them. Aside from that, he loves to fully customize systems with Rainmeter and Dreamscene, find out more about ancient civilizations like the Chachapoya, sharpen his digital photography skills and create software with a small group of selected developers. If you would like to connect with him to discuss anything, send him a mail!

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14 Responses to Windows 7 Dock Toolbar/Gadget

  1. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    Marcus said:

    Hey this is neat stuff – I wasn’t aware of the Xwindows dock, which seems to me to be a damn sight better than the objectdock prog. I tend to find a lot of StarDocks stuff really intrusive, cause the files just seem to be everywhere in the hard drive – and I don’t really like a lot of their things – with the exception of the Fences prog, which totally takes me back to Windows 3.1! Thanks for the info!

  2. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    Marcus said:

    NORTON DETECTED SONAR SECURITY RISK -= SOURCE XWD.EXE
    I was looking forward to using something that seemed to look graphically more pleasing than the ObjectDock option, but Norton fails to tell me what exactly xwd.exe was up to for it to pick it up as a security risk. Any ideas?

  3. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    sOliver said:

    @Marcus, I think that might be a false positive, the software has a very good reputation.

  4. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    Safi said:

    Hi dear!

    WOW I can jst say U are geni. U have made a super professional job. I installed it everything worked fine but I couldnt put my “start” icon on the dock. (Start button from windows 7, really want it to be on Dock as u have shown above)

    Thanx in advance
    Greets

  5. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    FelixJr. said:

    This is cool and have fixed my desktop. However can anyone please teach me to remove my recycle bin from desktop. It can be deleted even though i already have one on my dock.

  6. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    sOliver said:

    @Felix read this tutorial:
    http://windows7themes.net/how-to-remove-recycle-bin-from-desktop-in-windows-7.html

    Should explain everything :)

  7. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    Matt said:

    Thanks for this great list.

    I myself use the Native Windows 7 Taskbar on the bottom of my screen but have a Tabbed Dock from Object Dock Plus running on the top of my PC.

    I think Object Dock plus is AWESOME and have been using it for a few years, my DELL PC came with a Dock designed by Stardock, the makers of Object Dock, but still Object Dock is far superior.

    Again, thanks for this tutorial.

    And No, I don’t work for Stardock ;) just a happy customer.

  8. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    Nikita del Rosario said:

    Hi.. object dock was a great idea and it really helped me to organize my desktop icons.. but the problem is that my mozilla firefox and yahoo messenger icons dont appear on my taskbar.. what appears is like its an unknown icon.. what i mean is the icon picture doesn’t display on my taskbar but my mozilla and YM works fine.. it’s just the icon display on my taskbar.. how do i fix this?

  9. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    Nikita del Rosario said:

    oh and i forgot to tell you.. I’m using windows 7 ultimate 32-bit

  10. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    sOliver said:

    Nikita, did you try to right-click the dock icons and click on Properties or something similar? I will have to install ObjectDock again to test it.. give me a sec

  11. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    Julio said:

    Is there a way to put GPU and CPU temperatures on Xwindows Dock, 3D? I use Real Temp and Evga Precision softwares.

  12. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    Tomasu said:

    what about
    RK Launcher – my favourite on win(esp. with kkmenu)
    YzDock
    Rocket Dock
    Aqua Dock
    Cairo Dock – Xserver
    am sure there are some more even on other platforms I have dock on my Nokia6300 too, as well as dock on my debian workstation simply I love docks, but none of them had original mac usage (some of them with some tweaking are close but still not 100%). I can compare with OSX10.4 and 10.5. Reason is Native implementation. win 7 taskmenu is best M$ guys could copy with keeping win style ,but hey original is original, copy even the best one is still just another copy – newer as good. ;)

  13. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    sOliver said:

    Tomasu, that’s a pretty useful list of docks for Windows 7. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    Kyt said:

    I’m using a 64-bit Lenovo laptop and version 2.0.3 and having no issues. However, if you allow the email access for the Gmail plug-in, then Norton might think its a security risk. I disallowed that feature as I don’t care how many millions of unopened mail I have. ;)

    Thanks for the great Dock! I found it easy to switch out the icons to what I prefer to see. As much as I LOVE Freeplane, I HATE their stupid bee picture. LOL I now see the Maraud… Map pic. :D I even have a cute little mouse substituting for the silly bright yellow icon with TweetDeck.

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