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Windows 10 Tip: Enable Desktop Peek from the Taskbar (Updated)

Since the days of Windows 7, you could hover the mouse over the far right end of the taskbar and get a clean look at your desktop. Microsoft decided to turn this feature off by default, starting with Windows 8, and it’s off by default in Windows 10, too. Here’s how to enable it.

Note: This article has been updated to reflect the changes for Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

Enable Windows 10 Desktop Peek

First, right-click the taskbar and select Settings.

Settings Windows 10


Then select Taskbar from the list on the left. Now, on the right, toggle the Peek option on.

peek Windows 10 anniversary update

If you’re still on Version 10586 you can use the following steps:

To turn it back on, right-click an empty area of the taskbar and select Properties.

Windows 10 Taskbar properties

Then under the Taskbar tab, check the box Use Peek to preview the desktop when you move your mouse to the Show desktop button at the end of the taskbar and click OK.


That’s all there is to it! Now hover your mouse over the Show desktop button at the end of the taskbar. You’ll just see transparent outlines of the windows you have open, which allows you to see the desktop.

If you came from Windows 7 to Windows 10 and were wondering why Desktop Peek didn’t work, using quick tip brings the feature back.

Windows 10 Desktop Peek

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13 Responses to Windows 10 Tip: Enable Desktop Peek from the Taskbar (Updated)

  1. Jamie January 4, 2016 at 1:46 pm #

    I have the peek feature checked, but I only see one tab when I hover over the icon.

    • Alex October 15, 2016 at 5:37 am #

      same here

  2. Daniel A Sharp June 6, 2016 at 8:10 am #

    in version 1511 the Use Peek to preview option box is greyed out. Couldn’t put a check in it. What to do?

    • Nigel October 23, 2016 at 1:56 am #

      Did you find out what to do? I have the same problem.

  3. Arc August 23, 2016 at 12:36 pm #

    Thank you so much for this, homie! Much appreciated!

  4. Jo October 21, 2016 at 12:03 am #

    Thank you so much! The last update enabled the peak and it was driving me freakin’ crazy!

  5. danial March 23, 2017 at 6:13 pm #

    move cursor to the bottom right corner, right-click, check or uncheck peek at desktop. (tested in win 10)

    • Nigel March 24, 2017 at 2:54 am #

      Danial, I did this and although peek is ticked it is greyed out and can’t be changed. Like I commented earlier, the Use Peek to preview option box is greyed out in the taskbar settings. How do I get these items ungreyed?

  6. Danial March 24, 2017 at 6:36 am #

    I think I know what he problem is, try this:
    1. Right click on my computer and click properties.
    1. (Alternate) Press “Windows + R” on the keyboard.
    Type in sysdm.cpl
    2. Go to “Advanced” tab.
    3. In the “Performance” part click “Settings…”
    4. In the “Visual Effects” tab you can check or uncheck different things.
    5. Look for “Enable Aero Peek” and check it.
    This should solve your problem, if it didn’t then I don’t know what the problem is. Let me know anyway so I’ll find an alternate if it doesn’t work.

    • Nigel March 24, 2017 at 9:46 am #

      Yay!! That worked. It actually just said “enable peek”. Thank you Danial.

    • Slim March 26, 2017 at 6:28 am #

      Thank you, Danial!

      This worked! I always tended to remove everything from ‘Performance tab’ so Windows can be super fast (just leave checked ‘animated controls’, ‘animation taskbar’, ‘slide open’, ‘smooth edges’, ‘smooth-scroll’). Never realized the ‘enable peek’, never used before either. Now that I have been using PNotes it is much appreaciate it to just peak at desktop to see some notes (PNotes have a special tweak for that).

      Thank you very much, Danial!

    • Maryann April 2, 2017 at 6:55 pm #

      Thank you. After hours of trying, this one worked like a champ! I wish MS would stop making random changes like this.

    • V June 13, 2017 at 3:52 pm #

      I had the same problem. Thanks for your skills with the fix.

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