Windows 11 is the latest sensational operating system that Microsoft recently launched. Although there are still at least six months left to get the official stable version of it, Microsoft has released the Windows 11 Insider Preview for enthusiasts and testers.
If you have installed Windows 11 on your system by Insider Program, you will find differences in it compared to Windows 10. One of the significantly noticeable changes is the new Windows 11 taskbar. The all-new taskbar has the Start button and pins app by default placed at the center and comes with many more modifications.
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In this post, we would walk through several customizations that you can apply on the latest Windows 11 taskbar.
Disable Centered Taskbar
The biggest change in the new taskbar is the position of the Start Button and pinned app icons. Unlike the traditional Windows OS, the Start menu button is placed at the center like macOS in Windows 11 taskbar. Microsoft already applied this modification in the now-discontinued Windows 10X OS.
Though the centered taskbar might be a good and modern experience for Windows users, many might still like how it was traditionally placed, i.e., to the left. You can easily do that using Windows 11 settings.
Here are the steps to disable the centered taskbar in Windows 11:
Click on the Start icon and select Settings.
Navigate to the Personalization section.
Under the Personalization Settings, choose the Taskbar from the left pane.
You will reach the Taskbar settings.
Expand the drop-down menu next to Taskbar alignment and select Left.
The Start button, along with other pinned app icons, would shift to the left.
Automatically Hide Taskbar
Many users don’t want any distractions on their screen while performing any task. If you are one of those, you can enable the automatically hide taskbar settings to clear your screen from any extra elements. For that, follow these steps:
- Follow steps 1-3 of the previous section to reach the Taskbar settings.
- Click on the Automatically hide the taskbar checkbox to enable it.
Move Windows 11 Taskbar to the top of Desktop
On Windows 10, users can easily drag the taskbar and change its position to top, right, or left. However, from Windows 11, Microsoft has disabled this function, and now the taskbar can only be positioned at the bottom of the screen.
If you still want to re-position the Windows 11 taskbar, you can do that indirectly through Windows 11 registry tweak. Follow this guide for that.
Resize Windows 11 Taskbar
If you are using Windows 11 on a larger screen, the taskbar and the icons pinned on it might seem too small and decline your viewing experience. On Windows 10, you can quickly increase the size of the taskbar at your convenience using settings. However, like the taskbar positioning, Microsoft has restricted to change the taskbar size on Windows 11.
Currently, the only way to resize the Windows 11 taskbar is through the Windows registry editor. Follow this guide for that.
Pin Apps to the Windows 11 Taskbar
Unlike Windows 10, Windows 11 does not allow you to pin application icons on the taskbar by drag and drop. However, you can quickly do that through other methods.
From Start Menu
- On your Windows 11 taskbar, click on the Start Button
- Next, click on All Apps to open your applications list.
- Right-click on the application you want to pin and select More -> Pin to taskbar.
Using Context Menu
- Right-click on the shortcut of any application that you want to pin. Shortcuts can be found on the desktop or the file location of that app.
- In the context menu, select Pin to taskbar.
Show or Hide System Icons
The taskbar contains many system app icons such as Volume, Date, Time, Battery, and more. It might be possible that you don’t use many of those icons, so you can hide them and clear the clutter. Here are the steps to hide or show icons on Windows 11:
- Right-click on the Windows 11 taskbar and select Taskbar Settings.
- Scroll down and click on Turn system icons on or off.
- Switch off the buttons next to the icon name you want to disable from the taskbar.
Show the Desktop
Traditionally, Windows OS users can switch to desktop from any application window using Windows + D keys. However, there are several other ways to do that from the taskbar.
Click the Show Desktop button in the Taskbar
There is a Show Desktop button at the extreme right of the Windows Taskbar; clicking on it would navigate you to the desktop from any screen.
Right-click the System Tray Arrow
On Windows 10, you get the Show Desktop option by right-clicking on the taskbar. On Windows 11, this option can be accessed by right-clicking on the System Tray arrow.
Task View Button
Windows 10 introduced an excellent multitasking feature known as Virtual Desktops. This Virtual Desktop feature can be quickly accessed using the Task View button on the Windows 11 taskbar. If you want, you can disable/enable the Task View button.
- Right-click on the taskbar and choose Taskbar settings.
- Look for the Show Task View button option and turn it off to disable Task View.
Pin Websites as Apps to Windows Taskbar
If you use some websites regularly, you don’t require to launch the browser and navigate to that site every time. Modern browsers provide ways to convert web pages into web apps. You can pin these web apps to the taskbar or Start Menu for quick access.
Pin web page to Taskbar using Edge
- Launch Microsoft Edge on your Windows 11 system
- Navigate to the website that you want to pin on the taskbar
- Click the Settings icon, hover the mouse pointer to the More tools, and choose Pin to taskbar.
Pin web page to Taskbar using Chrome
- Open Google Chrome web browser.
- Navigate to the website that you want to pin on the taskbar.
- Click on the Settings and choose More tools -> Create shortcut.
- Name the shortcut. It would be saved on the desktop.
- Now, right-click on the web app’s shortcut and choose Pin to taskbar.
Clean up Taskbar area
If you want your taskbar to be clutter-free, you can clean it by removing the non-essential icons.
- To unpin the icons, right-click on any of them and select unpin from the taskbar.
- To hide the Task View button, navigate to the Taskbar settings and disable it.
Getting used to the Windows 11 taskbar is pretty straightforward. The customizations listed in this guide would help you in setting up the new taskbar as per your comfort and ease of working.
Peter is an Electrical Engineer whose primary interest is tinkering with his computer. He is passionate about Windows 10 Platform and enjoys writing tips and tutorials about it.