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  1. A few days ago, Microsoft released a new Windows 11 build in the Dev Channel. According to the official changelog, the update contains only general bugfixes and improvements. Still, some Windows Insiders quickly noticed something unusual happening on the taskbar after installing build 25179. As it turned out, Microsoft is testing a new icon flyout animation, and although it is a part of A/B testing, you can force-enable it using ViveTool. The new taskbar animation ditches the old fly-up style in favor of a new zoom-in variant—a subtle UI change that might generate different opinions among Windows Insiders. Here is a comparison of the new animations, courtesy of PhantomOcean3: Like with other A/B experiments in Windows 11 preview builds, some users can enjoy the new animation without software hacks and tricks, while others cannot. If you are the latter, ViveTool is here to save your day. Note: Force-enabling hidden features and capabilities Microsoft is testing in A/B mode can cause unexpected results or instabilities. Proceed at your own risk and remember to back up important data. How to enable the new taskbar animation in Windows 11 build 25179? Download ViveTool from its repository on GitHub using this link. Extract files wherever it is convenient for you—for example, C:\Vive. Launch Windows Terminal as Administrator and navigate to the folder with the ViveTool files using the CD command. Here is an example: CD C:\Vive. Now type the following command: vivetool /enable /id:39072097 and press Enter. Restart your computer to apply the changes and watch the taskbar load with the new animation. In case you do not like the updated taskbar animation, use the vivetool /disable /id:39072097 command to revert to the original variant. Do you like the new animation or maybe prefer the previous version? Share your thoughts in the comments. Windows 11 build 25179 gets new taskbar animation, here is how to enable it
  2. The latest Windows 11 build Microsoft released this week contains an updated taskbar with new search buttons. As usual (and incredibly annoyingly), Microsoft grants access to new features only to some insiders, effectively playing the software lottery with those willing to test pre-release software from a company worth $1.9 trillion for free. If you are one unlucky insider with no access to the latest stuff from Microsoft, here is how to enable the new taskbar in Windows 11 Dev build 25158. Disclaimer: Enable experimental features in Windows 11 at your own risk, and always backup important files and data. How to enable the new search button on the taskbar in Windows 11 Dev: Download the ViveTool app from its repository on GitHub and extract files anywhere you like. Run Windows Terminal as Administrator and go to the ViveTool's folder using the CD command. For example, CD C:ViveTool. Type .\vivetool /enable /id:39072097 /variant:, then place a number after the colon. 1 and 2 - a button with the “Search” word. 3 - a button with a magnifying glass with a globe inside it. 4 - a button with a globe and a small magnifying glass. 5 - a “Search the web” button. Here is an example of a working command: .\vivetool /enable /id:39072097 /variant:4. Note that the app now uses new commands introduced in recent updates. Restart the explorer.exe process in Task Manager, or simply restart your computer. If you want to revert the changes, use the .\vivetool /disable /id:39072097 command. In case you missed it, Microsoft is also testing a search bar on the desktop, similar to the one Google uses in Android. We have a dedicated guide that describes how to enable search on the desktop in Windows 11. Which one of the new search icons in Windows 11 build 25158 do you like the most? Share your thoughts in the comments. Guide: How to enable the updated taskbar in Windows 11 Dev build 25158
  3. Yesterday, we reported that Microsoft has no plans to allow users to change the Taskbar location in Windows 11, because it thinks that not enough people want it, hence it's not high on its priority list. It also cited engineering difficulties in the process and basically said that it has no plans to make the Taskbar movable again in Windows 11. Well, none of that reasoning makes any sense, so let's break down Microsoft's argument and discuss it in more detail. Microsoft's Head of Product Tali Roth started off by saying that: When it comes to something like actually being able to move the taskbar to different locations on the screen, there's a number of challenges with that. When you think about having the taskbar on the right or the left, all of a sudden the reflow and the work that all of the apps have to do to be able to understand the environment is just huge. Having the Taskbar on the right or left apparently breaks the flow of apps... even though it worked fine in Windows 10? That's kind of the crux of the problem here, when Microsoft rebuilt the Taskbar from scratch, it essentially removed a lot of the functionality that people used in Windows 10. This was done in the name of simplification and I have complained about this before too. Coming over to another problem, the rebuilt Taskbar is reportedly a relic from the now-defunct Windows 10X, an OS that was being designed for dual-screen devices where design simplification was needed. Simply porting it over to Windows 11 meant that people on regular devices lost a lot of functionality in the process. In other words, there was no massive demand to redesign the Taskbar for existing, "traditional" Windows devices. Microsoft essentially broke what was already working fine for everyone. There's another interesting thing to talk about here too. Microsoft has cited engineering difficulties in making the Windows 11 Taskbar movable... but, a comparatively much smaller company like Stardock has already implemented it just fine through its Start11 software, which allows the Taskbar to be moved to the top, at least. If third-party developers can put in the time and effort to fix Microsoft's mistakes, there's no reason why an organization as big as Microsoft can't invest the same level of effort and commitment in its own software. If you can't allow moving the Taskbar to the left or right, at least allow people to move it to the top for now, because that is definitely possible through third-party tools. Now, talking about the second part of Roth's argument: And when you look at the data, while we know there is a set of people that love it that way and, like, really appreciate it, we also recognize that this set of users is really small compared to the set of other folks that are asking for other features. So at the moment we are continuing to focus on things that I hear more pain around. This part of the statement really irks me. Microsoft claims that not enough people want to move the Taskbar... but, that is the most requested feature in the Feedback Hub, by quite a hefty margin. Microsoft casually dismissing this fact is problematic since it has always talked about how user feedback is crucial to Windows development. If we believe that Microsoft is indeed right and that it has formed this conclusion based on telemetry data, that has other implications. That means that the company might as well just throw out the Feedback Hub because it would rather give telemetry more importance. And to be honest, I'd be okay with that considering we are now seeing that feedback in that service is apparently not important enough to Microsoft at all. But the company needs to be transparent about it, you can't have a Feedback Hub for the public and then ignore it based on your internal metrics and priorities. Overall, I don't think Microsoft's argument holds enough weight. I'm not involved in Windows development so I can't speak on behalf of the engineering difficulties but we do have evidence that moving the Taskbar to at least the top is possible and that enough people do want the feature, so I think it makes sense to call Microsoft out on this. People didn't ask for Taskbar functionalities to be removed so they shouldn't have to beg for them to be returned. It's not simply a matter of "stay on Windows 10 if you want this feature so much", it's a matter of principle and a case of Microsoft ignoring clear public demand. What do you think of Microsoft not making the Taskbar movable in Windows 11? Does the company's argument hold any weight? Disclaimer: Neowin's relationship to Stardock Microsoft's argument for not allowing us to move the Windows 11 Taskbar makes no sense
  4. Microsoft recently held an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on YouTube, where engineering and product teams answered questions about the latest features and capabilities in Windows 11. One of the discussed topics was the option to move the taskbar to the top or sides of the screen. If you have been waiting for this feature, bad news: Microsoft thinks moving the taskbar is not important enough, and, most likely, this feature is not coming any time soon. The Start menu and taskbar are among the most controversial changes in Windows 11. Microsoft threw away the old taskbar during the development process and started making the new one from scratch. As a result, developers had to decide what features needed to be ready for the initial launch, what features they could postpone, and what features were not worth the effort. The option to move the taskbar fell into the last category. Long story short, Microsoft thinks bringing back the movable taskbar is too much work for too few users. Here is how Tali Roth, Microsoft's Head of Product, explains the situation: When it comes to something like actually being able to move the taskbar to different locations on the screen, there's a number of challenges with that. When you think about having the taskbar on the right or the left, all of a sudden the reflow and the work that all of the apps have to do to be able to understand the environment is just huge. And when you look at the data, while we know there is a set of people that love it that way and, like, really appreciate it, we also recognize that that se of users is really small compared to the set of other folks that are asking for other features. So at the moment we are continuing to focus on things that I hear more pain around. It is one of those things that we are still continuing to look at, and we will keep looking to feedback, but at the moment we do not have a plan or a set date for when we would, or if we should, actually build the side taskbar. The logic behind the explanation is easy to understand. Windows enthusiasts are quite a vocal yet relatively small community in the Windows install base with more than 1.3 billion devices. Microsoft needs to constantly balance satisfying its hardcore fans and keeping the priorities in check for the entire audience. Oftentimes, decisions Microsoft makes in favor of the larger group of users hurt the enthusiasts. But the funny thing about the taskbar is that the Feedback Hub directly clashes with what Tali Roth has said. The ability to move the taskbar is the most upvoted feedback piece, with more than 17,600 thumb-ups and 1200 comments. Unless Microsoft has another tool to source more feedback from "regular" users, you can tell quite a large chunk of Windows 11 customers want Microsoft to bring back the missing feature more than everything else. People do not want stickers on the desktop. They want the taskbar they have lost. Fortunately, third-party developers thrive where Microsoft fails. You can reclaim some of the most popular taskbar features killed by Windows 11 with help from Start11 and similar utilities. Start11 recently introduced the option to ungroup icons on the taskbar, plus it lets you move the taskbar to the top. You can learn more about changes in the latest Start11 release here. Do you think the option to move the taskbar is overhyped? Share your thoughts in the comments. Microsoft says changing taskbar location in Windows 11 is not important
  5. TaskbarRepairToolPlus! Features : This application allows you to Repair and Customize the Quick Launch, Taskbar and Notification Area in Windows XP. These are the options available via this tool. Taskbar Taskbar is Missing Lock Taskbar Greyed Out Minimized Programs Missing Stuck in Classic View Reduce Size of Buttons Restore to XP Default (clickable) Toolbars Greyed Out or Missing Remove Specific Toolbars or Remove All Remove System Icons from Desktop Toolbar Disable Taskbar Context Menus Remove Taskbar and Start Menu from the Control Panel Disable Right Click/Properties Lock Size and Position of the Taskbar Remove Open, Explore and Find from Start Button Right Click Remove Open All, Explore All Users from the Start Button Right Click Hide or Show the Taskbar Repair Taskbar Icon Views Hide or Show the Start Button Restore Taskbar to Default Position Enable or Disable Taskbar Grouping (Removes the options from Properties) Repair, Disable or Enable the Task Manager Notification Area Hide or Show All Listed Icons Hide or Show All Inactive Icons Remove Past Items Show Missing Icons Restore/Remove the Clock Disable Balloon Tips Remove the Notification Area Remove Selective Icons (also from Msconfig/Registry) Disable Low Disk Space Warning Message and Icon Quick Launch Can't Create Toolbar Error Message (Create) Can't Create Toolbar Error Message (Repair) This one corrects the current issue that spyware cleaners break. Restore Show Desktop Icon Remove the Quick Launch Area Save Quick Launch Sort Order Auto Add Specific Links to Quick Launch Set Quick Launch as Default for any new user added Homepage: http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp.htm Download Link + proper patch : http://rghost.net/49843278
  6. FalconX is an open source program that can center the taskbar icons One area in Windows that has not evolved over different versions that much is the taskbar. Microsoft made the last fundamental change to it when it released Windows 7. The company made several minor adjustments in recent versions of Windows but that is about it. FalconX is an open source tool that adds new functionality to the operating system's taskbar. The application is also known as Center Taskbar or Falcon, and we have reviewed it back in 2018 for the last time. Windows 7 users could also use a manual method to center taskbar items. FalconX is a portable application. Run the program and your taskbar icons will now be placed smack-dab in the middle of the taskbar. This gives a dock-like experience and some users may find the icons easier to reach as a consequence. The program sits on the system tray and you can access its options by right-clicking the icon and selecting "Settings". Animation You can choose the animation style from the Settings Screen. FalconX has 42 animations to choose from and if you don't like any of those, you can disable animation completely. There is an option to adjust the animation speed, which you can set by using the slider or enter the precise ms (Millisecond) number in the box. Position You can set the offset position of the taskbar, in terms of pixels. The default value is 0 and you may adjust it using a slider or by entering values manually; This is useful if you want to move the taskbar to a particular position, for e.g. towards the right side of the screen. Taskbar Style FalconX has three taskbar styles that you can choose from: Transparent, Blur and Acrylic. The last one is marked as unstable by the developer, but it worked pretty well during tests. The styles are disabled by default, so technically the default Windows 10 style acts as a fourth option. The Blur style adds a frosted glass effect to the taskbar, while the Transparent setting offers an immersive experience. You can view the changes immediately without having to restart the application. Here's what the Acrylic style looks like. You can still apply Windows' own Taskbar customizations such as changing the icon size or enabling auto-hide. Note: If you have auto-hide enabled for the taskbar and choose a style in FalconX, the taskbar will not apply the effect based on the wallpaper, rather it uses the color of the current window. So, if you're on a webpage with a white theme, the taskbar turns white-ish, and the system tray becomes nearly unreadable. This isn't an issue if you don't use auto-hide. The refresh button reloads the application. You can enable the "Run at Startup" option to make the program load during Windows' boot. If you have the Search Bar enabled on your taskbar, you can enable the "Center between Start or Search" option in FalconX, and the program will center the icons between the two Windows UX elements. FalconX works with multiple monitors as well. Though it is available for free from GitHub, an optional paid version is available from the Windows Store. Closing Words The program is quite light-weight and used about 2MB of memory and less than 1% of the CPU (usually about 0.2%) during my tests. When the Settings screen was in view, i.e., when the program switches from a background task to a foreground app, the memory usage was a bit higher but still under 7MB memory and 3% CPU usage. Source: FalconX is an open source program that can center the taskbar icons (gHacks)
  7. Windows 11 has so far received a positive response from the users, and while much of that is well deserved, a sizeable population is still upset over Microsoft’s decision to do away with certain features. One of the downsides of the latest Windows desktop OS is that the new taskbar isn’t as functional as that of the previous versions of Windows, not being able to drag and drop files into app icons like File Explorer on the taskbar is one of the limitations. Thankfully, the company is willing to fix some of the limitations in the upcoming version of Windows 11. According to sources close to Deskmodder, Microsoft is currently readying the ability to drag an icon into the taskbar for a release after Christmas. The Dev Channel subscribers will be the first to get a taste of the feature. And for those running the Stable version of the OS, you may have to wait until October 2022, which is when Windows 11 version 22H2 (October 2022 Update) will be available for the general public. Drag and drop to taskbar blocked | OS running: Windows 11 Version 22489 Microsoft has probably been working on the drag and drop feature since August or earlier as it first appeared on Windows 11 Build 22458, which was released in August. However, in order for the feature to work, you needed to modify the registry. Long story short, the drag and drop feature has already been integrated, but it doesn’t work without some modifications in the registry editor. And the good news is that, after Christmas(hopefully), anyone with the latest Windows 11 build will be able to use the drag and drop feature without having to modify the registry. Drag and drop working after modifying registry | Image: Windows Latest Microsoft will include a ton of other changes in the upcoming Windows 11 Dev builds, and we’ll get to know about them as and when Microsoft releases a new build. Rest assured, you’ll be apprised of all the new features that make their debut on future Windows 11 builds, so stay tuned. Microsoft is reportedly bringing this useful taskbar feature back to Windows 11
  8. You can tweak your new taskbar — somewhat Part of The Verge Guide to Windows If you’ve updated your computer from Windows 10 to Windows 11, you may find that your taskbar isn’t quite as configurable — and perhaps not quite as useful — as it was before. For example, the old, familiar Start menu with its configurable Live Tiles is now gone. The search box is no longer within the taskbar but is accessed by first clicking on the Start menu — an extra step. (Although the fact that Cortana is no longer automatically part of that search box can be considered, by many at least, as a plus.) Another thing: the taskbar is now permanently affixed to the bottom of the screen — so if you were more comfortable having it on top of the screen, or on either side, you’re out of luck. As you might imagine, Windows users are already posting fixes for at least some of these issues — as long as you’re comfortable tweaking your Windows Registry. For example, there’s one that purportedly lets you move the taskbar to the top of the screen, and another that lets you change the size of the taskbar. It’s possible that Microsoft will bring back some of these abilities in future updates of the new OS. For now, let’s concentrate on how you can adjust the current Windows 11 taskbar. Pin an app to the taskbar Pinning an app to the taskbar at the bottom can be a little — well, weird. There are several ways to handle it: If an app is running, its icon will appear in the taskbar with a line underneath to indicate that it is active. If you want its icon to remain in the taskbar even after you’ve closed it, then right-click on the icon and select “Pin to taskbar.” Right-click on an active icon and select “Pin to taskbar” If an app isn’t running, but its icon is on your desktop, you can pin it to the Taskbar as well. Right-click on the desktop icon and click on “Show more options.” A longer menu will open up; about two-thirds down, you’ll see “Pin to taskbar.” You can also click on the Start icon, select the “All apps” button, and then right-click on the app you want. If you don’t see “Pin to taskbar” in the menu that pops up, then select “More” and you’ll see “Pin to taskbar.” You can also pin an app to your taskbar from the “All apps” menu. Remove an app from the taskbar Most apps are simple to remove: just right-click on the icon and select “Unpin from taskbar.” A few of the icons take a little more effort to remove. The Start menu icon is, as might be expected, unremovable. But there are four other icons that can’t be removed but can be hidden. The easiest way to do that is: Right click on the taskbar. Select “Taskbar settings.” (You can also get there by going to “Settings” > “Personalization” > “Taskbar.”) Toggle off any of the four icons — “Search,” “Task view,” “Widgets,” or “Chat” — that you want to hide. You can hide four of the standard taskbar icons. Move your icons to the left Those of us who having been using Windows 10 (or 7 or earlier iterations) are used to accessing the Start menu from the lower left-hand corner of the screen. If your muscle memory keeps your hand drifting to that corner, you can move the center app icons so they are to your left instead: Right-click on the taskbar and click on “Taskbar settings.” Select “Taskbar behaviors.” Look for “Taskbar alignment” and click on the button on the right where it says “Center.” Select “Left” instead. Close the settings window, and you’ll see that the app icons in the taskbar have moved to the left, with the Start menu icon in the corner. You can move the icons from the center to the left of the taskbar. Incidentally, the “Taskbar behaviors” section of the settings lets you do more than move your icons to the left. It also lets you automatically hide the taskbar (something that’s been a taskbar behavior for a very long time); show a badge on taskbar apps to let you know if, say, you have any unread messages; handle how the taskbar works on multiple displays; and show a clean desktop by clicking on the far right corner of the taskbar. Taskbar behaviors include hiding the taskbar and showing unread messages. Taskbar corner icons and overflow While the taskbar corner icons and the overflow window aren’t new, I never actually knew what they were called before. To tell you the truth, when I first saw the phrase “Taskbar corner overflow,” I pictured a bunch of app icons flowing out of the display like Niagara Falls. Turns out the corner icons are the icons in the right corner of the taskbar — the ones that show the time and date, your battery status, your volume level, and your Wi-Fi status, among other things. The overflow is the little pop-up menu that appears when you select the arrow to the left of those corner icons. For the most part, the icons in the overflow window are meant to notify you when there is something that needs to be done — messages that have arrived or an update that is needed. This is also handy for apps, like Discord, that tend to run in the background; you can shut them down easily from the overflow by right-clicking on the icon and looking for the “quit” selection. While most of the corner icons that come with Windows are permanent, some — specifically, the Pen menu, the Touch keyboard, and the Virtual touchpad — can be hidden. They can be found on the same taskbar settings menu that let us move the icons to the left; just click on “Taskbar corner icons” and toggle off the ones you don’t want to see. The overflow menu lets you handle apps that run in the background. How to customize your Windows 11 taskbar
  9. In June, Microsoft announced the Windows 11 update which brought a new UI, features and under the hood changes to the operating system. However, along with the features, the company also removed some features, one of which was the ability to move the taskbar. For a long time, Windows has offered an option to move taskbar, allowing users to put the taskbar in one of the four sides of the screen. However, with Windows 11, users will be restricted to having the taskbar at the bottom of the screen as Microsoft has removed the option to move it to the sides or to the top. You can view our deep dive on the Windows 11 taskbar and the changes from Window 10 in our Closer Look article. Removing the ability to move the taskbar did not sit well with Windows users and an entry on the Feedback Hub has now gained over 20,000 upvotes with users demanding Microsoft to bring back the ability to move taskbar to the sides or the top. On the Feedback Hub, users note that they don't plan to upgrade to Windows 11 unless Microsoft adds the feature as the location of taskbar is integral to their daily workflow. Unfortunately, Microsoft has posted a generic response to the thread which you can read below: We'll be continuing to evolve Windows 11 and its features based on feedback like this, so thank you so much for taking the time to give us your feedback! With Windows 11 slated to roll out from October 5, we don't expect to see the feature back in time. However, we do hope that Microsoft takes the feedback into consideration and adds the feature back at a later stage. You can find the Feedback Hub entry here to give your own upvote or comment. Ability to move the Windows 11 taskbar is the most requested feature on Feedback Hub
  10. Following its release in the Windows Insider Program a couple of months ago, Windows 11 finally has a general availability date of October 5, roughly a month from now. While the OS is still under active development, we feel that it is worth looking into some of its features in more detail and give our readers an idea about what to expect come October 5, or whenever they decide to upgrade. So far, we have explored and discussed Search, Widgets, the Start menu, and Snap Layouts and Snap Groups in considerable detail. Today, we'll be taking a look at the taskbar, which has gone through a major revamp in Windows 11 and is usually the first thing that people notice in Microsoft's marketing material and promotion. Before we dive into the taskbar, it is important to remember that given Windows 11's active development status, it's possible that some of the things we talk about may change by the time of general availability. For the purpose of this hands-on, we'll be taking a look at Windows 11 build 22000.168 that was released last week versus a publicly available and up-to-date Windows 10 (version 21H1 build 19043.1165). Taskbar in Windows 10 As usual, we start with the Windows 10 taskbar to freshen up our memories a bit. By default, the taskbar is justified to the left with the Windows button for the Start menu and some other controls like Search and Task View next to it. You can right-click on the taskbar and then choose to hide or show certain controls using the context menu. You can pin items like apps and shortcuts to the taskbar depending upon your use-case. Personally, I pin my most-used apps to the taskbar with the least-used apps pinned closer to the left corner. On the right side of the taskbar, we have a space for the recent "News and Interests" widget (that can be disabled), following by some other system icons such as battery, internet connectivity, device volume, time and date, and the notification tray. Taskbar personalization settings in Windows 10 Microsoft offers a ton of customization options for the taskbar in Windows 10, and some of them can be seen above. These include locking the taskbar, hiding it in tablet mode, changing its location, disabling badges, combining taskbar buttons, and a separate batch of settings for multiple displays and contacts. You can configure a lot of settings here to customize the taskbar to your liking and use-case and it's fairly flexible. Taskbar in Windows 11 When we move over to Windows 11, the situation is completely different and in stark contrast to Windows 10. For one, the taskbar is centered by default, which isn't a major concern for me. This is because I usually left-justify it anyway, which is still possible in Windows 11. The problem is that these are the only two alignment options Windows 11 offers. If you want to have the taskbar at the side of the display or at the top, you're out of luck. This is likely done keeping in view the new Start menu, but it will bother a lot of people who don't like either of the two available alignment options. The layout is similar to Windows 10 otherwise in the sense that the Start menu is to the left with some controls like Search, virtual desktop, widgets, and Teams pinned next to it, followed by pinned items of your own choosing. Again, the predefined apps can be hidden if you right-click on them. For people such as myself who like their own frequently-used apps closer to the middle of the display horizontally will either have to hide all the default icons or left-justify the taskbar in order to achieve the same affect as Windows 10. Coming over to more missing features, perhaps the biggest is the absence of the right-click context menu for the taskbar. On Windows 10 (scroll to the first screenshot), this menu offered a bunch of useful capabilities like cascading windows, stacking them, centrally controlling what system icons you want to enable or disable, and more. The menu is completely missing in Windows 11 and if you right-click on the taskbar, you get a measly "Taskbar settings" prompt. Another change likely to annoy people is the fact that you cannot drag-and-drop apps or shortcuts to pin them to the taskbar. Windows 11 simply does not allow this behavior. While I don't use this capability much - I go the old-fashioned way of right-clicking and then clicking on "pin to taskbar" -, the lack of it will certainly bother people who do utilize it. Taskbar behavior in Windows 11 Moving over to the right side of the taskbar, we have some other major changes. The notification area has been done away with and only shows when you do have a notification to click on. In the same vein, the notification and settings trays have been split up. Notifications now show up in a separate window, while quick settings can be accessed when you click on any of the icons in the right corner. Perhaps we'll discuss this in more detail in another Closer Look article. Quick settings behavior in Windows 11 taskbar The new quick settings UI discussed in the previous paragraph can be triggered if you click on any of the icons on the right side of the taskbar. The thing I do not like about this at all is that instead of only showing the relevant quick settings - for example, clicking on the volume icon should only show the volume controls -, it shows you all the quick settings collectively. Overall, this means that the quick settings tray now takes up less screen estate compared to Windows 10 if you want to view all settings collectively - which I appreciate - it also means that they actually take up more space compared to their predecessor if you just want to view dedicated settings. I think both the notifications and quick settings areas deserve their own Closer Look article, but I've briefly discussed them here because they are closely related to the taskbar behavior. Taskbar personalization settings in Windows 11 Moving on to the final piece of the taskbar puzzle, we have its personalization and customization settings. Similar to the taskbar itself, these configurations have been stripped back as well. As can be seen from the screenshot above, you can't lock the taskbar, use smaller icons, combine them, or move the taskbar to the top or side of the screen. Although settings for contacts are gone, those for multiple displays are still there but grouped under "Taskbar behaviors". You can also utilize these configurations to enable and disable certain taskbar items, corner items, and corner overflow items. Almost all of these settings could be found in Windows 10 as well but are grouped slightly better in Windows 11. Overall, my outlook on Windows 11 taskbar's is quite negative. Microsoft seems to have cut back on a lot of features and while I understand that some it has been done for simplicity and consistency, I don't understand why the ability to open the taskbar's context menu on right-click is not available and why items cannot be dragged and dropped to the taskbar, among many other things. My hope is that the reason for this is that Microsoft is revamping the behavior and/or UI of these components and that we may see them in upcoming builds. However, with Windows 11's general availability just around the corner, this seems like a far cry at this point - at least in terms of getting the missing capabilities by October 5. Then again, it's also possible that Microsoft wants to do away with the features completely and wants user to adjust to the current Windows 11 taskbar as the new normal. We'll likely find out more closer to October 5, but for now, I feel like too much has been taken away from the taskbar's capabilities to justify the increased simplicity. In the meantime, what are your thoughts on the current state of the Windows 11 taskbar? Do you like the changes? How would you like to see Microsoft enhance it further? Let us know in the comments section below and inform Microsoft via the Feedback Hub too. Closer Look: Taskbar in Windows 11
  11. The Windows 11 Taskbar isn't very customizable out of the box, aside from a couple of visual effects that you can toggle. There are plenty of workarounds and third-party software that can help you tweak the taskbar to your liking, and the new guy on the block that does this, is TaskbarXI. The C++ program aims to be the successor to TaskbarX (formerly FalconX), from the same developer, but TaskbarXI is still in an early development phase. It does not have an interface yet. The project's page mentions that a GUI is in the works, as are the options to change the taskbar background style and color. That said, even at this stage, it does offer some nice features. TaskbarXI is portable, download it from the project's GitHub page, run the executable, and it is ready to use. You may not notice a difference if you have a window that is maximized, i.e., the taskbar will look normal. But when you open a minimized window, or switch to the desktop, the tool will shrink the taskbar to a dock, with the wallpaper overflowing the edges. The system tray and clock are detached from the taskbar and appears like a secondary dock. The edges of the dock are rounded, but has a jagged effect due to the lack of anti-aliasing in Windows 11. The tool displays the taskbar on multiple monitors, and supports the system tray and the clock as well. If you are not a fan of the centered icons, you can use it with a left-aligned taskbar by enabling the option in Windows 11's Personalization > Taskbar screen. I think it looks better with the centered taskbar, because the left-aligned style creates a gap between the taskbar and the system tray, which looks odd. TaskbarXI supports separate DPI scaling. The application works with Windows 11's light and dark themes. There is currently no option to make any changes whatsoever, so you can't change the size of the taskbar, or its transparency, enable auto-hide, etc. Since there is no GUI, the only way to close the program is to open the Task Manager and kill the Taskbar11.exe (the name includes the version number, e.g. Taskbar11_1.0.0.0.exe), and has the description "Windows 11 Taskbar Mod". TaskbarXI crashed a few times for me, well I'm not sure if it did since it was still running in the Task Manager, but the taskbar disappeared randomly. It happened once when PotPlayer was running in windowed mode, but the other instances were random. It's understandable though, after all this is an alpha version, so instabilities are to be expected. The tool seems to be a decent start for a first release, though in my opinion RoundedTB does a similar job, and has a user-friendly interface. There are other open source options that you may choose from for customizing the Windows 11 Taskbar, including TranslucentTB, Windows 11 Drag & Drop to the Taskbar (Fix), ElevenClock, to name a few. Note: TaskbarXI developed by Chris Andriessen, should not be confused with Taskbar11, which is made by Dustin Hendriks. If you want a nicer Start Menu, there is Open Shell, which is also free and open source. There are some paid alternatives that you could opt for such as Start11 or StartAllBack, I haven't used either, so I don't know if they're better than Open Shell. TaskbarXI turns the Windows 11 Taskbar to a dock
  12. One feature that users found useful in Windows was the ability to drag and drop files onto the taskbar, to open them in the pinned program. For instance, you could drag a text file from Explorer on to the Notepad icon on the taskbar to open it. Microsoft removed this feature from Windows 11, along with quite a few options, not to mention the entire right-click menu's usability. Martin has a nice write-up that talks more about the taskbar's state in the latest operating system. If you were using the Drag and Drop feature in prior versions of Windows, and want it back, in Windows 11, there is something that you can do. Like some other fixes that we have seen, this too requires a third-party solution. How to restore drag and drop to the Taskbar in Windows 11 The utility you will need for restoring the feature, is called Windows 11 Drag & Drop to the Taskbar (Fix). The name is kind of on the nose, but the program works quite well. Download the executable from GitHub. It is a portable software which creates a config file in the same folder. Run the program and an icon will appear on the system tray. This indicates that the application is active, it needs to be running in for the functionality that it restores. To test if it works as intended, open any application that you'd like to open files in. E.g. Notepad. Minimize the window, and switch to Explorer. Drag a text document over Notepad's icon and mouse over the preview pane that appears, and click it. The file will be opened in the text editor. Note: You need to have the Microsoft Visual C++ 2015-2022 Redistributable x64 installed on your computer, else the tool won't work. How does it work? When you drag something to the taskbar, the tool waits for a few milliseconds to see if the action is valid, and simulates the Win + T hotkey. This shortcut is normally used to switch between a program's windows in the taskbar, but the application uses it to open files. The only downside to the program is that it cannot create be used to pin shortcuts to the taskbar, and according to the project's site, this function is not being worked on. Windows 11 Drag & Drop to the Taskbar (Fix) is an open-source application, you can find the source code on the project's GitHub repository. Right-click on its taskbar icon and select the Configure option, to modify its settings, you'll see the config file open in a Notepad window. The program's documentation lists several options that you can add per your requirements, so give it a read. The tool works out of the box, but it never hurts to have more options. Users who are using a custom theme may want to look into the setting that checks the colors of the pixels, to prevent the tool from accidentally detecting a mouse action as a drag. As for an official fix, Windows Latest reports that Drag and Drop for the Taskbar will be added in Windows 11 22H2, which could arrive in a few months. Restore drag and drop to the Taskbar in Windows 11 with this open-source program
  13. Here’s how to move the Windows 11 taskbar to the top of the screen When Microsoft introduced Windows 11, one of the bones of contention was the inability to move the taskbar to the top or sides of the screen, with the feature apparently deprecated. It turns out Windows 11 does have that capacity after all, but Microsoft presumably did not have time to complete its implementation. Whatever the reason, it is indeed possible to move the Windows 11 taskbar to the top of the screen, and here is how (at your own risk of course): Open Regedit. Navigate to Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ Software\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\Explorer\StuckRects3 Open the Settings value. Change the highlighted value to 01 Restart Windows Explorer by running Task manager and Restarting the Windows Explorer process. The result should look like this: Having said that, the OS is certainly not adapted to this view, and features like the notification centre and other elements still open from the bottom. See MajorGeek’s video, which demonstrates the process, below: Thanks, David Nation for the tip. Here’s how to move the Windows 11 taskbar to the top of the screen
  14. Windows users protest inability to move Windows 11 taskbar, begs Microsoft to reconsider When you upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11, some users may find some long-standing Windows features no longer supported. One of those is the ability to dock your taskbar not just to the bottom, but also top or side of your screen. Microsoft has confirmed this feature is being deprecated, saying: Taskbar functionality is changed including: People is no longer present on the Taskbar. Some icons may no longer appear in the System Tray (systray) for upgraded devices including previous customizations. Alignment to the bottom of the screen is the only location allowed. Apps can no longer customize areas of the Taskbar. For most users this will not be an issue, but for some users who have become accustomed over years to have Windows their way the coming change have been quite worrying. On Reddit user TPGJosh is asking Microsoft to reconsider, saying: One commenter is saying “oh wow, this is a major deal breaker. Many people won’t upgrade just because of this, what where they thinking?” and another notes: I’m staying far away. Switch to Linux when mine stops working and get a gaming laptop for essential windows games and programs. Do any of our readers feel so passionately about the issue? Let us know in the comments below and see what else Microsoft is removing here. Windows users protest inability to move Windows 11 taskbar, begs Microsoft to reconsider
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