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How to customize Taskbar on Windows 11

Here are seven easy ways to personalize the Taskbar experience on Windows 11.

Windows 11 Taskbar customization

Windows 11 has a new Taskbar experience, which may look similar to the one on Windows 10, but it’s not as functional anymore. For starters, items are now aligned to the center instead of the left, and the search box has been replaced with a button.

Also, the Taskbar is now locked permanently at the bottom, and you cannot place it on either side of the screen or top. The experience only supports the buttons view, and showing apps with labels is no longer an option. In addition, you can not make the icons smaller or bigger, nor can you adjust the experience’s height.

Furthermore, you can no longer drag and drop files on top of the running app to open the file in a specific app. You can’t hide the time and date or any of the system icons, and it’s no longer possible to show the clock in all the Taskbars across multiple monitors.

However, despite the limitations, it’s still possible to customize various aspects of the experience. You can change the icon’s alignment, decide which apps appear in the Taskbar, change the system tray’s appearance, tweak the settings on multi-monitor setups, and more.

In this guide, you will learn the best customization options to get the most out of the Taskbar on Windows 11.

Change Taskbar alignment to the left on Windows 11

To move the Taskbar icons and Start button to the left, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Personalization.

  3. Click the Taskbar page on the right side.

  4. Click the “Taskbar behaviors” setting.

  5. Use the “Taskbar alignment” setting and select the Left option.

    Windows 11 Taskbar left alignment

Once you complete the steps, the Start button and other icons will align to the left, like in previous versions of Windows.

Remove apps from Taskbar on Windows 11

Windows 11 comes with four new apps buttons in the Taskbar, including Search, Task View, Widgets, and Chat, and if you don’t use these features,  you can quickly remove them to make more space for other apps.

To remove apps from the Taskbar, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Personalization.

  3. Click the Taskbar page on the right side.

  4. Click the Taskbar items setting.

  5. Turn off the toggle switch for the items (Search, Task View, Widgets, or Chat).

    Taskbar remove items

After you complete the steps, the Taskbar will only show the items you need. However, the features won’t be disabled. You can still access the Search from the Start menu or using the Windows key + S keyboard shortcut. Task View is always accessible using the Windows key + Tab keyboard shortcut. You can continue to open Widgets with the Windows key + W shortcut and Windows key + C to open the Chat app.

Pin apps to Taskbar on Windows 11

To pin apps on the Taskbar, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for an app.

  3. Right-click the app and select the Pin to taskbar option.

    Taskbar pin app

Usually, you would search for the app to pin to the Taskbar, but you can technically right-click any app in the “Pinned,” “Recommended,” or in the “All apps” list to find the option.

If the app is already running, right-click the app in the Taskbar, and select the Pin to taskbar option.

Taskbar right-click pin option

If the icon is on the desktop, you can also right-click the items, select Show more options, and select the Pin to taskbar option to make it permanently available in the Taskbar.

Taskbar pin app from desktop

If you want to remove the app, right-click the app, and select the Unpin from taskbar option.

Customize Taskbar system tray on Windows 11

You can also customize various aspects of the system tray (bottom-right corner), including what app icons appear in this section and which should stay hidden in the corner overflow. You can also disable the show desktop button.

To customize the Taskbar corner, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Personalization.

  3. Click the Taskbar page on the right side.

  4. Click the “Taskbar corner overflow” setting.

  5. Turn off the toggle switch for the items you want to hide in the corner overflow.

    Taskbar corner overflow

  6. Click the “Taskbar behaviors” setting.

  7. Clear the Select the far corner of the taskbar to show the desktop option if you want to disable the option to show or hide the desktop.

    Taskbar disable show desktop button

Once you complete the steps, the system tray will reflect your customization changes.

Automatically hide Taskbar on Windows 11

To hide the Taskbar automatically when not in focus, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Personalization.

  3. Click the Taskbar page on the right side.

  4. Click the “Taskbar behaviors” setting.

  5. Check the Automatically hide the taskbar option.

    Taskbar auto hide option

After you complete the steps, the Taskbar will hide automatically as soon as you move the mouse pointer away from it. You can always move the mouse pointer to the bottom of the screen to show the Taskbar agan.

Disable app badges in Taskbar on Windows 11

Windows 11 can also show the number of unread messages for specific apps, but if the feature isn’t for you, there’s an option to disable it.

To stop seeing badges for unseen messages in the Windows 11 Taskbar, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Personalization.

  3. Click the Taskbar page on the right side.

  4. Click the “Taskbar behaviors” setting.

  5. Clear the Show badge (unread messages counter) on taskbar apps option.

    Taskbar disable badge counter

Once you complete the steps, apps in the Taskbar will no longer show badge counters for unread messages.

Show Taskbar on all monitors on Windows 11

Although the Taskbar is not as customizable as in previous versions when it comes to multiple displays, you can still decide how the Taskbar should appear across monitors.

To show the taskbar on all the displays, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Personalization.

  3. Click the Taskbar page on the right side.

  4. Click the “Taskbar behaviors” setting.

  5. Check the Show my taskbar on all taskbar option.

    Taskbar multi-monitor settings

  6. (Optional) Use the When using multiple displays, show my taskbar apps setting to decide how the taskbar should appear on a multi-monitor setup:

    • All taskbars.
    • Main taskbar and taskbar where window is open.
    • Taskbar where window is open.

After you complete the steps, the Windows 11 Taskbar will appear across monitors according to your configuration.

Although some of the old features may return in future updates, you can use third-party tools and Registry to bring some of the old functionalities back. For example, you can use apps to bring back the drag and drop support for files and show the clock on all monitors, and you can change the Taskbar size or change the position to the left, right, or top of the screen using the Registry.