How to enable or disable Taskbar for tablets on Windows 11

Windows 11 has a new Taskbar experience for tablets, and in this guide, you will learn how to enable or disable the feature.

Windows 11 enable Taskbar for tablets
Windows 11 enable Taskbar for tablets

On Windows 11, you can turn the Taskbar for tablets on or off, and in this guide, you will learn how. As part of the feature drop (moment 2) rolling out in March 2023, Windows 11 is rolling out a new Taskbar design for tablets that will automatically transition to tablet mode when disconnecting or folding the keyboard on a convertible device.

The Taskbar offers the “collapsed” and “expanded” modes. The “collapsed” mode hides all the icons except those essential ones from the system tray, giving you more space and preventing you from accidentally invoking the Taskbar when holding your tablet.

On the other hand, in the “expanded” mode, the Taskbar is optimized for touch with bigger icons. You can easily switch between the two states by swiping up and down on the bottom of your device.

Taskbar for tablets design
Taskbar for tablets design

This guide will teach you the steps to manage the Taskbar for tablets feature on Windows 11. (The feature won’t be available on laptops or desktops. Only for touch-enable devices.)

Enable Taskbar for tablets on Windows 11

To enable the Taskbar optimized for tablets on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 11

  2. Click on Personalization.

  3. Click the Taskbar tab.

  4. Click the Taskbar behaviors setting.

  5. Check the “Optimize taskbar for touch interactions when this device is used as a tablet” option to enable the feature.

    Enable Taskbar optimized for tablets

Once you complete the steps, when the device is in tablet mode, the new Taskbar design will activate.

Turn on Tablet-optimized Taskbar from Registry

If the option is not available through the Settings app, you can force enable the feature by modifying the Registry.

To turn on the Tablet-optimized Taskbar from the Registry on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for regedit and click the top result to open the Registry.

  3. Navigate to the following path:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
  4. Right-click the Advanced key, select the New menu, and select the “DWORD (32-bit) value” option.

    Registry ExpandableTaskbar

  5. Name the key ExpandableTaskbar and press Enter.

  6. Double-click the newly created key and set its value to 1 to enable the Taskbar design for tablets.

    Registry enable Taskbar for tablets

  7. Click the OK button.

After you complete the steps, the redesigned Taskbar for tablets will enable on Windows 11.

Disable Taskbar for tablets on Windows 11

To disable the Taskbar for tablets on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 11

  2. Click on Personalization.

  3. Click the Taskbar tab.

  4. Click the Taskbar behaviors setting.

  5. Clear the “Optimize taskbar for touch interactions when this device is used as a tablet” option to disable the feature.

    Enable Taskbar optimized for tablets

Once you complete the steps, the traditional Taskbar experience will remain active whether you use the mouse or touch gestures with the computer.

Turn off Tablet-optimized Taskbar from Registry

You can also use the Registry to disable the Taskbar design for tablets. Although these instructions can come in handy in many scenarios, it’ll be particularly useful if the new tablet design enables automatically after an update on a device that doesn’t include support for the feature.

To turn off the Tablet-optimized Taskbar on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for regedit and click the top result to open the Registry.

  3. Navigate to the following path:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
  4. Right-click the Advanced key, select the New menu, and select the “DWORD (32-bit) value” option.

    Registry ExpandableTaskbar

  5. Name the key ExpandableTaskbar and press Enter.

  6. Double-click the newly created key and set its value to 0 to disable the Taskbar design for tablets.

    Registry disable Taskbar for tablets

  7. Click the OK button.

After you complete the steps, the Taskbar for tablets will disable on Windows 11.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows expert and the Editor-in-Chief who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He is also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 12 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows, software, and related technologies, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me.