How to enable new Taskbar for touch on Windows 11

Windows 11 re-introduces a touch-optimized Taskbar, and here's how to try it out.

Windows 11 enable Taskbar for tablets

Microsoft is bringing back the redesigned Taskbar interfaced optimized for touch-enabled devices on Windows 11 build 25193, but it’s only available as a hidden feature. The new interface is being developed for tablets and 2-in-1 devices, and it offers two states (collapsed and expanded) to give users more screen space while providing quick access to your apps and features.

The “collapsed” state provides a minimal version of the Taskbar that hides all the icons except those essential elements from the system tray (such as time, battery, volume, and network). The collapsed state offers more space and prevents you from accidentally invoking actions when holding a tablet. Also, it includes a gripper to make it evident that you can swipe up to bring up the “expanded” state.

Taskbar collapsed
Taskbar collapsed (Source: Microsoft)

The “expanded” state provides the regular experience but is optimized for touch-enabled devices with bigger icons. You can easily switch between the two states by swiping up and down on the bottom of your device.

Taskbar expanded
Taskbar expanded (Source: Microsoft)

If you want to get hands-on with the new dialog interface, you can use a third-party tool known as “ViVeTool” created by Rafael Rivera and Lucas on GitHub to enable the new experience on your computer.

This guide will teach you the steps to enable the new Taskbar experience optimized for touch-enabled screens on Windows 11.

Enable touch-optimized Taskbar on Windows 11

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

  1. Open GitHub website.

  2. Download the file to enable the touch-optimized Taskbar.

  3. Double-click the zip folder to open it with File Explorer.

  4. Click the Extract all button.

    Extract ViveTool files

  5. Click the Extract button.

  6. Copy the path to the folder.

  7. Open Start.

  8. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.

  9. Type the following command to navigate to the Vivetool folder and press Enter:

    Cd C:\FOLDER\PATH\ViveTool-v0.3.1

    In the command, change the path to the folder with your path.

  10. Type the following command to enable the new Taskbar designed for touch-enabled devices on Windows 11 and press Enter:

    Vivetool /enable /id:26008830
  11. Restart the computer.

  12. Open Settings.

  13. Click on Personalization.

  14. Click the Taskbar tab.

  15. Click the Taskbar behaviors setting.

  16. Check the “Optimize taskbar for touch interactions when the device is used as a tablet” option.

    Enable Taskbar optimized for tablets

Once you complete the steps, if you are using a tablet or laptop with a touch-enabled display, you will be able to interact with the new Taskbar experience.

If you don’t have Windows 11 build 25193, you need to enroll in the Dev Channel using the “Windows Insider Program” settings from the “Windows Update” section. Once you enroll the device in the program, you can download build 25193 from the “Windows Update” settings by clicking the Check for Updates button, and then you can follow the steps outlined above.

If you change your mind, you can revert the changes with the same instructions, but on step No. 10, make sure to use the vivetool /disable /id:26008830 command and then restart the device.

Update September 9, 2022: Starting on build 25197, Windows 11 enables the touch-optimized version of the Taskbar, which means you no longer need to use these instructions.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, 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 Email him at [email protected].