Windows 11 might get floating Taskbar similar to macOS

Microsoft teases new floating Taskbar and top bar with System tray icons for Windows 11.

Windows 11 floating Taskbar and top bar
Windows 11 floating Taskbar and top bar (Source: Microsoft)
  • Official Ignite video teases new floating Taskbar and top bar design for Windows 11.
  • Sources have confirmed that the designs align with Microsoft’s vision.
  • The new features may not arrive until the next version of Windows in 2024.

Microsoft briefly (by accident) shows a redesign of the Windows desktop with a floating Taskbar and top bar with different elements. The software giant is always working on the next version of its desktop operating system and playing around with new concepts, and it appears that the next version may include a redesigned desktop experience.

According to a screenshot many viewers noticed during an Ignite Keynote, Microsoft might be working on a desktop experience with a floating Taskbar to access the Start menu and apps at the bottom of the screen.

Floating Taskbar
Floating Taskbar (Source: Microsoft)

And a new transparent bar at the top showing the System tray icons and clock at the right, a weather widget on the left, and a search box in the middle.

Top bar
Top bar (Source: Microsoft)

The new design should look familiar since it is similar to the desktop design found on macOS, Linux distributions like Ubuntu, and mobile operating systems like Android and iOS.

Ubuntu Linux desktop
Ubuntu Linux desktop

Although this is a mockup, the company seems to be considering such a design. According to another report from Windows Central, Zac Bowden claims that he was shown “preliminary design ideas” of different concept designs with similar variations. For example, he notes a semitransparent bar at the top of the screen for the System tray icons and other elements.

Also, the report claims that sources have confirmed that the interface briefly shown during an Ignite session represents the design vision Microsoft plans for the next version of Windows (Next Valley) expected to arrive in 2024.

Furthermore, the software giant has plans to introduce even more visual changes, such as a new sign-in screen and notification center.

Sources also said that these design changes are meant to improve the visual of Windows to make it better for touch-enabled devices while trying not to break the keyboard and mouse experience.

In light of the new design changes, this could be one of the reasons the company decided to remove the option to move the Taskbar to the top of the screen, as the space is now reserved for the new bar.

Only remember that these are concepts that the company can cancel at any time, so it’s unclear whether the new floating Taskbar and the top bar will ever make it to a version of Windows. However, the experimental concept showing up in an official keynote video is interesting.

What are your thoughts about the floating Taskbar and the new elements? Tell us in the comments below.

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 About.me.