Windows 11 to restore two classic Taskbar features

Microsoft is working to bring back two essential features to the Taskbar on Windows 11.

Windows 11 Taskbar with seconds and never combine
  • Taskbar to restore seconds to the System Tray.
  • Also, Windows 11 will restore the ability never to combine apps in the Taskbar.
  • These features are still under development, and it’s unclear when they’ll be available.

Microsoft plans to bring back some classic features to the Taskbar on Windows 11, including seconds for the time and the ability never to combine apps.

On Windows 11, one of the most significant and controversial changes was the introduction of a new Taskbar that, while it might be similar to the classic version, is an entirely new design rebuilt from scratch that brings new visuals. However, it also removes many legacy features, including the ability to move the Taskbar to the top of the screen, resize the bar, and hide the System Tray clock, to name a few.

Although the company has previously stated that the legacy functionalities are not likely to return, it appears that it’s rethinking that statement because at least two classic features are expected to come back in future updates. According to a Twitter post from @thebookisclosed, the latest preview build of Windows Server hides the option to show seconds alongside the time in the System Tray. And the Taskbar settings page includes an option known as “Never Combine” to allow showing all the apps instances separately in the Taskbar instead of in a group like in older versions of Windows.

Taskbar with never combine and seconds
Taskbar with never combine and seconds (Source: @thebookisclosed)

These Taskbar functionalities a currently available in the server version of Windows 11, but they are expected to be available in the desktop version of the operating system.

While it’s good news to see Microsoft restoring classic functionalities to the Taskbar, some highly requested features, like the ability to move the bar to the top of the screen, are not likely to return. The reason is that the company plans to redesign the desktop experience in future versions, and as early prototypes have shown, Windows is likely to get a new top bar in addition to a new floating Taskbar similar to macOS.

In addition, recent previews of Windows 11 show that Microsoft is also working on various significant changes to the Settings app, including visual improvements and new features.