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Friday, December 1, 2023

Microsoft plans to make Windows 11 taskbar less cluttered

The taskbar in Windows 11 has undergone significant changes. There are a few drawbacks to the design’s recent overhaul to accommodate up-to-date context menus and APIs. For instance, there is a conspicuous lack of some long-loved features.

Recent updates to the OS have included some much-requested features, such as the option to pin frequently-used files and applications to the taskbar. Microsoft is working on a couple of new features for the taskbar, despite the fact that some Windows 11 features are still missing and the taskbar’s performance remains a concern.

The taskbar decluttering feature is currently in testing and will be available in the next technical preview build. Users can accomplish this by disabling the system tray and other indicators of time and date.

Old taskbar
The standard Windows taskbar layout, complete with icons and the time and date. Image: thewindowsfan.com

The new customization options in Windows 11 may be especially useful for mobile devices with limited screen real estate or for those who favor a streamlined interface.

New taskbar clean look
A button-free taskbar, courtesy of TheWindowsFan.com

Select “Adjust date and time.” from the context menu that appears when you right-click the clock in the system tray. Microsoft is currently testing the feature in the Dev channel on Windows 11 preview build 23440. Everyone should have access to this switch by the fall.

Taskbar date time settings
Change the time and date in the system tray of your taskbar with the new option! | Photo: TheWindowsFan.com

As was previously mentioned, alongside the ongoing addition of new features to the taskbar, Microsoft also plans to bring back certain features. One upcoming revision could sidestep the system’s option to rearrange its taskbar icons. We might label this innovative function “never merge my icons on the taskbar.”

Windows 11’s taskbar has many limitations.

The fact that the taskbar can only be accessed from the bottom of the screen is one of its major drawbacks. When compared to Windows 10, 8, 7, and earlier operating system versions, Windows 11 limits the taskbar’s placement to the bottom of the screen only.

Microsoft’s developers explained this restriction in one of the Windows Insider Program webcasts, citing the Start menu’s animation flow as the main factor. This is due to the fact that rearranging the position of the taskbar would necessitate substantial changes to the animations, the way the Start menu opens, and the way pinned apps are handled.

Windows 11’s redesigned taskbar is just one example of the company’s efforts to prioritize user feedback and requests for new features like the upcoming “hide date & time” option and drag-and-drop functionality.

Unfortunately, at least for the time being, Microsoft does not plan to implement a feature that would allow users to reposition the taskbar.

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