Windows

5 ways to make the Windows 11 taskbar worse than Windows 10

For all the hype around Windows 11, it’s clear that some of its taskbar features don’t yet match the functionality of the operating system it’s replacing—Windows 10. Here are five ways the Windows 10 taskbar outperforms Windows 11 as of October 2021.

crossed out win11 taskbar hero 1200x675 - 5 ways to make Windows 11 taskbar worse than Windows 10

You cannot move it to different sides of the screen

In Windows 10, you can unlock the taskbar and drag it to the left, right, or top of the screen with ease. This is useful for people who prefer to use the taskbar in a different way.

no vertical taskbar - 5 ways to make the Windows 11 taskbar worse than Windows 10

In Windows 11, there is no such official option to relocate the taskbar, which is unfortunate. With registry hacks, it is possible to move the taskbar to the top of the screen and keep it usable. Unfortunately, the same hack for the left or right side of the screen results in a broken taskbar. We hope Microsoft will add an official way to move the taskbar in a future release.

You can’t easily resize it

win11 taskbar three sizes 2 - 5 ways to make the Windows 11 taskbar worse than Windows 10

In Windows 10, you can maximize the taskbar – allowing it to show more icons at once – by unlocking it and dragging its edge. You can also change the icon size from normal to small by setting in Settings > Personalization > Taskbar.

While it’s possible to resize the taskbar in Windows 11 with everything else resized (using the “Scale” setting in System > Display), you’ll have to live with much larger text while doing so. We’ve found an alternative registry hack solution that lets you choose from three sizes, but the official option from Microsoft would be perfect.

You can’t see the clock on the screen

win11 missing clock2 - 5 ways to make Windows 11 taskbar worse than Windows 10

In Windows 10, you can see the date and time in the corner of each screen’s taskbar, which means checking the time is just a quick glance away. So if you use more than one screen, the watch is where you’d expect it to be. In Windows 11, the date and time in the right corner of the taskbar only appear on the main screen. It looks like this could be an easy fix in a future version of Windows 11 if enough people ask for it.

You cannot use classic window labels

no taskbar labels - 5 ways to make the Windows 11 taskbar worse than Windows 10

In Windows 10, you can choose to run it old school by always showing text window labels next to app icons in the taskbar. If you don’t have a lot of windows open, this can help you quickly understand what you’re working with. In Windows 11, all your windows are combined under one icon for each app — and there are no text labels to find. You suddenly have less information at your fingertips. This might be a good thing when trying to make the interface less visually cluttered, but missing out on the option altogether is a mistake.

You cannot drag files to taskbar icons

win11 taskbar cant open - 5 ways to make Windows 11 taskbar worse than Windows 10

In Windows 10, some apps allow you to open files by dragging them directly to the app icon in the taskbar, and automatically shift focus to the app (or you can hold the Shift key and open it directly). You can also pin the files you use frequently to the taskbar app icons by dragging them as well. Very easy and fast. In Windows 11, if you try to do either, you’ll be greeted with a crossed out “No” icon, and it doesn’t work.

We hope that Microsoft will continue to improve the new Windows 11 taskbar over time, but for now, the Windows 10 taskbar easily outperforms the new Windows 11 taskbar in terms of overall features. Here we look to the future!

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