6 things you can't do with the Windows 11 taskbar

Does Windows 11 have a taskbar? Yes, it does, but it’s a lot different than the one found in Windows 10. I like how it looks, and I find it more visually appealing than Windows 10’s taskbar. I also like how it behaves when used on devices with touch. However, the Windows 11 taskbar is simpler than the ones in older versions of Windows. In fact, there are several limitations that will frustrate some users. Here are the most important things you can’t do with the Windows 11 taskbar:

1. You can’t change the taskbar’s position in Windows 11

Windows 10’s taskbar is moveable. You can change its location on the screen. If you wanted, you could make it go to the top of the screen, to its left or right side. For some people, having a vertical taskbar on the left or right side of the desktop is one of the best things about Windows 10. It allows you to gain additional screen estate available at all times. That is if you own a landscape monitor or a laptop. Personally, I’m a great fan of Microsoft Edge’s vertical tabs for the same reason. So you can imagine how disappointed many people are that Windows 11’s taskbar doesn’t let you change its location: it always remains on the bottom of the screen.

Windows 11’s taskbar can’t be moved to the top or sides of the screen

You can’t move it to the top or the sides of your screen. The only thing you can do is hide the taskbar or align its icons and Start Menu to the left. Here’s how to move the Windows 11 Start Menu to the left.

2. You can’t ungroup taskbar icons in Windows 11

By default, in Windows 11, just like in Windows 10, when you open apps, you see their icons on the taskbar. You then click or tap on them to switch between app windows. However, you can set Windows 10, so it does not group multiple open windows of the same app under the same taskbar icon. If you go to the taskbar’s settings, you can set Windows 10 never to do this.

Unfortunately, in Windows 11, this setting doesn’t exist. Therefore, your taskbar icons are always grouped, and multiple windows of the same app are represented on the Windows 11 taskbar by only one icon instead of several. See the screenshot above for a comparison: in Windows 10, I’ve opened three separate Microsoft Edge windows, each with a different webpage loaded. Notice how the taskbar icons are ungrouped. The same three Microsoft Edge windows, with the same webpages loaded, are grouped under the same icon in Windows 11.

Windows 10 allows you to ungroup taskbar icons

Many people dislike this limitation quite a lot. If you disapprove of it, and want to make your voice heard, upvote this issue on the Feedback Hub. The more people vote and comment on it, the better the chances for Microsoft to fix this issue in a future update for Windows 11.

TIP: Here’s how to find and give feedback to Microsoft.

3. You can only drag and drop .exe files or shortcuts to the Windows 11 taskbar

In Windows 10 and all the previous Windows versions, you could drag a file from the Desktop or File Explorer onto an app pinned to the taskbar to quickly open it inside that app. So, for example, I could drag a “.docx” file onto the Word taskbar shortcut to edit it. Unfortunately, Windows 11’s taskbar doesn’t support this feature. So when you try to do this, all you get is a stop sign hinting that it’s not something you can do.

Luckily, in Windows 11 version 22H2 (the first major update to Windows 11), you can drag shortcuts and .exe files to the taskbar and create taskbar icons/shortcuts pointing to them.

If you want the Windows 11 taskbar to support opening files, upvote this suggestion in the Feeback Hub and provide constructive feedback to Microsoft.

4. Windows 11’s taskbar can’t be set to show smaller icons

In older Windows operating systems, like Windows 10 or Windows 7, you can set the taskbar to show small icons. That used to be one of the best ways to make the taskbar thinner and gain a bit of space on your screen, and it is useful for desktop PC users. Unfortunately, Windows 11’s taskbar doesn’t allow showing smaller icons. So you’re stuck with the default large size for them.

Windows 11’s taskbar can’t be set to show smaller icons

As of Windows 11 2022 Update, the taskbar was further improved to show better-spaced icons when used on a tablet or when using the touchscreen on a hybrid device. If this limitation bothers you, don’t forget to upvote this issue on the Feedback Hub. More votes mean it is more likely for Microsoft to bring back this feature in future updates to Windows 11.

5. The Windows 11 taskbar can’t be resized

A minor limitation that some people might not like about the Windows 11 taskbar is that you can’t change its size. Although I don’t miss this option, I know a few people who disagree with this restriction.

Windows 11’s taskbar can’t be resized

While a resized Windows 10 taskbar doesn’t look great, it is something you can do if needed. Unfortunately, in Windows 11, you don’t get this option, and you’re stuck with a fixed-size taskbar.

6. You can’t add quick launch toolbars to the Windows 11 taskbar

Last but not least, one thing that might disappoint a minority of users is the missing option to add additional toolbars to the Windows 11 taskbar. In Windows 10, some people are used to having the Desktop toolbar added to the right side of the taskbar because it gives them quick access to the old Control Panel.

You can’t add quick launch toolbars to the Windows 11 taskbar

In Windows 11, you can’t have that anymore, as Microsoft decided to let go of this option. However, it is a kind of productivity shortcut that some users will miss in Windows 11. If you want it back, upvote this suggestion in Feedback Hub, and make your voice heard.

BONUS: Taskbar limitations from older versions of Windows 11

The Windows 11 taskbar is evolving, and Microsoft is adding improvements over time. In the initial version of Windows 11, you could not set the taskbar to show the date and time when using two or more monitors. On any of your secondary monitors, the clock was missing. However, as of Windows 11 version 22H2, this is no longer the case.

The date and time were not shown on secondary monitors

The Windows 11 taskbar now shows the same information on all your monitors.

Is there anything else you dislike about Windows 11’s taskbar?

There are many things to like about the Windows 11 taskbar, but some limitations are bound to frustrate people. For example, IT professionals and power users will miss some things you could do on Windows 10, like dragging files on the taskbar to open them in a specific app or ungrouping taskbar icons. How about you? What do you think? Are there other things you don’t like about the taskbar from Windows 11? Comment using the options available below and share your perspective.

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