While Windows 11 brings many new features and promises a better user experience, it sometimes does so at the expense of letting go of things we liked in previous Windows operating systems. One of the things that look better, but are also disappointing on some level, is the new Windows 11 taskbar, which often feels like it suffers from oversimplification. Here are the things you can’t do with the Windows 11 taskbar that are bound to frustrate many users, myself included:
Windows 10’s taskbar, just like Windows 7’s taskbar, was moveable. You could 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 me, at least, having a vertical taskbar on the left of the screen is one of the best things about it. It allows you to gain additional screen estate that’s available at all times. That is, if you own a landscape monitor or if you use a laptop and, as it happens, I’m a great fan of Microsoft Edge’s vertical tabs for the same reason. You can imagine just how disappointed I and many others are about the fact that Windows 11’s taskbar simply doesn’t let you set its location on your screen. You can’t move it to the top or the sides of your screen. To be honest, I really can’t wrap my mind around such a poor design choice.
TIP: The only good thing about Windows 11’s taskbar is that Microsoft at least lets you align the icons on it, and the Start Menu, to the left. If you don’t like the new centered look of the taskbar, here’s how to move the Windows 11 Start Menu to the left.
In older Windows operating systems, like Windows 10 or Windows 7, you can set the taskbar to show small icons for the shortcuts on it, as well as for the open apps and windows. That used to be one of the best ways to make the taskbar thinner and gain a bit of space on your screen. That can be quite important for people who use devices with small screens, like tablet users. Unfortunately, Windows 11’s taskbar doesn’t have an option to show smaller icons on it. You’re stuck with the default large size for them.
Another thing some people might not like about the Windows 11 taskbar is that you can’t change its size at all. Although personally, I don’t miss that, I know people who dislike this. In previous Windows operating systems, you could increase or decrease the size of the taskbar as you wanted. In Windows 11, that’s not an option, so you’re stuck with what you get.
Have you ever used Windows 7 or previous Windows operating systems? If you did, you might still prefer your taskbar to show open windows separately on it. You might still like the fact that each and every window you have open has its own button on your taskbar. Well, if you switch to Windows 11, say goodbye to all that. It can’t do it, plain and simple. Microsoft doesn’t give us this option, which might be a no-go for many who, because of a simple thing like this, will avoid switching to Windows 11 altogether.
This one is probably not a thing many people used to do, but I was one of them. In Windows 10 and in all the previous Windows versions I used over the years, one thing I liked was the fact that I could drag a file from the desktop or File Explorer onto an app pinned to the taskbar to quickly open it.
Like, for example, I could drag a text (.TXT) file onto the Microsoft Word taskbar shortcut to edit it with Word instead of the default Notepad. Unfortunately, this is a thing of the past, as Windows 11’s taskbar doesn’t support this feature anymore. When I tried it, all I got was a stop sign hinting at the fact that - surprise - it’s not something I can do.
Here’s something for people who use two or more monitors on their computers: Windows 11’s taskbar only shows the date and time on the main screen. On any of the secondary monitors connected to a Windows 11 PC, the clock is missing. While that might not be a no-go to switch to Windows 11, it’s certainly a poor design choice from Microsoft not to allow you to show the taskbar clock on whatever monitor you want.
Last but not least, one thing that might annoy some people is the missing option to add additional toolbars to the Windows 11 taskbar. Personally, I used to like having the Desktop toolbar added to the right of my Windows 10 taskbar because it gave me quick access to the old Control Panel. I can’t have that anymore, as Microsoft decided to let go of this option. It was a kind of productivity shortcut that some users, including me, will miss in Windows 11.
There are things I like about the Windows 11 taskbar, but, as you’ve seen, there are also many I don’t. While the Windows 11 taskbar might be better from a regular user’s standpoint, from a productivity point of view and for power users, it might look like a downgrade from previous versions of Windows operating systems. What do you think? Are there other things you hate about the taskbar from Windows 11?