Specific Methods To Tweak Your Windows 10 Taskbar

The Windows 10 Taskbar provides quick and easy access to your favorite apps, but it also offers several handy settings you can customize to

The Windows Taskbar lets you access frequently used and currently open apps. It can also be tweaked to work the way you want. You can move it to other sides of the screen, automatically hide it when you don’t need it, change the size of the icons, and more. Here’s how. (Source: pcmag)

Pin Apps to the Taskbar

pin apps

The first thing you should know how to do is pin an app to the Taskbar. You can do this from the Start menu, Start screen, or the Apps list. Click the Start button and right-click on any app icon or tile. Select More > Pin to taskbar to lock the app to the Windows Taskbar. To remove it, right-click on its Taskbar icon and select Unpin from taskbar.

Move the Taskbar

taskbar settings

By default, the Taskbar appears at the bottom of the screen, but it can also be moved to the top or either side of the screen. To do this manually, click on any empty area of the Taskbar and drag it to your preferred location.

If you’d rather let Windows do the moving for you, right-click on any empty area of the Taskbar and click Taskbar settings from the pop-up menu. Scroll down to Taskbar location on screen and use the drop-down menu to select left, top, right (as pictured above), or bottom.

Hide the Taskbar

taskbar hide

Let’s say you want the Taskbar to remain hidden unless you move your mouse to its location. If you’re using your Windows device in desktop mode, open Taskbar settings and turn on the option that says Automatically hide the Taskbar in desktop mode.

If you’re in tablet mode, turn on the option that says Automatically hide the Taskbar in tablet mode. Your Taskbar will vanish and only reappear when you move your mouse cursor and hover over the location of the bar.

Move Icons on the Taskbar

taskbar icons

If you don’t like the placement of the icons on the Taskbar, you can easily move them. Just press down on an icon with your mouse (or finger on a touch-screen device) and drag it to the left or right. Release when the icon is in your new preferred spot.

Adjust Icon Size

icon size

Let’s say you want to squeeze more icons onto the Taskbar. Open Taskbar settings and turn on the option Use small Taskbar buttons, and the existing icons will shrink in size. If the icons are too small, go back to the Taskbar settings and turn it off to return them to their larger size.

View the Desktop

The small section of the Windows Taskbar in the lower-right corner of the screen is known as the Show Desktop button. If you click the button, it offers you a quick way to switch back and forth between the desktop and all open windows.

Peek at the Desktop

peek desktop

Do you want to sneak a peek at your desktop without closing or minimizing all your open windows? Open the Taskbar settings window and turn on the option Use Peek to preview the desktop when you move your mouse to the Show Desktop button at the end of the Taskbar. Now move your mouse to the lower-right corner of the screen. By hovering over the Show Desktop button, your desktop should appear. Move your mouse cursor away from that spot, and your desktop goes back into hiding.

Resize Taskbar

taskbar size

Let’s say you have so many icons nestled on the Taskbar that there’s barely room for them on a single row. Just resize the Taskbar to make it taller. Grab the top border of the Taskbar and drag it up until it takes up two or more rows. If you decide to get rid of most of the icons, you can reduce the height of the Taskbar back to a single row by dragging down the top border.

Lock the Taskbar

taskbar lock

You can also take precautions so you don’t accidentally resize the Taskbar. At the Taskbar settings screen, turn on the Lock the Taskbar option. Now you won’t be able to resize it unless you turn this option off.

Declutter the Taskbar

combine taskbar buttons

You can declutter the Taskbar under the Taskbar settings page. Open the drop-down menu below Combine Taskbar buttons to choose between three available options. These options determine how your Taskbar handles multiple instances of the same application.

taskbar

The Always, hide labels option means Windows will always combine multiple open files from a single application, such as File Explorer windows or Word documents, into one Taskbar button. This option also hides the labels or names that would otherwise appear next to each icon. Hover over the button of an application with multiple windows open to see how this option works.

taskbar

Windows normally displays a separate icon in the Taskbar for each open window of the same application. However, if you choose the When Taskbar is full option, it will wait until the Taskbar is full before condensing these separate buttons into one.

If you prefer to keep these open windows separate, choosing the Never option will make sure multiple open windows are never combined, no matter how full the Taskbar gets.

Shows Badges in the Taskbar

taskbar badges

Similar to Live Tiles, badges serve to display notifications for a specific application, such as new messages for Mail or updates for the Weather app. You can control the visibility of these badges from the Taskbar settings screen.

Turn this feature on by activating the switch under Show badges on Taskbar buttons. Icons in the Windows Taskbar will now function as badges.

Customize the System Tray

app icons

You can choose which icons appear in the System Tray at the right corner of the screen (clock, Wi-Fi, volume, etc.). Scroll down the Taskbar settings screen to the section for Notification Area. Click the Select which icons appear on the Taskbar link.

app icons list

You can then turn on the app icons that you wish to see in the System Tray and turn off the ones you want to stay hidden. If you love having everything at your fingertips, turn everything on.

system icons

You can also easily turn system icons on or off via the Taskbar settings screen. Click the Turn system icons on or off link.

system icons list

You can then choose which system icons should stay in the System Tray, and which should be turned off.

Show Jump Lists

recently opened

Finally, you can configure the icons on your Taskbar to show Jump Lists. These lists contain links to recent and frequently used files, folders, websites, and other items so you can easily access them. To enable this, go to Settings > Personalization > Start and turn on the switch for Show recently opened item in Jump Lists on Start or the Taskbar and in File Explorer Quick Access.

jump list

Now, just right-click on a Taskbar icon to see the Jump List and quickly open a recent or frequently used item.

Happy learning!

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