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Customizing the taskbar in Windows 10

  Taskbar with Thumbnail Preview of the File Explorer Window

The Windows 10 taskbar works much like previous versions of Windows and provides shortcuts and icons for each running app. Windows 1

0 offers all the options to customize the taskbar to your needs, and we will guide you through the possibilities.

We looked at customizing the Start menu and the Action Center in Windows 10 Now it's time to deal with the taskbar. With just a bit of work, you can customize the taskbar to suit your needs.

Pinning apps to the taskbar

The easiest way to customize the taskbar is to pinning various apps and shortcuts so you can access them faster in the future. There are two options. The first is to open the program either via the Start menu or an existing shortcut. If the app icon appears in the taskbar to indicate that it is running, right-click the icon and select "Pin to Taskbar" from the shortcut menu.


The second way to attach an app to a pin For the taskbar, the app does not need to be run first. Locate the app in the Start menu, right-click on the app, point to More, and then choose Pin to Taskbar. You can also drag the app icon to the taskbar if you prefer to do it that way.

  From the Start menu, click the taskbar command statement

This instantly adds a new shortcut to the app's taskbar. To remove an app from the taskbar, right-click the attached app and select "Unpin the taskbar" option.

  Remove command from taskbar

Attach a file or folder to the taskbar dock bar

Windows also provides an easy way to access folders and individual files in the system tray. Jump Lists are convenient context menus for each pinned app that show specific actions that you can perform on the app, and for apps that do, including a list of recently accessed files and folders you've accessed. You can view the jump list of an app by right-clicking an icon. For example, the File Explorer toolbar drop-down list lets you open a new File Explorer window and display the most recently viewed folders and the folders you've identified. Just point your mouse over a current object to display a pin icon to the right. Click on the pin to attach the element to the jump list.

  Button in the File Explorer Database

To display the traditional shortcut menu for an icon in the taskbar, hold down the Shift key while holding down the right mouse button-click the icon. This is especially useful for configuring folder shortcuts that you have pinned there. And this is just one of many useful keyboard shortcuts that you can use with the taskbar.

If you have fixed objects to a jump list, these elements are displayed separately from the last elements. All you have to do is click on one of them to open this folder. And what exactly to see on a jump list, of course, depends on the app. Apps such as Notepad or Microsoft Word display recently opened files. A jump list for your browser may display favorite sites and actions to open new tabs or windows.

By default, Windows 10 displays about 12 items recently added to Jump Lists. In earlier versions of Windows, you could easily increase or decrease this number using the taskbar properties. For Windows 10, this feature is not easily accessible for some reason. However, you can change the number of items displayed in the Jump Lists with a quick registration hack.

Configure or remove Cortana and the search box

The Cortana icon and the search box take up a lot of space in the system tray and you do not have to search or search. If you press the Windows key and start typing, you'll get the same search experience. If you want to perform a voice search (usually by clicking the microphone icon in the search box), you must press Windows + C on the keyboard instead.

You can remove the search box and just leave the icon or you can remove both completely. Right-click on the taskbar and select "Show Cortana> Show Cortana Icon" from the pop-up menu.

 Options for the Cortana icon and the search box in the context menu of the taskbar

Select the option "Hidden" To remove both the search box and the icon or select "Cortana Icon Show "to display only the icon in the system tray.

Remove the Task View button

The Task View button gives you a thumbnail view of all your open apps and windows. In addition, you can work with virtual desktops and display your timeline if you have this option enabled. Task view

You do not need a button to do this. Just press Windows + Tab to access the same interface. To save some space in the taskbar and clear the button, right-click on the taskbar and uncheck Show Task View.

 Disable the Show Task Button command in the context menu of the taskbar

. Hide system icons in the notification area

The notification area (sometimes called the "taskbar") contains system icons, such as your Action Center and watch, and icons for various apps running in the background. You can easily set which system icons are displayed in the notification area. Right-click any open area in the taskbar, and then click Taskbar Settings. On the taskbar settings page, scroll down a bit to the Notification area section and click the "Turn system icons on or off" link.

 Turning system icons on and off in Settings

You will see a list of system icons. Scroll through them and turn each icon on or off to suit your needs.

 Enabling or disabling system icons in preferences

Hiding application icons in the notification area

Many of the apps that you use The installation on Windows is designed to run in the background. These are not things that you need to interact with on a regular basis. Instead of appearing directly in the taskbar, their icons are moved to the notification area. This will let them know they are running, giving you quick access when needed. Some of them appear to the right of the notification area to the left of the clock. Others are hidden, but you can see them by clicking the up arrow to the left.

 Expand the hidden area for the notification area icons.

You can quickly determine where these icons appear in these two locations. For example, you might prefer that your OneDrive icon is always visible. In that case, drag it into the main notification area. You can also hide less important icons by dragging them into the hidden area.

 Dragging the icon from the hidden area to the regular notification area

You can also use these icons from the Settings interface. Right-click on any open area of ​​the taskbar and select the "Settings" option. Scroll down and click on the "Which icons appear in the system tray?" Link.

 Select which icons appear in the taskbar in the Settings app.

If you want to remove the hidden area and display it all If you always enable the icons, check the option "Always show all icons in the notification area". If you do not enable this setting, you can also go through the list and enable or disable individual apps. Note that disabling an app here is not completely removed from the notification area. When an app is disabled, it will be displayed in the hidden area. When turned on, it will be displayed in the main notification area.

 Select which icons are displayed in the task bar of the Settings app.

Move the taskbar to another edge of the screen

The bottom of the screen is the default location of the taskbar in Windows 10, but you can move it. If you have a very broad ad or multiple ads, it may be better if the taskbar is at the right or left edge of an ad. Or maybe you prefer it at the top. You can move the taskbar in two ways. The first is just pulling. Right-click on the taskbar and uncheck the Lock Taskbar option.

 Unlocking the taskbar

You can then drag the taskbar to an arbitrary place in an empty area.

 Taskbar dragged to the left side of the desktop

The location of the taskbar can also be changed from the settings interface. Right-click in an empty area of ​​the taskbar and select "Taskbar Settings". Scroll down the taskbar settings panel and locate the "Taskbar on the screen" drop-down menu. In this menu, you can select one of the four pages of the display.

 Selecting the location of the taskbar in the settings

Resizing the taskbar

You can also resize the taskbar to get a small amount of extra space. This can be especially useful if you move it to the right or left edge of the screen, but it is also good if you only need space for a variety of icons. Right-click on the taskbar and uncheck the "Lock Taskbar" option. Then place your mouse at the top of the taskbar and drag to resize it like in a window. You can increase the size of the taskbar to about half of your screen size.

 Shrinking the taskbar to its maximum size

Use small icons to fit more in the taskbar

If you want to see more icons in the taskbar, but you do not want to resize them, you can configure Windows 10 to display small tray icons. Right-click in an empty area of ​​the taskbar and click Taskbar Settings. In the Settings window, turn on Use Small Taskbar Icons.

 Enabling [19659016] As you can see, almost everything is the same except that the icons are smaller and you can push a few more into the room. One difference you should keep in mind: If you use the smaller icons, the taskbar itself shrinks a bit vertically. As a result, only the clock and not the date is displayed. However, you can always hover over the clock or click on it to check the date.

 Desktop displays taskbar with small buttons

Show icons for taskbar icons

By default, the taskbar groups icons for windows of the same app and does not display labels for those icons. This saves a lot of space in the system tray but may be difficult for newer users to recognize icons. You can display Windows text captions, but the disadvantage is that you also lose the grouping of related symbols. To do this, right-click in an empty area of ​​the taskbar and click on "Taskbar Settings". In the Settings window, look for the "Combine taskbar buttons" drop-down menu.

 combines the taskbar buttons in Preferences

The menu offers three options:

  • Always hide captions . This is the Windows default. When this option is selected, all windows for an app are grouped in the system tray and no labels are displayed.
  • When the taskbar is full . This is a middle range setting. When this option is selected, windows will not be grouped and labels will be displayed unless the taskbar is full. When it is full, it returns to the Always Hide Labels functionality.
  • Never . If selected, windows are never grouped and captions are always displayed. You can see this setting below. Note that instead of a single File Explorer icon and a single Chrome icon, there are now two and the titles of the windows are displayed as labels.

  Taskbar with button names

Change color and transparency of the taskbar

In Windows 10, the default color of the taskbar is black. To change the color, press Windows + I to open the settings interface. In the main settings window, click Personalization.

 Select the personalization settings

In the personalization window, go to the Colors tab. On the right side, scroll to the "More Options" section.

You'll see two options for controlling the taskbar – along with Action Center and Start Menu. Use the "Transparency Effects" button to select whether these elements should be transparent or opaque. If Start, Taskbar, and Action Center is off, these items use the default color black. If you enable this option, these elements use the color you selected in the color picker above. If you have enabled the "Automatically select accent color from my background" option, Windows has selected the color. [19659016]   Select where to show the accent colors in the settings

CONNECTED: How to Make the Windows 10 Taskbar More Transparent By the way, Windows does not provide controls to customize the transparency of the taskbar, start menu, and action center. If you do not mind making a quick registry hack, you can make those items a bit more transparent than the default settings.

Enable the Peek feature

The peek feature has already been introduced with Windows 7, allowing users to quickly see all open applications for viewing the desktop. In earlier versions, it was enabled by default. In Windows 10 you have to turn it on. Right-click in an empty area of ​​the taskbar and click Settings. In the Preferences window, enable the cumbersome name "Use Peek to preview the desktop when you mouse over the Show Desktop button at the end of the taskbar." Option.

 Disabling preview for preview option

If the Peek option is enabled, you can move the mouse over the small space on the right edge of the taskbar to hide all windows and show yours desktop. When you move the mouse away, your windows return to their previous state. You can also click this area to minimize all your windows automatically, so you can actually do things on the desktop. Click the area again to restore your windows. You can also use the Windows + D keyboard shortcut to do the same thing as clicking the peek area.

 Peek area on the right edge of the taskbar

Adding a toolbar to the taskbar

In Windows, you can also add toolbars to the taskbar. A toolbar is essentially a shortcut to a folder on your system. However, the shortcut appears as the same toolbar that you may see in a browser or other app. You can access toolbars by right-clicking the taskbar and then pointing to the Toolbars submenu.

 Adding toolbars to the taskbar

There are three built-in toolbars:

  • Address ]. The address bar adds a simple address field to your taskbar. Enter an address exactly as in your browser, and the resulting page will open in your default browser.
  • Left . The Link toolbar adds items found in your Internet Explorer Favorites list.
  • Desktop . The desktop toolbar provides access to items stored on your desktop.

Below is how the address and desktop toolbars look when activated. Instead of expanding the desktop toolbar to show icons, I reduced their size and opened a pop-up menu with all the items with the double-headed arrow.

 Taskbar Toolbars

You can also add a custom toolbar that points to any folder in your system. This is a great way to get quick access to the taskbar for items you need on a regular basis. To create a toolbar, all you have to do is select the New Toolbar option from the Toolbars submenu and point to a folder.

Configuring the Taskbar for Multiple Ads

If you're using multiple ads, we're pleased that Windows 10 has decent monitors that you can use to run the taskbar. You can have a taskbar display on only one ad, a single taskbar that spans all your ads, and even a separate taskbar for each ad that shows only the apps open on that ad. Right-click anywhere on the taskbar and choose Taskbar Settings. Scroll down the settings panel to find the controls for multiple ads.

 Multiple Display Options Displayed in Settings

If you leave the "Show Taskbar on All Ads" option disabled (the default), only one taskbar appears on your main monitor. This taskbar displays all open apps windows, regardless of which ad the windows are open on. Select this option to display a taskbar on all your ads and open the following options.

 Check the option to show the taskbar on all screens.

The "Show Taskbar Buttons" drop-down menu contains three options:

  • All taskbars . If you select this setting, the taskbar will be the same on every screen. On the taskbar of each display, all open windows are displayed, regardless of which display they are on.
  • Main taskbar and taskbar where window is open . If you select this setting, all open windows of all displays are always displayed in the task bar of your primary display. The taskbar of each additional ad will only show windows that are open on that ad.
  • Taskbar where window is open . If you select this setting, each ad, including your main ad, will have its own independent taskbar. Open windows only appear in the taskbar on the screen where the window is open.

The Combine Buttons in Other Taskbars option works much like the option we discussed earlier when we talked about adding labels to taskbar icons. The reason for this option is that you can set one option for your primary ad and another for your other ads. Suppose you had three monitors. One is a big display and the other two are smaller. You may want the taskbar buttons to be combined not on your primary display – where you have plenty of room – but on the smaller monitors.

These tips should hopefully convince you to turn the taskbar into something that should suit you.

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