Windows 11 is a huge improvement when it comes to visual appeal and features such as the new Start menu, Widgets, support for Android apps, and more. However, Microsoft has noticeably reduced the Taskbar customization options in its latest desktop OS. You can no longer move the Taskbar to the top or sides and change its size. So in this guide, we bring you an in-depth guide on how to customize the Taskbar in Windows 11. Whether you prefer customizing the Taskbar by placing it at the top or moving the taskbar icons to the left, here are all the possible taskbar customization options in Windows 11.
Customize Taskbar in Windows 11 (Updated October 2022)
We have added instructions to use the Registry Editor to resize the Taskbar, move the Taskbar to the top, and more. You can even bring back the classic Windows 10 Start Menu if the Windows 11 redesign has failed to impress you. With that said, let’s dive right in.
1. Change Windows 11 Taskbar Icons Alignment
With Windows 11, Microsoft has changed the Taskbar and Start Menu alignment to the center by default. However, if you want to go back to the default left alignment like Windows 10, you can do so via the Settings app. To start our Taskbar customization journey on Windows 11, let’s hop into the new Settings app.
1. Use the Windows 11 keyboard shortcut “Windows + I” to open the Settings app, and then switch to the “Personalization” tab from the left sidebar. After that, click on “Taskbar”.
2. Expand the “Taskbar behaviors” section and set the “Taskbar alignment” as left instead of center. Now, all the Taskbar icons will immediately move to the left edge without having to restart your Windows 11 PC.
2. Personalize Windows 11 Taskbar Using Settings App
1. Other than that, you can personalize the Taskbar menus, icons, and items from the Settings page. Right-click on the Taskbar and open “Taskbar settings“.
2. Here, under Taskbar items, you can enable or disable the search box, task view button, widgets panel, and Teams chat shortcut. We even have a dedicated guide on how to disable the Teams Chat widget on the Windows 11 Taskbar.
3. Next, you can add a pen menu on the Taskbar if you have a touchscreen Windows 11 laptop with a stylus. In addition, you can also add a touch keyboard and virtual touchpad to the Taskbar.
4. As for the Taskbar corner overflow icons, here you can choose which icons can appear and which ones will be hidden. This way, you can customize the system tray icons on Windows 11.
5. Finally, under Taskbar behaviors, you can choose to hide the Taskbar when not in active use, show badges on pinned apps, and enable the “Show desktop” button in the far right corner of the Taskbar. The best part is that now you can show the full taskbar with a clock on multiple monitors.
3. Move the Taskbar to the Top or Side on Windows 11
We have a dedicated article on how to move the Taskbar to the top or side on Windows 11, but here, we will briefly detail the steps so you can get a broader idea. So go ahead and learn how to customize the Taskbar on Windows 11 and move the Taskbar to your favorite position.
1. First, press the Windows key and type “regedit” in the search box. Now, open “Registry Editor” from the search result.
2. Next, copy the below path and paste it into the Registry’s address bar. After that, hit Enter to directly move to the StuckRects3 entry.
3. Following that, double-click on Settings in the right pane and locate the fifth value in the 00000008 row. By default, its value will be set to 03. Now, double-click to highlight this value to replace it.
4. To move the taskbar to the top, set the value as 01. Similarly, you can set the value as 00 or 02 to move the taskbar to the left or right sides on your Windows 11 PC, respectively. However, the Taskbar does not load when you move it to the left or right side. I tested it on the latest Windows 11 stable build (October 12, version 22000.1098), and it is still buggy. So for now, I will suggest not moving the Taskbar to either left or right.
For quick reference, check out the values and their corresponding taskbar position below:
Left Taskbar – 00Top Taskbar – 01Right Taskbar – 02Bottom Taskbar – 03
5. After setting the value, restart your computer. You can also open the Task Manager using the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl + Shift + Esc” and restart Windows Explorer if you don’t want to restart the system.
6. The taskbar will now be moved to the top position on your Windows 11 PC.
4. Resize the Taskbar in Windows 11
Here’s a nifty way to customize the Windows 11 Taskbar through the Registry Editor. Microsoft doesn’t officially let you resize the Taskbar in Windows 11, but you can use the Registry Editor to do it manually. You can make the Taskbar icons smaller or bigger on your Windows 11 PC using this workaround. Here’s how:
1. Similar to the above step, press the Windows key once and type “regedit” in the search box. Now, open “Registry Editor” from the search result.
2. After opening Registry Editor, paste the below path into the Registry’s address bar and hit Enter.
3. Then, right-click in the empty space while the “Advanced” folder is selected and choose New -> DWORD (32-bit) Value.
3. Set the name of the DWORD Value as TaskbarSi and hit “Enter” to save changes.
4. Now, double-click “TaskbarSi” to set its value data. The details for the taskbar icons size and their corresponding numbers are as follows:
Small taskbar – TaskbarSi value 0Default taskbar – TaskbarSi value 1Large taskbar – TaskbarSi value 2
5. Based on your preference, set the value as 0 or 2, assuming you don’t like the new default size of the Taskbar in Windows 11. Notably, icons from third-party apps will look a little pixelated when you use the large taskbar. Check out the images below to see the difference in taskbar icon size in Windows 11:
5. Once you have set the preferred value, restart the system or open Task Manager using the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl + Shift + Esc” and restart Windows Explorer.
5. Ungroup Windows 11 Taskbar Icons
One of the much-requested features, the ability to ungroup icons, is still missing from Windows 11 Taskbar. Thankfully, with a small utility called ExplorerPatcher, you can get this functionality back without breaking the Taskbar. We already have an in-depth tutorial on how to set Windows 11 Taskbar icons to Never Combine, but in this guide, we will briefly demonstrate the steps. Here is how you can personalize the Taskbar and ungroup icons for better visibility.
1. Go ahead and download ExplorerPatcher from GitHub. Now, install the app, and it will automatically set the Taskbar icon alignment to the left. The best part about this app is that the Taskbar icons are set to never combine by default, so you don’t really need to do anything.
3. Next, right-click on the Taskbar and select “Properties“ to configure the settings.
4. Under the “Taskbar” section, you can customize Windows 11’s new centered Taskbar to your liking. You can make changes to “Combine taskbar icons on primary taskbar: Never combine (default)”. You can also set the Taskbar style to Windows 10 or Windows 11, as per your liking. Make sure to click on “Restart File Explorer” at the bottom left corner to apply and see the changes.
6. Customize Windows 11 Taskbar With Third-party Apps
There are many third-party apps that support customizing the Taskbar on Windows 11. Tools such as Start11 (Paid, $5.99 with 30 days free trial) and StartAllBack (Paid, $4.99 with 100 days free trial) are paid and offer a plethora of cool features. However, I like ExplorerPatcher since it’s entirely free and open-source. Along with Taskbar customization, all these programs offer personalization for the Start menu, File Explorer, System Tray, and other system elements.
You can even restore the Windows 10 classic Start menu on Windows 11 using these apps. Depending on your budget, you can pick one of the apps. But here I am going to show you how to customize the Windows 11 Taskbar with ExplorerPatcher.
1. First, download ExplorerPatcher from its GitHub page. Next, run the program and it will instantly change the Taskbar and Start menu to Windows 10-style.
2. You can now right-click on the Taskbar and select “Properties” from the context menu.
3. Here, under the “Taskbar” section, you can customize the Start button style, notification area icons, Taskbar icon size, secondary taskbar alignment, and more. After making the changes, click on “Restart File Explorer” and you are done.
7. Change the Appearance of the Windows 11 Taskbar
If you want to customize the appearance of the Windows 11 Taskbar, we have several apps that offer visual modifications. Among them, the TaskbarXI tool (Free on the official website, $0.99 on MS Store) can turn your Windows 11 Taskbar into a macOS-like dock. It also enables you to set the DPI scaling for each element and supports multiple monitors. Apart from that, you have software like RoundedTB (Free) and TranslucentTB (Free) that offer more visual styling options.
RoundedTB can add margins and rounded corners to your Windows 11 Taskbar, and you can even define the corner radius in this tool. As for TranslucentTB, this app lets you make the Taskbar translucent and add color effects to it. So if you’re looking to make the Taskbar more visually appealing, these are some of the best Windows 11 apps you can use for advanced customization. In this guide, we are going to show how you can use TaskbarXI to customize the appearance of the Windows 11 Taskbar.
1. Download the TaskbarXI app from its official website for free. After that, extract it using the native ZIP extractor in Windows 11 or use apps like WinZip and WinRAR.
2. Once you have extracted the zip file, open the folder and double-click to run “TaskbarXI.exe”.
3. Within a few seconds, your Windows 11 Taskbar will turn into a macOS-like dock.
4. You can now open “TaskbarXIMFCGUI.exe” to configure the Taskbar.
5. From the TaskbarXI Configurator app, you can set various taskbar styles, including transparent, transparent gradient, opaque, blur, and acrylic.
Tweak Taskbar to Your Preference in Windows 11
So yeah, those are all the cool customization options available for the Taskbar in Windows 11. With Microsoft forcing users to stick to the bottom taskbar, a significant chunk of Windows users are not happy. While the Redmond giant hasn’t gone back on its decision since the release of Windows 11 a year ago, we’re skeptical that an option to change the Taskbar placement, like in Windows 10, is coming anytime soon. Until then, we hope these Registry Editor workarounds can help you personalize the Taskbar in Windows 11 to your liking. Anyway, that’s all from us. If you are facing any issues, let us know in the comment section below.