The taskbar in Windows 11 is an integral part of the user experience, and has been for every single other version of Windows from the last 20 years. If you asked an IT support company, they would be able to tell you many different ways in which you can utilize the taskbar to make work easier. Currently, in Windows 11, there are fewer ways of customizing the taskbar compared with Windows 10 – but there are still some useful tweaks to be made in the settings if you wish to configure it to your liking.

Pin Apps to Taskbar

The first and easiest way in which you can customize your taskbar is by pinning apps to it. Any application installed on your PC can be pinned to the taskbar, and it is a great way of having the programs you use regularly on hand and easy to open at a moment’s notice. Here is how to do it in Windows 11:

  • When applications are running, their icon appears in the taskbar, and has a line underneath it to show that it’s active. Right-click an open app, and from the resultant menu, select “Pin to taskbar”. This is the easiest way to pin an app to your taskbar.
  • If the app you want to pin is not already running, but you have its icon on the desktop, you can right-click the desktop icon, select “Show more options,” and then click “Pin to taskbar.”
  • Finally, you can search for the app that you want to pin. This is easily done – simply open the Star menu (by clicking the Start button, or pressing the Windows icon), and click on “All apps.” Right-click the app you want to pin, and click “Pin to taskbar” – if you don’t see the option, select “More” and it should then appear.

Customize Taskbar Items

Taskbar items are certain icons that are built into Windows 11 – they’re not apps in the same way that Spotify, or Microsoft Word are an app. The taskbar items include: Search, Task view, Widgets, and Chat – they each have their benefits (for example, Task View allows you to create virtual desktops, and Search allows you to search things across your PC, emails, apps, and even the Web). You can choose to either hide and display these items on your taskbar:

  • Right-click the taskbar, and select “Taskbar settings”
  • Under “Taskbar items” toggle any of the four options on/off

Align Taskbar to the Left

A big change in Windows 11 was aligning the taskar to the middle, making it similar to the Apple Mac Dock. But, if you prefer, you can revert the taskbar back to how it was in all other versions of Windows (except for Windows 8).

  • Right-click the taskbar, and select “Taskbar settings”
  • Expand the “Taskbar behaviors” settings
  • Under “Taskbar alignment” click on the button on the right that says “Center.” This should bring up a dropdown with the remaining alignment options for your taskbar.
  • Select “Left” from the dropdown.
  • You should immediately see the Start button, taskbar items, and all your pinned and open apps move over to the left, where they will stay.

Taskbar Corner Icons and Overflow

The Taskbar Corner Overflow is in the right-hand section of your taskbar (you open it by clicking the up (^) arrow button next to your location, Wi-Fi status, etc. This will bring up a tray of icons).

This section of the taskbar is great for showing notifications – ranging from systems notifications and update reminders, to messages from background apps. It also makes it easier to shut down background apps – you just need to open up the icon tray, right-click the app’s icon and select “Exit”.

  • Right-click the taskbar, and select “Taskbar settings”
  • Expand the “Taskbar corner overflow” section.
  • Here, you will find a selection of apps that can be displayed in the Taskbar corner overflow. Simply toggle them on or off as you see fit.