The taskbar is one of the features that Microsoft has been using consistently in its desktop operating system since Windows 95.It is a graphical user interface that houses the Start menu, many control options, allows switching between applications, and much more.Seeing all the features the Windows 11 taskbar has to offer can feel a little overwhelming, especially if you're new to Windows.
In this article, we'll help you learn more about the taskbar in Windows 11 and how to get the most out of it.
1. Pin apps to the Windows 11 taskbar
We all want easy access to important applications on any operating system.The taskbar is the one place from where you can easily access the most important apps on Windows 11.Not only that, but the taskbar displays all open applications, making it easier for you to switch between them.
Pinning apps to the Windows 11 taskbar is easy.You can click the Start menu and search for the app, then click Pin to taskbar.As a suggestion, you should only pin those apps that are super important to you to the taskbar.Pinning the apps you use occasionally can clutter the taskbar and be inconvenient.
2. Change Windows 11 taskbar settings for a more personalized experience
The Windows 11 taskbar behaves differently under different settings.One way to adjust your taskbar settings is to open the Settings app and look for the Taskbar page in Personalization.However, this is not the easiest way.
It's just a right-click on the taskbar and it takes you directly to the taskbar page, giving you tons of options to change how you want the taskbar to behave.
3. One-click to display the desktop
If you have a lot of open programs on your Windows 11 computer, minimizing them one by one will take a lot of time.Tapping the Windows 11 taskbar minimizes all programs and reveals the desktop.Once the desktop is visible again, you can launch other applications you may have pinned to the desktop.
However, knowing where to click on the taskbar to reveal the desktop is key.You need to click on the far right of the taskbar to minimize everything and show the desktop.When you hover the cursor to the far left, a tooltip showing the desktop will appear on the screen, indicating that the cursor is in the correct position.
4. Use search, widgets, taskbar view and chat history in the taskbar
Windows 11 lets you pin taskbar items like Search, Gadgets, Task View, and Chats, as well as the apps you use every day.A search bar in the taskbar lets you quickly find anything in the operating system, while the gadget experience helps you stay up to date with information about your favorite apps.It gives you one-click access to Teams when you pin your chats to the taskbar.
Finally, the Task View option in the taskbar gives you one-click access to all your virtual desktops and open applications.However, you can also launch Task View by pressing Win+Tab on your keyboard.
To pin these taskbar items, right-click the taskbar and click Taskbar Settings.It will open the taskbar page in the Settings app and provide options to display these items in the taskbar.
5. Never miss a notification in Windows 11
Notification Center appears when you click on the right end of the Windows 11 taskbar, where you can see the date and time.When turned on, you can get notifications from apps and other senders.Additionally, you can change the behavior of these notifications.For example, you can control whether notifications play a sound and become visible on the lock screen.
However, you need to turn on the "Notifications" switch from the "Settings" app to get notifications in the Windows 11 Notification Center.
6. Use the jump list in the taskbar to quickly access recently opened files
If you have a program pinned to the taskbar, you can use the Jump List feature to quickly access recently opened files on that program.For example, if you right-click the Edge web browser pinned to the taskbar, a jump list will show recently opened sites and the top sites you've visited.
7. Change the alignment of the Windows 11 taskbar
In every version of Windows, the alignment of the taskbar was always on the left, until Microsoft gave the center taskbar alignment an option in Windows 11.A center-aligned taskbar places all taskbar icons in the center of the taskbar, making it look a lot like the macOS dock.
You can adjust taskbar alignment by going to the Taskbar page in the Settings app.You need to scroll the taskbar page to the bottom until you find the Taskbar Arrangement drop-down menu under Taskbar Behavior.
The Windows 11 taskbar has so much to do...but it's not perfect
The taskbar in Windows 11 can make your life easier in many ways, but it's not perfect.If you've used previous versions of Windows, you may have noticed that Windows 11 lacks some useful taskbar features, like the ability to move it to the top and to the sides.
Nonetheless, Microsoft is working hard to bring new features to Windows 11's taskbar to improve the overall experience of the operating system.
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