Windows 11 includes some pretty big visual changes, but the changes to the taskbar are more than just skin deep. Microsoft has removed many taskbar options. Love it or hate it, the taskbar in Windows 11 is stuck on the bottom.
Say Goodbye to the Movable Taskbar
People first noticed this in the leaked build of Windows 11, but that was not a final version, so it was reasonable to believe it was just unfinished. However, it was also an unusual thing to be missing considering that Windows 11 is clearly built from Windows 10.
Now that Windows 11 is official, more details are coming out. According to Microsoft’s list of deprecated features, the taskbar in Windows 11 can only be aligned to the bottom of the screen. That’s it.
Windows has defaulted to a bottom taskbar since the very beginning, but it’s also allowed you to move the taskbar all the way back to Windows 95. Whether or not you took advantage of that functionality, it’s a pretty big change for Windows.
Some other taskbar options have also vanished: You can’t enable classic window labels on Windows 11’s taskbar anymore, for example.
We Like Moving Our Taskbars!
I’m on record with the opinion that the best place for the taskbar is the left side. I’ve explained my reasoning for this in both mathematical and practical terms. Especially if you have a widescreen monitor—which many of us do nowadays—I think it’s the obvious choice.
It doesn’t make much sense to me to remove the option to move the taskbar. Some people say “too many customization choices can be overwhelming,” but that doesn’t make much sense to me in this case. It was never really a “choice.”
The taskbar has always been on the bottom by default. It was never a choice that users had to make during setup, nor was it pointed out as an option when seeing the desktop for the first time. I’m sure a lot of people never even realized it could be moved. The only reason why you would change the placement is if you had the desire to do it and you sought out the option.
I don’t see this as removing a customization option for the sake of simplicity. Because, while Microsoft removed the taskbar location option, Windows 11 now centers the Start Button and icons on the taskbar. And guess what? There’s an option to change that.
I can understand simplifying the taskbar menu that appears when you right-click. It’s a pretty lengthy list of options in Windows 10. But why remove the ability from the settings altogether? That feels especially true when Microsoft has actually created a new option for the taskbar. Just keep these things buried away for the people who want them.
People who want to move the taskbar in Windows 11 are going to download third-party software to do it. There’s a huge ecosystem of software-based around tweaking things in Windows. Moving the taskbar is now going to be yet another thing that people will need extra software to do.
It doesn’t have to be like this, Microsoft.