The Windows 11 Pen Menu on a blue background

If you have a touch-screen PC running Windows 11 and a stylus, you might enjoy using the pen menu, which provides shortcuts to essential apps. If the pen menu icon is not showing up in your taskbar, here’s how to turn it on.

First, right-click the taskbar and select “Taskbar Settings.”

When Settings opens to Personalization > Taskbar, open the “Taskbar Corner Icons” menu if necessary by clicking it.

When the “Taskbar Corner Icons” menu expands, flip the “Pen Menu” switch to the “On” position.

In Personalization > Taskbar, flip the switch beside "Pen Menu" to "On."

The next time you activate your pen (by removing it from storage in your device or by powering it on), you’ll see a small pen icon on the taskbar in the lower-right corner of your screen to the left of the clock. It looks like a pencil drawing a squiggly line.

If you tap the pen menu icon in your taskbar, a small pop-up pen menu will open that lets you launch Microsoft Whiteboard, Snip & Sketch, pen settings, and pen help in the Tips app.

The Windows 11 Pen Menu popped-up

If you click the gear icon in the pen menu, you can also select “Edit Pen Menu” and customize up to four app shortcuts that will always be a few taps away when you need them.

How to Turn Off the Windows 11 Pen Menu Taskbar Icon

If you’d rather keep your taskbar clear and don’t need the pen menu, you can also hide it easily. First, right-click the taskbar and choose “Taskbar Settings.”

Windows Settings will open to Personalization > Taskbar. Select “Taskbar Corner Icons” if the menu isn’t already expanded, and then toggle the switch beside “Pen Menu” to “Off.”

In Personalization > Taskbar, flip the switch beside "Pen Menu" to "Off."

From now on, the pen menu won’t appear in your taskbar when you use your stylus. Good luck!

RELATED: All the Ways Windows 11's Taskbar Is Different

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Benj Edwards is a former Associate Editor for How-To Geek. Now, he is an AI and Machine Learning Reporter for Ars Technica. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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