The taskbar on a Windows 11 laptop.

Windows 11 looks pretty slick, but its beauty is sometimes only skin deep. Take the new taskbar, for example: It’s missing drag-and-drop and other important features. Microsoft still appears to be working on the taskbar, but it’s going to ship with missing features.

This Taskbar Wasn’t Meant for Most Windows Desktops

Overall, the taskbar looks pretty good. But there’s a serious problem with it: It wasn’t originally designed for typical Windows desktops and laptops. This taskbar was originally part of Windows 10X, an operating system designed for dual-screen devices—one that Microsoft never released.

So, when you ask why the taskbar lacks a certain feature, it’s not that  Microsoft necessarily removed that particular feature. It’s that Microsoft created a new taskbar and hasn’t added all the old features back in yet. Perhaps it was just too much work to get them done in time.

Drag and Drop Isn’t Done Yet

On Windows 10 and earlier versions of Windows, the taskbar supports dragging and dropping files to application icons. This feature is often used by graphics designers to open image files directly in Photoshop and other image-editing applications, for example.

On Windows 11, there’s no more dragging-and-dropping files or anything else to taskbar icons. If you try it, you’ll see a crossed-out red circle telling you a particular action isn’t supported.

You can still drag and drop a file to another application by dragging and holding it, and then pressing Alt+Tab or Windows+Tab and switching to the application window. However, the taskbar doesn’t help anymore.

Drag and drop failing on Windows 11's taskbar.

So, why doesn’t this work? Has Microsoft made a decision that this feature is bad and should be removed? No—according to Windows Latest, Microsoft is experimenting with adding this feature to Windows 11’s taskbar in Insider builds of Windows 11. However, this feature won’t be ready for Windows 11’s October 5, 2021 release date and will likely have to wait until Windows 11’s first major update six months later.

You Still Can’t Move the Taskbar

Another power-user feature removed from the taskbar is the ability to move it to any edge of the screen. It’s now glued to the bottom of your screen, and you can’t have it at the left, top, or right edge instead.

It’s a shame because even Chrome OS and macOS let you move their taskbar equivalents (the shelf and dock) to another edge of the screen if you like. The Windows desktop should be at least as flexible as Chrome OS.

We could try to guess a good reason why Microsoft removed this feature, but we think it just wasn’t added to the new taskbar in time. We wouldn’t be surprised to see it return in a future update—we can only hope it does.

The Taskbar Should Be Getting Better, Not Worse

These may seem like nitpicks, but Windows should be getting better and more flexible.

Lots of Windows users are going to upgrade only to notice that they can no longer use their drag-and-drop workflow anymore.

People who have used the taskbar on the left for the last 20+ years are going to be stunned to see that option was removed, too.

Windows is supposed to be a powerful, flexible operating system. It’s a shame that, at a time when Apple is making drag-and-drop more powerful on iPhones, Microsoft is making it less usable on Windows.

RELATED: How to Drag and Drop Photos and Text Between iPhone Apps

Profile Photo for Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader's Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than one billion times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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