Crossed-out Windows 11 Taskbar

For all the hoopla about Windows 11, it’s clear that some of its taskbar features don’t yet match the functionality of the operating system it’s replacing—Windows 10. Here are five ways Windows 10’s taskbar beats Windows 11’s as of October 2021.

You Can’t Move It to Different Sides of the Screen

In Windows 11, you can't have a vertical taskbar.

In Windows 10, you can unlock the taskbar and drag it to the left, right, or top of the screen with ease. This is handy for people who prefer to use the taskbar in a different way.

In Windows 11, there is no such official option to re-locate the taskbar, and that’s unfortunate. With registry hacks, it’s possible to move the taskbar to the top of the screen and keep it usable. Unfortunately, the same hack for the left or right side of the screen results in a broken taskbar. We hope Microsoft adds an official way to move the taskbar in a future release.

RELATED: How to Move Windows 11's Taskbar to the Top of the Screen

You Can’t Easily Resize It

Windows 11 three taskbar sizes from a registry hack

In Windows 10, you can make the taskbar larger—allowing it to show more icons at once—by unlocking it and dragging its edge. You can also change the icon size from regular to small with a setting in Settings > Personalization > Taskbar.

While it’s possible to resize the taskbar in Windows 11 while also resizing everything else (with the “Scale” setting in System > Display), you’ll have to live with much bigger text while doing so. We’ve found a registry hack work-around that lets you choose between three sizes, but an official option from Microsoft would be ideal.

RELATED: How to Make Your Taskbar Larger or Smaller on Windows 11

You Can’t See the Clock on Multiple Monitors

Clock missing on multiple monitors in Windows 11.

In Windows 10, you can see the date and time in the corner of every monitor’s taskbar, which means checking the time is only a quick glance away. So if you’re using more than one screen, the clock is where you expect it. In Windows 11, the date and time in the right corner of the taskbar only shows up on the primary display. This one seems like it could be an easy fix in a future version of Windows 11 if enough people request it.

RELATED: How to See Multiple Time Zone Clocks on Windows 10's Taskbar

You Can’t Use Classic Window Labels

You can't display taskbar labels in Windows 11.

In Windows 10, you can choose to kick it old school by always showing text window labels beside the app icons in your taskbar. If you don’t have too many windows open, it can help you quickly get a grasp of what you’re working with. In Windows 11, all your windows get combined under a single icon for each app—and there are no text labels to be found. You suddenly have even less information at your fingertips. That can be a good thing when trying to make an interface less visually confusing, but losing the option completely is a mistake.

RELATED: How to See Classic Window Labels on Windows 10's Taskbar

You Can’t Drag Files Onto Taskbar Icons

A file being dragged to the taskbar with a crossed-out symbol in Windows 11.

In Windows 10, some apps allow you to open files by dragging them directly onto an app’s icon in the taskbar, automatically switching focus to the app (or you can hold Shift and open it directly). Also, you can pin files you frequently use to the taskbar’s app icons by dragging them as well. Very handy and quick. In Windows 11, if you try to do either one, you’re greeted with a crossed-out “no” symbol, and it doesn’t work.

We hope that Microsoft will continue to improve the new Windows 11 taskbar over time, but for now, the Windows 10 taskbar beats the new Windows 11 taskbar easily in terms of total features. Here’s looking to the future!

RELATED: Windows 11's Taskbar Won't Be Finished Before Release

Profile Photo for Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
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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