Windows 11 is a significant step forward for Windows, but it still has many ongoing issues, especially with the all-new taskbar. Thankfully, many of the problems are being fixed ahead of the major 22H2 update.
Microsoft is testing a new behavior for the taskbar in Windows 11, starting with Build 25163 in the Windows Insiders Dev Channel. If you open more applications than the taskbar can fit, a new overflow menu button will appear on the right side. Clicking the button will reveal all the apps that can’t fit in the taskbar.
Older versions of Windows had many options for fitting more apps in the taskbar, from changing the icon size to adding more rows of icons. However, Windows 11 simply hides additional app icons once the taskbar icon is full, leaving Win+Tab or Alt+Tab as the only way to return to a specific application. It’s a terrible experience, so it’s great that Microsoft is finally fixing it.
Microsoft said in a blog post, “the overflow menu will contain many of the current taskbar behaviors users are familiar with, such as supporting pinned apps, jump list, and extended UI. After invoking overflow, the menu will quietly dismiss once you click outside of it or navigate to an application.”
The change comes after Microsoft added the ability to drag files onto app icons in the taskbar, which was present on Windows 10 (and earlier versions) but not in the initial release of Windows 11. Drag-and-drop is not yet rolled out to everyone — Microsoft might be waiting for the big 22H2 update scheduled for later this year. Clock support on multiple monitors is also a work in progress.
Besides restoring functionality from Windows 10, Microsoft is working on further improvements to widgets, which were initially accessible from a button on the taskbar. The button was replaced with a dynamic view on the left side of the taskbar, which currently only shows the weather, but it will soon display alerts and other information. Microsoft is also working on an API for third-party developers to create their own widgets, which could potentially be a massive addition for Windows — Android has supported widgets for years, and they had a resurgence in popularity after Apple added them to iPhones and iPads with iOS 14.
There are many taskbar changes to look forward to with upcoming Windows 11 updates. Even though many of the new features are simply restored functionality from Windows 10, widgets and other tweaks could help Windows 11 become a more worthwhile update — an important goal as Windows 10 creeps towards the end of support in October 2025.
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