How to Customize Taskbar in Windows 10?

In this post, we’ll see:

Open Taskbar Settings

You can launch taskbar settings in three ways, and they are:

Method #1

  1. Right-click on the blank area of the taskbar.
  2. Hit Taskbar settings option in the context menu.
Taskbar settings

Method #2

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Click on the Personalization option.
  3. Hit the Taskbar option from the left sidebar.

Method #3

Open Run. In it, type ms-settings:taskbar. Hit the Ok button.

Run Command Box with the command to open taskbar settings

You can also use the above command in the Address toolbar, the address bar of File Explorer and Task Manager (in it, click on File > Run new task to use the command).

Alternatively, you can use the command start ms-settings:taskbar in Command Prompt and Windows PowerShell.

Lock or Unlock Taskbar in Windows 10

The taskbar is locked by default and you can’t resize it or change its position by drag and drop until it remains so. Here’s how you can lock or unlock the taskbar:

Method #1

  1. Right-click on the empty area of the taskbar.
  2. Hit the Lock the taskbar option in the context menu to lock or unlock the taskbar. Remember that the checkmark beside the option means the taskbar is locked.
Lock the taskbar enabled
Lock the taskbar disabled

Method #2

  1. Launch taskbar settings.
  2. Enable (to lock) or disable (to unlock) the toggle switch beneath the Lock the taskbar.
Toggle switch turned on
Toggle switch turned off

Resize Taskbar in Windows 10

  1. Unlock the taskbar.
  2. Hover your mouse over the top of the taskbar and begin dragging it.
  3. Once the taskbar size is as you prefer, stop dragging.

That’s it. Lock the taskbar if you wish.

Change Taskbar Position

Windows 10 taskbar is at the bottom of the screen by default. If you wish, you can change its position to top, left or right and here’s how:

Method #1

  1. Unlock the taskbar.
  2. Drag and drop the taskbar in your desired position (top, left, or right).

That’s all. If you wish, lock the taskbar now.

In case, if you want to get back the taskbar in its default position (bottom), drag and drop the taskbar to the bottom after you’ve unlocked it. Lock the taskbar now if you wish.

Method #2

  1. Open taskbar settings.
  2. Open the drop-down list beneath Taskbar location on screen.
  3. Choose the location you want (Top, Left, or Right).
Selected Right

In case, if you want the taskbar in its default position (bottom), open the above drop-down list and choose Bottom.

Change Taskbar Buttons Size

By default, the taskbar buttons are large. Follow the below steps to have small taskbar buttons:

  1. Open taskbar settings.
  2. Enable the toggle switch under Use small taskbar buttons.
Enabled Use small taskbar icons

Notes:

  • Keep in mind that if you turn on Use small taskbar buttons, it’ll turn off Show badges on taskbar buttons.
  • To get back the large taskbar buttons, disable the toggle switch under Use small taskbar buttons.

Disable Taskbar Buttons Combining

If you don’t like taskbar buttons got combining, then you can disable it and here’s how:

  1. Open taskbar settings.
  2. In the Taskbar section, you can see a drop-down list beneath Combine taskbar buttons.
  3. Open the drop-down list, and you can see these three options:
  • Always, hide labels – this one hides the labels, and always combines the taskbar buttons.
  • When the taskbar is full – this one will show the labels and combine the taskbar buttons when the taskbar is full.
  • Never – disable taskbar buttons from combining. Also, this one will show labels.
  1. Choose Never.
Chosen Never option

Automatically Hide Taskbar in Windows 10

Taskbar always stays at its position by default. But you can set the taskbar to hide automatically, and here’s how:

Open taskbar settings.

To automatically hide the taskbar in desktop mode: Enable the toggle switch underneath Automatically hide the taskbar in desktop mode.

To automatically hide the taskbar in tablet mode: Enable the toggle switch underneath Automatically hide the taskbar in tablet mode.

Turned on both the Taskbar auto hide options

That’s it. You can see that the taskbar is not in the view.

You can bring the taskbar to view by moving the cursor pointer towards its position or by pressing Windows and T keys simultaneously.

Remember that that taskbar will automatically hide once you move the cursor from it.

If you want to revert, disable the toggle switch.

Both the Taskbar auto hide options are turned off

Turn On or Off Peek at Desktop

Windows 10 doesn’t have the Peek at desktop enabled by default. But you can enable it if you prefer, and here’s how:

Method #1

  1. Right-click on the Show desktop button, which you can find beside the Action Center in the taskbar.
  2. Now, you can see these two options – Show desktop and Peek at desktop.
Peek at desktop option
  1. Click on Peek at desktop.

Notes

  • Remember that a tick beside Peek at desktop option means it is on.
  • To revert, follow the above steps.

Method #2

  1. Open taskbar settings.
  2. Enable the toggle switch beneath Use Peek to preview the desktop when you move your mouse to the Show desktop button at the end of the taskbar.
Enabled toggle switch

Note: To revert, disable the above toggle switch.

Customize Notification Area in Windows 10

Notification area, the one on the right side of the taskbar, is home to the system icons and some other icons.

Hide or Show System Icons in Notification Area

  1. Open taskbar settings.
  2. Hit the Turn system icons on or off link in the Notification area section.
  3. Click on the toggle switch beside the system icon you wish to show or hide. Remember that the Blue means it’ll be displayed.

Hide or Show Icons in Notification Area

  1. Launch taskbar settings.
  2. Hit on Select which icons appear on the taskbar link in the Notification area section.
  3. Click on the toggle switch beside the one you wish to show or hide. Remember that the Blue means it’ll be displayed.

Hide or Show All Enabled Icons in the Notification Area

When you click on Show hidden icons arrow, which you can find beside the notification area icons, you can see some notification area icons which are out of sight.

If you want to show any of those icons in the notification area, then drag and drop it in the notification area.

If you don’t want to see an icon in the notification area, then drag and drop it on the Show hidden icons arrow.

If you want to view all the icons in the notification area, then follow the below steps:

  1. Open taskbar settings.
  2. Hit on Select which icons appear on the taskbar.
  3. Enable the toggle switch underneath the Always show all icons in the notification area. Remember that the Blue means enabled.

Remove Cortana Button, Task View Button, Search Box, and People icon

Taskbar contains a search box, Cortana button, Task View button, and People icon by default.

If you wish, you can remove those and here’s how:

  1. Right-click on the blank area in the taskbar.
  2. Hit Show Cortana button, Show Task View button, and Show People on the taskbar options in the context menu.
  3. Hover your mouse over the Search in the context menu and then select Hidden.

Note: To revert, repeat step 2. Also, hover your mouse over Search and then select Show search box option.

Pin Shortcut to Taskbar

If the shortcut you want to pin to the taskbar is on the Start menu – Right-click on it, hover your mouse over More and then click on the Pin to taskbar option.

If the program or its shortcut is on the File Explorer – Right-click on it and then hit Pin to taskbar. Alternate way – Select the shortcut, click on App Tools in the Ribbon, hit the Pin to taskbar option.

If the program or its shortcut is on the desktop – drag it and drop on the taskbar. Alternate way – you can right-click on it and then hit the Pin to taskbar option.

If the program is running, then you can see its icon in the taskbar. To pin, right-click on it and then click Pin to taskbar.

If you want to pin a website to the taskbar, check out this guide.

Pin to taskbar option is not available for a file and folder. However, you can try the drag-and-drop method.

If you drag the file and drop it on the taskbar, then the program’s (the program that will open that file) shortcut will get added there (if it isn’t there already), and you can see that the file gets pinned to that shortcut’s Pinned section (Right-click on the taskbar shortcut to view this section).

Pinned file is in the Pinned section of Notepad taskbar shortcut

Keep in mind that the above one doesn’t work for all file types (for instance: PNG).

You can see the folder pinned to the Pinned section of the taskbar’s File Explorer shortcut when you drag and drop that folder to the taskbar.

You can see the File Explorer shortcut added to the taskbar if it isn’t already there. Also, you can view the folder in the Pinned section of the shortcut.

Pinned folder is in the Pinned section of File Explorer taskbar shortcut

If you want to pin the file or folder on the taskbar directly, follow the below steps:

Right-click on the file or folder that you want to pin. Hover your mouse over the Send to option and then hit Desktop (create shortcut).

Now, you can see the shortcut on the desktop. Rename and change the icon of it if you wish. Right-click on the shortcut and then hit Properties.

In the Target field, type explorer at the beginning and then hit the Space key (see the screenshot below).

Properties popup of an image file

Hit the Ok button.

Now, right-click on the shortcut and then hit the Pin to taskbar option. That’s it.

Pinned image file to the taskbar

If you wish, remove the shortcut from the desktop.

To Unpin Shortcut from Taskbar

Right-click on the shortcut you want to unpin and then hit the Unpin from taskbar option.

Unpin from taskbar option

To completely remove the folder pinned directly to the taskbar, you need to do this additional step – restart the File Explorer.

Add Address, Links or Desktop Toolbar

Windows 10 has three inbuilt toolbars, and they are:

Address – You can use this one to open applications, files, folders, and websites.

To open file – type its URL in Address toolbar and then press Enter key.

To open folder – type its URL or name and then hit the Enter key. Not every folder is opened by inputting its name. However, some are such as Documents.

To open application – type its URL or name and then press Enter key. Like the folder, not every application gets opened by inputting its name. However, some are such as Task Manager.

To open the website – type its URL and then hit Enter key. Keep in mind that you can also do a web search from here. However, the search term should not be a single word, such as hello.

Links – This one lets you see and access the contents of the Favourites Bar.

If you want to see the contents of the Favourites Bar before adding the Links toolbar, follow these steps: Launch Run. In it, type favorites and then press Enter key. Now, you can see the Favourites folder. Within that folder, you can see the Favourites Bar folder. Double-click it to view its contents.

Desktop – This one lets you see and access all the contents of the desktop.

If you want to see desktop contents before adding the Desktop toolbar, follow these steps: Launch Run. In it, type shell:desktop and then press Enter key.

With all that said, let’s see the steps to add inbuilt toolbars in Windows 10.

Steps

  1. Right-click on the blank area of the taskbar.
  2. In the context menu, hover the mouse over Toolbars, and you can see these options:
  • Address
  • Links
  • Desktop
  • New toolbar
Toolbars options
  1. Except for New toolbar option, click the one you want. Here, I’m choosing the Address.

That’s all. Now, you can see the toolbar you chose on the taskbar.

Address Toolbar on the taskbar

Note: if you want to remove the one you’ve added, follow the above steps.

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