Taskbar – Windows Blog by Brink

Taskbar

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Change Hover Time to Show Taskbar Thumbnail Live Preview in Windows 11

The taskbar is a horizontal bar at the bottom of your desktop in Windows 11 that shows the Start menu, Search, Task View, Widgets, Chat, File Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and Microsoft Store icons aligned to the center by default. The taskbar corner includes the notification area icons, Quick Settings (Win+A), and Notification Center (Win+N) with the clock and calendar.

When you hover the pointer over an icon on the taskbar with an open window, you will see the thumbnail preview(s) of the open window(s).

When you hover the pointer on the taskbar thumbnail preview, you will see a live preview (peek) of only that open window on your desktop.

If you like, you can change the hover delay time to how many milliseconds you want.

A shorter delay time will have a taskbar thumbnail live preview show faster when hovering on a taskbar thumbnail preview.

A longer delay time will cause a taskbar thumbnail live preview take longer before showing when hovering on a taskbar thumbnail preview. If you set a long enough delay, it will effectively disable showing a taskbar thumbnail live preview when hovering on a taskbar thumbnail preview.

This tutorial will show you how to change the hover delay time to show a taskbar thumbnail live preview for your account in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

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Change Hover Time to Show Taskbar Thumbnail Previews in Windows 11

The taskbar is a horizontal bar at the bottom of your desktop in Windows 11 that shows the Start menu, Search, Task View, Widgets, Chat, File Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and Microsoft Store icons aligned to the center by default. The taskbar corner includes the notification area icons, Quick Settings (Win+A), and Notification Center (Win+N) with the clock and calendar.

When you hover the pointer over an icon on the taskbar with an open window, there is a delay milliseconds you have to wait before seeing the thumbnail preview(s) of the open window(s).

A shorter delay time will have taskbar thumbnail previews show faster when hovering on a taskbar icon.

A longer delay time will cause taskbar thumbnail previews to take longer before showing when hovering on a taskbar icon. If you set a long enough delay, it will effectively disable showing taskbar thumbnail previews when hovering on a taskbar icon.

This tutorial will show you how to change the hover delay time to show taskbar thumbnail previews for your account in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

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Change Number of Taskbar Thumbnails to Show before Stacked as List in Windows 11

The taskbar is a horizontal bar at the bottom of your desktop in Windows 11 that shows the Start menu :win:, Search, Task View, Widgets, Chat, File Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and Microsoft Store icons aligned to the center by default. The taskbar corner includes the notification area icons, Quick Settings (Win+A), and Notification Center (Win+N) with the clock and calendar.

When you have one or more windows open for an app, you can hover over or click/tap on the app’s icon on the taskbar to see thumbnail previews of the open windows.

The taskbar will only show thumbnail previews of so many open windows for an app before the threshold is reached and will then afterwards automatically show a stacked list of the open windows.

The taskbar thumbnail threshold limit will vary depending on what you have set for your screen resolution and DPI scaling level.

Here are some default taskbar thumbnail threshold limits based on screen resolution with default DPI:

  • 800×600 = 8 open windows
  • 1024×768 = 10 open windows
  • 1920×1080 = 16 open windows

This tutorial will show you how to change the taskbar thumbnail threshold limit for number of thumbnail previews to show before stacked as list for your account in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

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Enable or Disable Always Use Last Active Click on Taskbar in Windows 11

The taskbar is a horizontal bar at the bottom of your desktop in Windows 11 that shows the Start menu :win:, Search, Task View, Widgets, Chat, File Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and Microsoft Store icons aligned to the center by default. The taskbar corner includes the notification area icons, Quick Settings (Win+A), and Notification Center (Win+N) with the clock and calendar.

When you have more than one window open for an app, you can hover over or click/tap on the app’s icon on the taskbar to see thumbnail previews of the opened windows to switch between them by default.

The¬†Last Active Click¬†feature will allow you to press the¬†Ctrl¬†key while click/tap on the app’s icon to switch between the open windows for the app showing in order of the last active window.

If you like, you can enable to always use the¬†Last Active Click¬†feature to only need to click/tap on an app’s icon on the taskbar to switch between the app’s open windows.

You can continue to click/tap on the app’s icon on the taskbar to switch between each of the open windows for the app.

This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable always use Last Active Click on the taskbar for your account in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

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Change Size of Taskbar Thumbnail Previews in Windows 11

The taskbar is a horizontal bar at the bottom of your desktop in Windows 11 that shows the Start menu :win:, Search, Task View, Widgets, Chat, File Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and Microsoft Store icons aligned to the center by default. The taskbar corner includes the notification area icons, Quick Settings (Win+A), and Notification Center (Win+N) with the clock and calendar.

When you hover the pointer over an icon on the taskbar for an open window, it will show a thumbnail preview of the open window.

If you like, you can change the size of taskbar thumbnail previews to a smaller or larger size in pixels.

This tutorial will show you how to change the size of taskbar thumbnail previews for your account in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

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Unpin Items from Taskbar in Windows 11

The taskbar in Windows 11 shows the Start menu, Search, Task View, Widgets, Chat, File Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and Microsoft Store buttons (icons) aligned to the center by default.

The taskbar will also show the icon of the app for any window you have open. If you like, you can¬†pin an app, drive, file, folder, or site to the taskbar¬†to always show the app’s icon on the taskbar whether the app is open or not. Pinning an app to the taskbar makes it easier to open the app on demand from the taskbar.

If you no longer want an item pinned to your taskbar, then you can use “Unpin from taskbar” to remove it.

This tutorial will show you how to unpin items from the taskbar for your account in Windows 11.

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Enable or Disable Taskbar Context Menus in Windows 11

The taskbar is a horizontal bar at the bottom of your desktop in Windows 11 that shows the Start menu :win:, Search, Task View, Widgets, Chat, File Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and Microsoft Store icons aligned to the center by default. The taskbar corner includes the notification area icons, Quick Settings (Win+A), and Notification Center (Win+N) with the clock and calendar.

The taskbar context menus include:

  • Right click on taskbar for¬†Taskbar settings.
  • Right click on the Start button or press Win+X to open the¬†Win+X Quick Link Menu.
  • Right click on an icon on the taskbar to open its¬†Jump List.
  • Shift + Right click on an icon on the taskbar to open its context menu.

This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable context menus on the taskbar for all or specific users in Windows 11.

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Turn On or Off Show Notification Banners from Apps in Windows 11

Notifications are alerts from apps, system, and other senders.

Windows 11 shows notifications on the lock screen (Win+L), Notification Center (Win+N), and notification banners at the lower-right corner of the screen above the taskbar on the main display.

If you like, you can turn on or off showing notification banners from specific apps above the taskbar corner.

This tutorial will show you how to turn on or off show notification banners from apps for your account in Windows 11.

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Enable or Disable Simplified Quick Settings in Windows 11

Quick Settings (Win+A) gives you quick access from the taskbar corner to commonly used settings and apps like Volume, Brightness, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Airplane mode, Rotation lock, Battery saver, Accessibility, Night light, Mobile hotspot, Nearby sharing, Cast, and Project. Directly above your Quick Settings, you will see media playback controls when playing music or videos in Microsoft Edge or streaming music in apps like Spotify.

You can enable the Simplify Quick Settings Layout policy to reduce Quick Settings (Win+A) to only having the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Accessibility buttons, the brightness and volume sliders, battery indicator, and Settings link. Users will not be able to edit Quick Settings when simplified.

This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable simplify Quick Settings layout for all users in Windows 11.

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Enable or Disable Notification Center in Windows 11

Windows 11 puts notifications in the Notification Center (Win+N) on the taskbar corner where you can get to them instantly from the flyout.

You will also see the calendar flyout under the Notification Center flyout.

Starting with Windows 11 build 22610, you can disable opening the Notification Center and calendar flyouts via group policy.

This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable the ability to open the Notification Center for all or specific users in Windows 11.

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Enable or Disable Quick Settings in Windows 11

Quick Settings (Win+A) gives you quick access from the taskbar corner to commonly used settings and apps like Volume, Brightness, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Airplane mode, Rotation lock, Battery saver, Accessibility, Night light, Mobile hotspot, Nearby sharing, Cast, and Project. Directly above your Quick Settings, you will see media playback controls when playing music or videos in Microsoft Edge or streaming music in apps like Spotify.

Starting with Windows 11 build 22610, you can disable opening the Quick Settings flyout via group policy.

This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable the ability to open Quick Settings for all or specific users in Windows 11.

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Enable or Disable Editing Quick Settings in Windows 11

Quick Settings (Win+A) gives you quick access from the taskbar corner to commonly used settings and apps like Volume, Brightness, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Airplane mode, Rotation lock, Battery saver, Accessibility, Night light, Mobile hotspot, Nearby sharing, Cast, and Project. Directly above your Quick Settings, you will see media playback controls when playing music or videos in Microsoft Edge or streaming music in apps like Spotify.

Starting with Windows 11 build 22610, you can disable editing Quick Settings via group policy.

This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable the ability to edit Quick Settings for all users in Windows 11.

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Turn On or Off Phone Link Recent Apps on Taskbar Corner in Windows 11

With the¬†Phone Link¬†app on your PC¬†linked¬†to your Android phone, you can instantly access the Android apps installed on your mobile device right on your Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC. Using a Wi-Fi connection, Apps allows you to browse, play, order, chat, and more ‚ÄĒ all while using your PC‚Äôs larger screen and keyboard.

You can easily access three of your most recently used apps from your Android phone using the Phone Link icon in your Windows taskbar navigation area. You will also find your recently used apps at the top of your Apps page inside the Phone Link app.

This tutorial will show you how to turn on or off showing your recently used Android apps using the Phone Link icon on the taskbar corner for your account in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

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Turn On or Off Show Badge on Phone Link icon on Taskbar in Windows 11

With the Phone Link app on your PC linked to your Android phone, you can view and manage your Android device notifications on your PC.

You can turn on or off showing a badge on the Phone Link app’s icon on the taskbar as part of managing your notifications. These badges are lightweight notifications that are contextual. For example, the badge can show a number for how many unread messages or missed calls you have from your Android phone.

This tutorial will show you how to turn on or off show badge on Phone Link icon on the taskbar for your account in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

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Add or Remove Bluetooth Notification Icon on Taskbar in Windows 11

Bluetooth is a short range wireless technology which enables wireless data transmission between two Bluetooth enabled devices located nearby each other.

There are many different types of Bluetooth enabled devices you can add and pair to your PC, such as mobile phones, wireless headsets, speakers, fitness trackers, mouse, keyboard, etc…

When you turn on Bluetooth, the Bluetooth notification icon will show on the taskbar corner (system tray) by default.

The Bluetooth notification icon will not show on the taskbar corner (system tray) when you turn off Bluetooth.

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove the Bluetooth notification icon on the taskbar for your account in Windows 11.

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Show or Hide Pen Menu icon on Taskbar in Windows 11

The pen menu in Windows 11 makes it easy for you to access your favorite apps.

If you have a pen, tap it on your screen. The pen menu will appear in the corner of your taskbar.

You can add up to four apps as shortcuts to your pen menu.

This tutorial will show you how to show or hide the pen menu icon on the taskbar system tray for your account in Windows 11.

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Turn On or Off Tablet-optimized Taskbar in Windows 11

Starting with Windows 11 build 22563, Microsoft introduced a new tablet-optimized taskbar state that’s specifically designed to make you feel more confident and comfortable using your device as a tablet. Your taskbar will automatically transition to this optimized version when you disconnect or fold back the keyboard on your 2-in-1 device. This feature only works on devices that can be used as tablets. It does not work on laptops or desktop PCs.

There are two states of this taskbar: collapsed and expanded. In the collapsed state, the taskbar gets out your way, gives you more screen space, and prevents you from accidentally invoking the taskbar when you’re holding your tablet. In the expanded state, the taskbar is optimized to be easier to use with touch. You can easily switch between the two states by swiping up and down on the bottom of your device.

This tutorial will show you how to turn on or off tablet-optimized taskbar for your account in Windows 11.

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Change Taskbar Time to 12 or 24 hour Clock Format in Windows 11

Time is a measure in which events can be ordered from the past through the present into the future, and also the measure of durations of events and the intervals between them.

The time on the taskbar corner displays the system time in a 12 hour clock format by default.

If you like, you can have the taskbar time display in a 24 hour clock format (aka: Military Time).

This tutorial will show you how to change the taskbar to display time in a 12 or 24 hour clock format for your account in Windows 11.

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