How to use the taskbar

Use the taskbar for more than just seeing your apps and finding out what time it is. Make it look how you want, manage your calendar, pin your favorite apps to it, move it to where you want to display on your screen, and specify how taskbar buttons group together when you have more than one window open. You can even manage your calendar appointments right from the taskbar.

Taskbar in Windows 10
 

Pin an app to the taskbar

Pin, or unpin if you want, an app directly to the taskbar for quick access when you're on the desktop. You can do it from Start or the Jump List, which is a list of shortcuts to recently opened files, folders, and websites.

Pin an app from Start

On the Start screen , press and hold or right-click the app and then tap or click More > Pin to taskbar. If you’re unpinning, follow the same steps and tap or click Unpin from taskbar.

Pin an app from the Jump List

If the app is already open, press and hold the app's taskbar button and slide your finger up until the Jump List appears. If you're using a mouse, right-click the app button on the taskbar. Then tap or click Pin to taskbar. If you’re unpinning, follow the same steps and tap or click Unpin from taskbar.

Taskbar jump list
 

Change your taskbar settings

Customize the taskbar to how you like it from the taskbar itself. If you want to change multiple aspects of the taskbar at one time, use Settings. Press and hold or right-click any empty space on the taskbar, and then tap or click Settings .



Taskbar settings
 

Change the taskbar location

Typically, the taskbar is at the bottom of the desktop, but you can also move it to the sides or top of the desktop. If the taskbar is locked, you need to unlock it before you move it (see Lock and unlock the taskbar in this topic). Press and hold or right-click any empty space on the taskbar, tap or click Settings  > Taskbar location on screen, and then select Left, Top, Right, or Bottom.

Rearrange taskbar buttons

Whenever you want to change the order of app buttons on the taskbar, just drag a button from its current position to a different one.

You might want to choose how taskbar buttons are grouped together, especially if you have multiple windows open. By default, all open files from the same app are always grouped together, even if you didn’t open them in succession.

If you want to change how taskbar buttons group together, press and hold or right-click any empty space on the taskbar, tap or click Settings , and then select one of the options from the Combine Taskbar buttons list:

  • Always, hide labels. This is the default setting. Each app appears as a single, unlabeled button, even when multiple windows for that app are open.
  • When taskbar is full. This setting shows each window as an individual, labeled button. When the taskbar becomes crowded, apps with multiple open windows collapse into a single app button. Tap or click the button to see a list of the windows that are open.
  • Never. This setting shows each window as an individual, labeled button and never combines them, no matter how many windows are open. As more apps and windows open, buttons get smaller, and eventually the buttons will scroll.

Lock and unlock the taskbar

Locking the taskbar is handy to make sure it stays how you set it up. Unlock the taskbar later when you want to make changes or change its location on the desktop. Press and hold or right-click any empty space on the taskbar, and then tap or click Settings  and turn on Lock the taskbar.

If Lock the taskbar has a check mark next to it, you know it’s already locked. To turn it off, just tap or click Lock the taskbar or go to Settings and turn it off.

Show badges on Taskbar buttons

A badge on a taskbar button is an alert to let you know that some activity is happening or needs to happen with that app.

Taskbar badge notification
 

For example, a bell badge on the Alarms & Clocks app tells you have an active alarm and will notify you at the time you set. This feature is on by default, but if you want to make sure it’s on or turn it off, press and hold or right-click any empty space on the taskbar, tap or click Settings , and go to Show badges on taskbar buttons.

Use smaller taskbar buttons

If you want to show more of your apps on the taskbar, you can show smaller versions of the buttons. Press and hold or right-click any empty space on the taskbar, tap or click Settings, and then turn on Use small taskbar buttons.

Use the taskbar to peek at the desktop

Use the Peek feature to take a quick look at what’s on your desktop behind all of the open windows.

  1. Press and hold or right-click any empty space on the taskbar, tap or click Settings , and then turn on Use Peek to preview the desktop when you move your mouse to the Show desktop button at the end of the taskbar.
  2. Move the cursor over or press and hold the far right edge of the Taskbar and there’s the desktop.
  3. To restore the view of all your open windows, just move the cursor away or press and hold the edge one more time.

Automatically hide the taskbar

You might want to hide the taskbar sometimes, like when you’re watching a movie or doing some reading. You have the flexibility to automatically hide the taskbar based on whether you’re in desktop mode or tablet mode. Press and hold or right-click any empty space on the taskbar, tap or click Settings , and then turn on either or both Automatically hide the taskbar in desktop mode and Automatically hide the taskbar in tablet mode.

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Article ID: 29280 - Last Review: Aug 31, 2016 - Revision: 20

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