The first Insider Preview build of Windows 11 is here, and it gave early adopters a taste of Microsoft’s new operating system. While Windows 11 is a huge improvement when it comes to visual appeal and features like support for Android apps and widgets, Microsoft has notably reduced the taskbar customization options in the operating system. If you prefer to customize the taskbar by placing it on top or moving the taskbar icons to the left, here are all the possible taskbar customizations in Windows 11.
Customize the Taskbar in Windows 11 (2021)
We’ve added instructions for using Registry Editor to resize the taskbar, move the taskbar to the top, and more. You can even bring back the classic Windows 10 Start Menu if the new redesigned Start Menu in Windows 11 failed to impress you. With that said, let’s start with taskbar customizations.
Use TaskbarXI to Style the Windows 11 Taskbar
TaskbarX has been a favorite utility among power Windows users for customizing the taskbar and getting Windows 11-style centered taskbar icons in Windows 10. Now that Microsoft is giving Windows a fresh start with Windows 11, TaskbarX developer Chris Andriessen has released a new taskbar modification app called TaskbarXI.
While the app currently supports taskbar style features, Andriessen hopes to add other requested features in the future. As of writing this article, TaskbarXI is in its early stages, and the developer has recently released the first build on GitHub. Here’s how you can download and use TaskbarXI to change taskbar themes in Windows 11.
1. Download the TaskbarXI app from GitHub and extract it using Windows native zip extractor or use applications like WinZip and WinRAR.
2. After extracting the zip file, open the “Release” folder and double click to run “TaskbarXI Configurator.exe”. Within a few seconds you will see the companion app to adjust the taskbar using TaskbarXI.
3. From the TaskbarXI Configurator application, you can set various taskbar styles, including transparent, transparent, opaque, blurred and acrylic gradient. Here are some screenshots highlighting taskbar style customizations in Windows 11:
Resize the taskbar in Windows 11
Although Microsoft doesn’t officially allow you to resize the taskbar in Windows 11, you can use Registry Editor to do this manually. You can make taskbar icons smaller or larger in Windows 11 using this workaround. See how:
1. Press Windows keyboard shortcut “Ctrl+R” to open Run and type “regedit” to open Registry Editor in Windows 11. You can also search for “Regedit” in Windows Search and click “Open”. When Windows asks for your permission to make changes, click “Yes”.
2. After opening Registry Editor, navigate to the path below in the left pane:
3. Then right-click anywhere in the registry editor and choose New -> DWORD Value (32 bit).
3. Set the DWORD value name to “TaskbarSi” and press the Enter key to save the changes.
4. Now, double click on “TaskbarSi” to set its value. Details for the size of taskbar icons and their corresponding numbers are as follows:
- small taskbar – TaskbarSi value 0
- standard taskbar – TaskbarSi value 1
- large taskbar – TaskbarSi value 2
5. Based on your preference, set the value to 0 or 2, assuming you don’t like the new default taskbar size in Windows 11. Notably, third-party app icons will look a bit pixelated when you use the big one. taskbar. Check out the images below to see the difference in taskbar icon size in Windows 11:
5. After setting the preferred value, restart the system or open the Task Manager using the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl+Shift+Esc” and restart Windows Explorer.
Move the taskbar to the top or side in Windows 11
1. Using the steps explained above, open Registry Editor and go to the following path:
2. Then double-click Settings in the right pane and find the fifth value in line 00000008. By default its value will be set to 03. Now double click to highlight this value to replace it.
3. To move the taskbar to the top, set the value to 01. Likewise, you can set the value to 00 or 02 to move the taskbar to the left or right side of your Windows 11 PC respectively. However, as of the first preview version of Windows 11, Windows Explorer crashes as soon as you set the value to 01 or 02. For now, this workaround won’t let you set the taskbar to the left, but it remains see if that changes in future Insider builds.
For quick reference, check out the values and position of the corresponding taskbar below:
- 00 – Left Taskbar
- 01 – Upper Taskbar
- 02 – Right Taskbar
- 03 – Lower Taskbar
4. After setting the value, click OK and restart the computer. You can also open Task Manager using the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl+Shift+Esc” and restart windows explorer if you don’t want to restart the system. The taskbar will now be moved to the new position on your Windows 11 PC.
Move taskbar icons to the left
Fortunately, Windows 11 lets you move taskbar icons to the left edge via a native option in the Settings app. Here’s how to configure it:
1. Open the Settings app, switch to the “Personalization” tab in the left sidebar and click on “Taskbar”.
2. Expand the “Taskbar Behaviors” drop-down list and set the “taskbar alignment” to the left instead of center. All taskbar icons will immediately move to the left edge and you will not need to restart your Windows 11 PC.
Bring Back the Classic Windows 10 Start Menu in Windows 11
If you’re someone who prefers the Windows 10 Start menu, there’s a way to bring it back using the registry editor. After opening the registry editor, all you have to do is create a new DWORD value titled “Start_ShowClassicMode” in the following path and set its value to 1.
For detailed instructions, see our article on how you can go back to the old Windows 10 Start Menu in Windows 11.
Adjust the taskbar to your preference in Windows 11
So these are all the customization features available for the taskbar in Windows 11. With Microsoft forcing users to stay at the bottom taskbar, a significant portion of Windows users are not happy. While we’ll have to wait and see if the Redmond giant backs out of its decision and adds the option to customize the positioning of the taskbar as we can do in Windows 10. Until then, we hope these Registry Editor workarounds can help you out. you to customize the taskbar in Windows 11 to your liking. If you are waiting to get Windows 11 upgrade, check out the best Windows 11 features or check out how you can upgrade to Windows 11 from Windows 10 now.