Categories: Tech News

Windows 11 version 22H2: changes to the taskbar

In the second part of the series, we’ll take a look at the changes and improvements to the taskbar in Windows 11 version 22H2.

Just as Microsoft reduced the functionality of the Start menu in the original version of Windows 11, it reduced the functionality of the taskbar in this version. I called the crippled Windows 11 taskbar in 2021 as the answer.

Microsoft decided to change the default location of the taskbar icons to the center. It included an option to align icons to the left, which made the switch to Windows 11 easier for some users, whenever they found it.

The company removed several basic features and abilities from the Windows taskbar in Windows 11. Users found that they could no longer align the taskbar to the sides or top; Microsoft didn’t copy the taskbar from Windows 10 to Windows 11 and removed features. The company built the taskbar from scratch, and it seems like the feature regressions came from time constraints and a different view of things.

The ability to drag and drop taskbar icons was also removed in Windows 11, as were the easy options to resize the taskbar.

advice: Third-party programs such as Stardock’s Start11 (paid) or the free taskbar11 restore some of the lost functionality. Both support placing the taskbar at the top of the screen, among other features.

In a hurry? Here are the main changes:

  • Drag and drop files to taskbar icons is supported again.
  • New microphone mute icon for chat apps in the taskbar.
  • New “share this window” option for chat apps.

The Windows 11 taskbar version 22H2

Microsoft is restoring some taskbar functionality in the new feature update for Windows 11. While this is a step in the right direction, the changes won’t be enough to satisfy most critics.

Microsoft introduces drag-and-drop functionality in the new version of Windows 11. You can drag files to taskbar icons to drop those files into the linked application. This works indirectly as you have to wait for the application window to come to the foreground before dropping the file icon on the application interface.

The feature has one major limitation: file upload only works if the app is already open.

While this may sometimes be the case, the following opening methods may be faster:

  • Double-click the file to load it into the default application.
  • Right-click the file, select Open with, and select one of the applications that Windows returns.

The methods do not work for special use cases, such as dropping files into Outlook or Thunderbird emails to be added as attachments, uploading files to Internet services, or other activities that are processed without opening them.

Drag and drop support is now also available in the “Show Desktop” icon at the far left of the taskbar. A click or tap in the blank area, which is to the right of the date and time, hides all program windows to show the desktop. Useful for users who have shortcuts on their desktop that they need to access.

Files can be added to the desktop by dropping them onto the “Show Desktop” icon on the taskbar. Whether this is actually faster than other options, such as hiding a single window, depends on personal usage. Still, it’s a new option that some users may find useful.

Share application screens in online meetings

Another new feature is the ability to share app previews with others in online meetings. Microsoft implemented the feature in Microsoft Teams, and other developers can also add it to their messaging and communication apps.

The main idea behind the feature is to make it easier to share app screens in online meetings. For example, you want to show an Excel table to all participants, you can use the function to speed up the process.

All it takes is hovering over an open app to reveal the ‘share this window’ option below the app’s thumbnail view. You must be in a Teams call, or a call in another app that supports the feature.

Until now, it was necessary to select the share button in Teams and there one of the windows in the list that are open on the device.

Shared windows appear with a colored border in Windows 11 version 22H2 to improve visibility.

Mute / unmute functionality of the taskbar

Another related feature is the ability to quickly enable/disable mute for compatible apps. Like screen sharing, it’s currently only supported by Teams, but it’s open to other developers to add support for their apps.

A microphone icon is displayed in the taskbar if an application that uses the microphone is opened. A click or tap on the icon mutes supported apps or opens the microphone settings page for non-supported apps.

Smaller changes to the taskbar

You may notice some new and improved icons on the taskbar. The battery icon shows a lightning bolt in the new version of Windows. There is also a new broadcast icon that is displayed when broadcasting. Clicking the icon opens the quick broadcast settings on the device, allowing you to end the broadcast.

Apps in the “All Apps” list can be dragged and dropped to the taskbar to pin them there. It’s probably faster to right-click it and select More > Pin to Taskbar, which has the same effect.

Closing words

Microsoft won’t please many of its critics with the changes it made to the taskbar in version 22H2 of Windows 11. Drag-and-drop support is the main feature of the release, but the functionality of the taskbar tasks is still limited compared to the taskbars of previous versions of Windows.

Even drag-and-drop support isn’t perfect, as programs must already be running for the feature to work.

Microsoft indicated earlier this year that it has no plans to add different taskbar layouts to the Windows 11 operating system. Users who prefer to have the taskbar at the top can use third-party software to do so, but the users who preferred to place the taskbar on the sides do not have this option.

Some features, such as taskbar overflow, may not work in the initial release. However, Microsoft plans to push feature updates as smaller updates to Windows 11 devices regularly in the future.

Now you: Did Microsoft live up to your expectations for the taskbar in the new version of Windows?


Name of the item

Windows 11 version 22H2: changes to the taskbar


In the second part of the series, we’ll take a look at the changes and improvements to the taskbar in Windows 11 version 22H2.


Martin Brinkmann


Tech News from Ghacks




Published by

Recent Posts

More on the Interest-Income Channel

Last weekend, I wrote about Warren Mosler's argument that the Fed's rate hikes could be…

4 weeks ago

More information in the Interests Channel

Last weekend, I he wrote on Warren Mosler's argument that the Fed's rate hikes could…

4 weeks ago

Biden wants to reduce the deficit. Powell wants to reduce inflation. Do rate hikes undermine both goals?

Last week, the chairman of the Fed, Jerome Powell said, "the disinflationary process has begun".…

1 month ago

Quick thoughts on the CBO budget and economic outlook

Earlier this week, I joined Romaine Bostick and Scarlet Fu Bloomberg TV. The Congressional Budget…

1 month ago

Eight states have joined forces to raise taxes on America’s wealthiest

Tomorrow morning, I'll be joining CNBC's Squawk Box to talk about a new effort tax…

1 month ago

Mike Pence would pick up where Paul Ryan left off

Former Vice President Mike Pence talks about privatizing Social Security. The remarks came Thursday before…

2 months ago