Microsoft has been working to rebuild the taskbar on Windows 11 from scratch, which resulted in the absence of some features, such as the ability to drag and drop files on the taskbar, show seconds in the system tray date & time area, and features like ungrouping of icons. However, Microsoft has been actively listening to user feedback and working to reintegrate popular functionalities.
Last year, Microsoft brought back the “drag and drop” support for the taskbar, allowing users to drag and drop files onto it as they would on Windows 10 and older versions. Recently, in March, it was confirmed that Microsoft would restore classic taskbar features in the fall as part of the Windows 11 version 23H2 update. One of the features set to return is “never combine” for the taskbar, which will let users ungroup icons/apps on the taskbar.
In the latest update, Microsoft has reintroduced the taskbar show labels feature and the ability to ungroup app icons on the taskbar in Windows 11. This addresses user demands for these popular legacy features. The new features have been added to Windows 11 Build 23440, which is available in the Dev Channel.
Windows 11 Taskbar Labels Enabling the “show labels” feature lets users see window titles alongside app icons in the taskbar. This makes it easier to identify and switch between different windows. However, the feature can be disabled, and the user can return to the existing icons’ behavior.
To activate this feature, users must set the “Combine taskbar button” option to “Never” in Windows Settings > Taskbar. This setting is essential for the feature to work effectively.
With the “never combine” option, Microsoft aims to resolve the issue of “losing” windows due to taskbar grouping. This option toggle ensures users can easily access their favorite app’s window without any hassle by preventing automatic grouping.
The latest preview update has also added one new feature to the taskbar – the ability to hide the date and time to make the taskbar look less cluttered.
Next Big Update for Windows 11 While the Windows 11 Moment 3 update is expected to arrive in the summer, the most significant update of the year, “version 23H2”, should debut in the fall. This update would be built on top of the existing Windows 11 version 22H2 and is expected to be similar to enablement packages for Windows 10, albeit with more significant changes.
Version 23H2 is expected to dramatically update the interface of File Explorer with Microsoft 365 integration, new “details” pane, more modern WinUI controls, and many minor design changes.
Conclusion Microsoft’s latest update for Windows 11 brings back popular legacy features, such as ungrouping app icons on the taskbar and show labels for taskbar apps. These features make it easier for users to manage multiple windows on their devices. Microsoft continues to listen to user feedback and make changes accordingly, as evident from the latest taskbar updates. With the upcoming Windows 11 version 23H2 update, Microsoft aims to introduce significant changes to the File Explorer interface, making the OS even more intuitive and user-friendly.