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How to Configure and Customize the Taskbar in Windows 10

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FIX IT; How to Configure and Customize the Taskbar in Windows 10

Post by APE on 2016-01-26, 03:26

How to Configure and Customize the Taskbar in Windows 10

How to Configure and Customize the Taskbar in Windows 10




If you’re already well on your way to becoming a Windows 10 convert, you might have noticed there have been a few tweaks to the way the taskbar is configured and customized for the average user. And although there haven’t been a huge amount of changes since the days of 8.1, Microsoft has still stuck to same ethos it has with much of the rest of its new flagship operating system: even if it ain’t broke, there’s probably a better way to fix it.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the new settings and customizable features you’ll find in the refreshed Windows 10 taskbar.

Pin to Taskbar



The simplest way to customize your taskbar is by pinning various programs and shortcuts to it through the “Pin this program to taskbar” option, and there are two choices when it comes to getting an application to stick.
The first route is to open the program either from the shortcut on your desktop or through the File Explorer, and once the icon appears on the taskbar itself, right-click it and select the “Pin to Taskbar” option from the menu that follows.

The second method is to find the program you want to pin in the File Explorer. Once located, right-click the icon, and in the sub-menu you’ll find the option for “Pin to Taskbar”.

Select this, and a shortcut to the launcher will be automatically added to your taskbar, and will stay pinned both through system reboots or swapped user logins.

If you wish to unpin a program or file shortcut, you can simply right-click the icon again, and select the option to “Unpin this program from taskbar”.



The Properties Dialog



Taskbar Tab
In the Properties box, you can modify settings such as the taskbar’s orientation on your screen (top, left, bottom, etc), as well as the option to use small taskbar buttons or stick to the larger format.

To open the Properties box, right-click on the taskbar itself, and select “Properties” from the menu highlighted above. Although you won’t find too many drastic changes in the Properties box that weren’t already established in versions 8.1 and below, two standouts you should most definitely recognize from builds going all the way back to XP are the options to “Lock the taskbar”, and “Auto-hide the taskbar”.

The first will prevent the taskbar from automatically adjusting itself whenever new icons are added, while the second toggles whether or not the taskbar stays visible 100 percent of the time or ‘hides’ after two seconds of your mouse drifting away from it.

Next in the menu is the option to change the orientation of where the taskbar is positioned in your overall screen layout. If you move the taskbar to the right (as in this example), anytime you need to access it you’ll have to drag your mouse to the right, rather than the bottom as a default.

You can change this to suit your preference using the “Taskbar location on screen” sub-menu, whether it fades in from the bottom, the left-hand side, the right, or the top.

Beyond the taskbar orientation configuration, you’ll find a menu that controls how your taskbar handles icons based on which windows are open at any given time. For example, if you prefer a cleaner, more minimalist look, the “Always combine, hide labels” option will create a taskbar which only displays the icons for activated programs and nothing else. This setting makes it so multiple windows will stack on top of the same icon, rather than splaying them all out one by one individually instead.

If you choose the “Never combine” selection, your taskbar buttons will always contain a full layout of your window, complete with context indicators such as the name of the file in File Explorer, the website you’re on in your browser, or the song that’s playing in Spotify.

If you want a hybrid of both worlds, choose the “Combine when taskbar is full option”. This will instruct Windows to keep the full button displayed while a certain number of apps are running, but automatically collapse into smaller icons if too many programs at launched at once.

The Taskbar tab is also where you’ll find the option to enable “Peek” for your desktop, which will give you a preview of what’s behind any open windows when you hover over the Desktop button in the far right corner of your UI. This can be a quick fix for the issue of requiring a full click to minimize all your open windows reduce the extra noise on the forefront of your workspace.

Last up is the option to use smaller taskbar buttons in lieu of the default setting, in case you value extra screen real estate more than any convenience that larger taskbar shortcuts might be able to provide on their own. To toggle this, just click the “Use small taskbar buttons” box, and hit “Apply”.

After this operation is complete, your taskbar buttons will go miniature until the setting is reverted by you or someone else who’s logged in on the same account.
Toolbars Tab
Two tabs over in the Properties box, you’ll find the option to configure various “Toolbars”, which rest in the corner of your screen just to the left of the notification center. The first of the three available options is to include the “Address” toolbar, which will create a URL-ready box that can be used at any time to immediately launch a website directly from your desktop.

And don’t worry; you won’t be stuck using Edge if you’ve already set your default web browser to Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Opera first. The system will follow whichever default app you’ve chosen beforehand, which means you’ll never launch into any unwanted windows or unconfigured browsers without the OS asking permission first.

Next up is “Links”, which unfortunately for the time being will only display content that you’ve favorited in the aforementioned Edge browser. Bookmarked web portals will be imported here if you use Edge, but if not, the feature is essentially useless.

Last is the Desktop toggle, which when turned on will make a “Desktop” icon appear in the lower corner. After it’s been selected, this icon will bring up a menu of every shortcut that’s currently installed on your desktop. This can be useful for anyone who might need to get to programs quickly, but also prefers to keep their main taskbar as clutter free as possible in the meantime.

Last, you can also choose to create your own toolbars altogether by adding a new folder. To do this, right click on the taskbar, and scroll to the top menu option, labeled “Toolbars”.

Enter the sub-menu, and select “New Toolbar”. From here you just need to navigate to the folder you want to hotlink, and once it’s selected, Windows will add it to the same corner for quick and convenient access.

In this example, we’ve added the Users folder, with the finished result of the custom toolbar showcased below:

Navigation Tab
The last of the three sections in the Properties window is the Navigation tab which – in Microsoft’s infinite wisdom – looks to only contain a single option. It’s here you’ll find the toggle to replace the standard Command Prompt with a Windows PowerShell window whenever you right-click the Start menu in the lower left hand corner.

Here you can see what the menu looks like at stock.

And here’s what will display with the option turned on instead.


Customize the Taskbar Through the Settings App



Taskbar Icons
In the middle of the pack, we have the various icons and shortcuts that can be configured via the Settings app. Any modifications you might want to make to the taskbar through this channel can be managed under the “Notifications and actions” tab, found under “System” from the main Settings window.

To change which icons appear in the taskbar, click on the aptly named link to “Select which icons appear in the taskbar”. Below you can see that we’ve turned off extraneous icons like the Realtek HD Audio Manager, the NVIDIA Settings App, and the Netgear Wireless Wizard.

In this instance, we’ve opted to make the Nvidia Control Center icon appear on the taskbar as an example for what things will look like after the toggle has been adjusted.

Now whenever this icon is clicked, you’ll immediately see the options for that particular program, instead of having to click in an extra menu beforehand.

Any icons you don’t select to stick to the taskbar itself will automatically be shoved off to the secondary menu, which can be activated by the arrow highlighted below.

System Icons
System Icons differ from taskbar icons in that taskbar icons will change depending on what software or programs are installed on the computer, while services like the Clock, the Volume Setting, and the Action Center are a constant of the Windows 10 ecosystem that will always be a part of the System Icon options.

To get to the system icons configuration, go back to the “Notifications and actions” panel, and select “Turn system icons on or off” from the following window:

If you have a laptop, options for these icons will extend to indicators such as how much power is left in the battery, the brightness of the device’s screen, or whether or not the laptop is configured to find your location out in the world.

On PC, these options will be a bit more limited. At default, the only other choice will be to enable the Input Indicator, which will inform the user of what kind of keyboard they’re using, as well as the option to hotswap it out using the shortcut of “Windows key + Space”.

Customize the Search Box



The Search Box is a new addition to the Windows 10 taskbar layout which can handle searches in Microsoft’s Bing service, as well as other programs like the digital desktop assistant Cortana.

Options for customizing the Search Box include showing the box by default, minimizing it to a single icon, or simply hiding the whole thing completely. To choose how you want the Search bar to appear, start by right clicking the taskbar, then scroll up to the “Search” menu, shown below:

The search box is turned on as a full window at first, but you can also remove it from view if you don’t see a real need for it anytime in the near future.

Last, you can choose to create a more minimal footprint through the “Show the search icon” option, which will create a smaller icon in the corner of your taskbar which can expand to the default window whenever you click on it to start a new query.



The Window 10 ecosystem makes a lot of improvements to the user interface, none of which feel like they were added on as afterthought. Some you may have wanted, and others you never even knew you needed, and the taskbar is just one of dozens of Microsoft staples that have benefited greatly from the wide range of upgrades which come built in as a part of the company’s brand new OS rollout.
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FIX IT; Re: How to Configure and Customize the Taskbar in Windows 10

Post by Fish Crazy on 2016-01-26, 06:05

Thank Ape for the good info. on window 10 this will help me one day to set up my taskbars.
But I will have to get my Taskbar, Cortana and Start menu to work I may have to get the window 10 reinstall to get it to work I may have to take it in to the guy that installed it for me.
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