PC Update

Windows 10 Taskbar Options

Jim Sanders, Director / Webmaster, North Orange County Computer Club, CA

The taskbar is a very important part of the Windows 10 operating system. Arguably, it’s primary purpose is to make computing life for you, the user, easier. Like a lot of things in Windows 10, most of the features in the taskbar can be implemented or modified in more than one way. Some, directly on the taskbar itself. For instance, the order in which shortcut icons appear on the left end of the taskbar can be rearranged by simply moving the cursor to that icon, left click and hold with the mouse, then drag the icon left or right to the position that you want it to be in.

The taskbar is a great location for any shortcuts that you use often. One way to get that shortcut onto the taskbar is to right-click on any shortcut icon on the desktop and choose “pin to taskbar” from the list of options in the window that pops up. Or, click on start, pick the program that you want from the list that you can scroll through, right-click on that program, in the window that pops up, left click on “more” and on the sub-window that pops up, click on Pin to taskbar. If a program shortcut icon has already been pinned to the taskbar, you can “unpin it” in the same procedures.

One feature that some people love and others hate, is auto hide the taskbar. When the taskbar is at the default bottom of the screen location, and auto hide is turned off, the taskbar is always visible and covers up at least one line of information at the bottom of the screen. When auto hide is turned on, the taskbar is hidden until you move the mouse cursor to the bottom edge of the screen. At that point the taskbar rises to visibility. I happen to prefer that setting.

One taskbar function that few people seem to be aware of, assuming “Lock the Taskbar” is not checked, is that by simply moving the mouse cursor to the top edge of the taskbar a double headed arrow appears. With the double headed arrow visible, a left click and hold will allow you to move your arrow up and increase the number of lines that the taskbar covers, to half the screen if you want, or vice versa. Increasing the height of the taskbar allows you to have more of the larger icons that are easier to read.

The taskbar incorporates a large number of functions that could make your computing life easier if you studied up a bit on all the things that it can do. When you right-click on the taskbar, the first item on the window that pops up, at the bottom, is taskbar settings. It is recommended that you click on that and read all of the possible variations that the settings screen allows you to make. In particular, the section on system icons.


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