Microsoft admits it won’t be fixing Windows 11’s taskbar for a while

Angry man ripping out his hair in front of his laptop
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

When it launched, Windows 11 came with some major changes – and it looks like one of the most unpopular tweaks is here to stay, with Microsoft admitting that adding missing features to the taskbar simply isn’t a priority.

As Windows Latest reports, Microsoft has revealed that some of the biggest requests from users won’t be appearing any time soon.

The taskbar, which usually runs along the bottom of your screen, has been an important part of Windows since Windows 95, and with Windows 11, Microsoft decided to radically redesign it, including rebuilding it from scratch.

This left the Windows 11 taskbar missing some big, useful, features that people have been using for decades. One of the most noticeable features missing in action was the ability to drag and drop files or applications to the taskbar, either to pin them there for easy access, or to open them in an app already pinned to the taskbar.

This seemingly little feature was actually really useful, so many people were upset to find it missing in Windows 11. Microsoft has stated that drag and drop is coming to Windows 11 with the 22H2 major update later this year.

However, in a Windows Insider video, which you can view below, the Windows 11 development team revealed that other features won’t be coming any time soon.

Restricted movement

Another big complaint about Windows 11’s taskbar is the fact that you can’t reposition it. Many people liked to move the taskbar in previous versions of Windows to the side of the screen, or even to the top. With Windows 11, it’s stuck at the bottom, and that’s not going to change for a while, at least.

This is because, according to the Windows 11 development team, the animation flow of the Start menu in Windows 11, can’t handle a different taskbar position just yet. “Think about having the taskbar on the right, all of a sudden the reflow and the work all of the apps or Start menu have to do,” the team admitted.

Because the taskbar has been rebuilt from scratch, Microsoft is prioritizing adding features such as drag and drop, which involves extensive testing from volunteers. Sadly, it seems like the company doesn’t think moving the taskbar is as important.

Analysis: unfinished business

Man upset using a laptop

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

While it’s understandable that Microsoft has more important features to add to Windows 11, the fact that it launched with a taskbar missing so many features is pretty remarkable. Being able to move the taskbar gives people a greater level of freedom when configuring Windows to behave the way they prefer.

So, by not including this feature, there will be a large number of people who are annoyed and frustrated by Windows 11, and it gives the feeling that the operating system launched in an unfinished state, which is something our Windows 11 review pointed out.

It’s no surprise, then, that Windows 11 is struggling to get people to upgrade as fast as Windows 10 had managed.

If Windows 11 had been open source, like Linux, then we’d wager someone would have already added the ability – one of the benefits of being open source. Thankfully, there are also tools such as Start11 from Stardock which adds extra functionality to both the Start menu and taskbar – including the ability to change the taskbar’s position – which Microsoft is seemingly struggling with.

This isn’t the first time teams like Stardock have stepped in to fix unpopular changes to Windows – we saw a plethora of third-party apps that brought the Start menu back to Windows 8 after Microsoft unwisely dropped it.

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.