Windows 11 taskbar actually becomes useful with this speedy hack

Happy woman using a laptop in her home
(Image credit: Evgeny Atamanenko / Shutterstock)

It looks like Microsoft has figured out how to make the Windows 11 taskbar actually useful, with a new feature in an upcoming build (25300) allowing you to quickly kill an entire task or background process.

Most of the time when you start your PC up again after getting up to run an errand, having a nap or just logging back in for the work day, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes. 

Whether you’re on Windows 10 or Windows 11, there’s loads of processing power siphoned away towards different parts of your operating system, like notification centers, apps that are updating themselves, and even File Explorer. So, that means a lot of processes kick into gear at startup. 

A lot of these processes are pretty harmless and won’t impact your PC too much, but having a lot going on before you start whatever you’ve set out to do can slow down your device or completely freeze it. When that happens, you have to open Task Manager, see what’s causing the problem and kill it. 

Not exactly a long, arduous process but kind of annoying. 

Screenshot of Windows 11

(Image credit:

Making the taskbar useful

With Windows 11 Build 25300, Microsoft will make it easier to quickly kill an entire task or background process right from your taskbar, a clever catch by Windows Latest. It’s hidden in Windows 11, but pretty easy to get the hang of right away. Just right-click on any app or process icon and click the new ‘End Task’ option. Boom! Assassination complete. 

It’s exactly the same process as opening up the Task Manager, but it makes the whole process much faster.

Seeing the taskbar actually become useful is a pretty pleasant surprise. Microsoft drastically overhauled the taskbar for Windows 11, but the changes weren't well received - especially as Microsoft removed some of the handy features we'd come to expect in the taskbar. A lot of the useful features we’ve uncovered surrounding the new taskbar and Start menu have been hidden, like the very simple but super  helpful Task Manager shortcut we discussed here. 

It should be noted that Microsoft is testing improvements like this in Windows 11 preview builds, and a lot are hidden and might only be enabled if you play with code or just happen to be lucky while messing around. These early builds are also only available to people who have signed up as Windows Insiders to help test out upcoming versions of Windows 11. If you haven't signed up, you may have to wait a while for this handy hack to make it to your PC.

Muskaan Saxena
Computing Staff Writer

Muskaan is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing writer. She has always been a passionate writer and has had her creative work published in several literary journals and magazines. Her debut into the writing world was a poem published in The Times of Zambia, on the subject of sunflowers and the insignificance of human existence in comparison. Growing up in Zambia, Muskaan was fascinated with technology, especially computers, and she's joined TechRadar to write about the latest GPUs, laptops and recently anything AI related. If you've got questions, moral concerns or just an interest in anything ChatGPT or general AI, you're in the right place. Muskaan also somehow managed to install a game on her work MacBook's Touch Bar, without the IT department finding out (yet).