Windows 11 taskbar is causing more complaints – but Microsoft isn’t budging

Windows 11 File Explorer on a PC in an office
(Image credit: TechRadar)

Windows 11 has witnessed various changes to the functionality of the taskbar which haven’t been popular, and in that vein, a fresh removal has been highlighted – namely the stripping back of the calendar flyout.

The story here, as relayed by Windows Latest, is that the calendar flyout from the taskbar – the panel which pops up when you click on the time/date in the system tray, far-right – no longer has events integration at the bottom. In other words, there’s no agenda visible handily flagging up at-a-glance events and reminders anymore.

Similarly, at the top, there’s no longer a large version of the clock display which additionally shows the number of seconds (not just the hour and minutes).

As Windows Latest points out, those testing Windows 11 had previously assumed that the missing events integration was just a bug in the calendar flyout, but it turns out that this isn’t the case, and Microsoft has actually removed the facility.

Instead, the software giant wants people to use the widgets panel to access calendar events and reminders. Microsoft told one user who complained: “Thank you so much for giving us your feedback. While we’ll continue to use your feedback to guide the future of features like this, currently on Windows 11, there is a calendar option in the new widgets experience that you can use to quickly see your personal calendar and its events.”

There’s no shortage of complaints about this issue on Microsoft’s Feedback Hub, and in other places like Reddit.

One user posted in the Feedback Hub: “Widget does not have all your calendars and is full of news and unnecessary stuff. Please make it available as before, as it was PERFECT, and you had the option to create events for whatever accounts you have linked at the spot.”

With Windows 11 seemingly poised on moving into the final stages of testing before release (possibly in October), things are unlikely to change, it seems, given Microsoft’s above comment.

By the way, for those Windows 11 testers who are missing the large clock display at the top of the calendar flyout, the more positive news is that you can actually bring this back by heading to Settings > Time & Language > Date & Time > Additional clocks, where there’s the option to show up to two clocks. However, note that they won’t display the readout of seconds as seen in Windows 10, just the hour and minutes.

Analysis: Forcing the issue?

It’s a worrying theme that with certain bits of the Windows 11 interface, Microsoft seems to be stubbornly forcing through what are already unpopular changes even going by tester feedback (a limited set of users, of course, compared to the wider general computing public who are eventually going to come face-to-face with all these missing bits of functionality).

Why not have events integration with the taskbar’s calendar flyout? Or at least have it as a possible option? Well, we know why in this case, and it’s to funnel folks into using the widgets panel (which pushes MSN content, and opens stuff in the Edge browser to boot).

Why not allow the clock on the flyout to display seconds? There’s no good answer for that we can think of, except it’s just a streamlining measure, and part of making the overall appearance of Windows 11 cleaner. But some folks like the option of seeing the exact seconds, so is there really any harm in allowing them a choice to switch that back on when adding a clock back to the calendar flyout?

For that matter, what about the other baffling and unpopular taskbar changes that we’ve highlighted in the past, like removing the ability to drag and drop app icons onto the taskbar to quickly and easily make a shortcut there, or to drop files onto taskbar app icons to open them?

More choice is always good in the main, surely? But with Windows 11, it’s starting to feel like Microsoft is distancing itself more from the ‘we’re listening to feedback’ philosophy that came around with the launch of Windows 10, and is leaning more towards telling folks how things should be done – much more in the vein of Windows 8. And we don’t need to tell you how dangerous that stance is…

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).