Windows 11 taskbar is getting fixed (but not in a hurry)

Windows 11 running on a laptop
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Windows 11 is receiving further attention in terms of ironing out bugs with the taskbar, and there’s been some fresh buzz from the grapevine suggesting that a major change to drag and drop functionality won’t appear until late in 2022.

Windows Latest pointed out that the major development in the works requested by many – the ability to drag and drop apps onto the taskbar, to swiftly and easily create shortcuts to the most commonly used programs – is still underway as previously rumored, with Microsoft testing the feature internally.

The word from sources at Microsoft is that this capability will come to preview builds in a few months, but won’t arrive in the release version of Windows 11 until later in 2022 – it’ll come as part of the 22H2 update.

This aside, Microsoft is also busy on minor fixes for the taskbar, and that includes resolving an issue whereby the battery icon tooltip sometimes mistakenly shows a charge level above 100%. This fix has been applied with the latest preview build 22523 (which emerged a couple of weeks back), and so it should be delivered in a cumulative update soon enough.

Other taskbar bug squashing in that preview build includes fixing an issue where app icons could overlap with the date and time display on secondary monitors, and the solution for a gremlin with ARM64-powered PCs which caused the taskbar’s core UI (search box, Start menu) to become unresponsive.

Analysis: Microsoft dragging (and dropping) its heels – but better late than never

The Windows 11 taskbar has drawn a lot of criticism for some of the changes made by Microsoft in terms of options for tweaking this part of the UI, and in particular losing the drag and drop functionality which is a simple and core part of the Windows experience, let’s face it.

As to the timeframe of the potential return of this feature – and remember, this is just rumored, and only the plans apparently underway at Microsoft currently (which could presumably change) – it’s a little disappointing that we may not get drag and drop back until much later in 2022, in theory.

That said, remember that there isn’t a 22H1 update, as Windows 11 has dropped to a once-per-year cadence for delivering major upgrades, but it’s a long wait until what could be September or October 2022 (or possibly even later) for this feature to make its much-requested return.

We had hoped that maybe Microsoft could squeeze this move in with some kind of a feature pack update beforehand – or online service pack as the company has renamed these with Windows 11 – but it seems not, and drag and drop will only be in testing when it comes to the near-term future.

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).