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Can you move the Windows 11 taskbar? Nope!

by Suzanne Kantra on March 13, 2024

If you're a Windows 11 user, you might have noticed that the taskbar – that handy little bar at the bottom of your screen – is locked in place by default. But what if you want to move it to the side of your screen so it's a vertical strip? You're out of luck. But there are things you can do to personalize your taskbar.

Microsoft got stingy on us with placement options for the Windows 11 taskbar, probably because it's busy using up those vertical spaces with its Copilot AI chat window and MSN start screen – the window that pops up if you click on the search bar. With all those other vertical spaces taken up, Microsoft has relegated the taskbar to the bottom of your screen.

Read more: 5 Ways You’ll Want to Use Windows Copilot in Your Everyday Life

Closeup shot of the Windows 11 taskbar

What you can customize on your Windows 11 taskbar

So, what can you do with your taskbar? I've found there's actually a fair amount of customization available.

Change the alignment

You can change the alignment so your buttons start in the left bottom corner or are centered in the middle of your display. If you're new to Windows 11, the left alignment will feel much more familiar.

Select which system settings you see

You can choose which system settings you see – your printer and your Bluetooth devices, among many other options. These shortcuts are incredibly handy for any setting you use frequently and are easy to remove if you don't use them. Beyond the core system settings, you'll notice options for programs like Zoom and Outlook.

Choose when you see your taskbar

You can decide when you want to see your taskbar. Do you like it always visible and available, or do you want to hide it while actively using an application? I'm in the always visible camp.

How to customize your Windows 11 taskbar

Accessing your taskbar settings is simple. Right-click on the taskbar and choose "Taskbar settings." To ensure you find all your options, start at the top and open all the sections. They're open if the arrow is pointing up and closed if it's pointing down. You'll find the alignment and hiding options in "Taskbar behaviors."

Read moreAMD Unleashes Radeon RX 7900 GRE Worldwide: an Affordable Powerhouse

So, why bother setting up your taskbar? Well, it's all about customization and comfort. Adjusting your taskbar's position allows you to create a desktop layout that feels more intuitive and streamlined for your needs. Plus, it's a quick and easy way to freshen up your computer's look.

[Image credit: Screenshots via Techlicious, laptop mockup via Canva]

For the past 20+ years, Techlicious founder Suzanne Kantra has been exploring and writing about the world’s most exciting and important science and technology issues. Prior to Techlicious, Suzanne was the Technology Editor for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and the Senior Technology Editor for Popular Science. Suzanne has been featured on CNN, CBS, and NBC.


Tips & How-Tos, Computers and Software, Software & Games, Operating Systems

Discussion loading


From edward perez on March 18, 2024 :: 5:58 pm

there are at least two ways to reposition the taskbar - via the registry or via a 3rd party utility.

this article has info on both.

the free 3rd party utility is ExplorerPatcher and can be found at

i used ExplorerPatcher to position my taskbar on the left side of my desktop. I used Windows Settings to configure it to autohide.


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