One of the big changes introduced by Microsoft in Windows 11 is a centered taskbar and Start menu. Instead of being off to the left side of the screen, it’s now in the middle, right where your eyes tend to go on your display and where MacOS users will be used to their own icons residing.
If you have muscle memory from ghosts of Windows past, though, and really want to put the taskbar back to its original place, then we have some good news for you — it’s easily movable in just a few steps. Here’s how to do just that.
We do have two notes before proceeding. Currently, Windows 11 is in a period of beta testing. The operating system isn’t set to become final until the holiday season. That means things might change between now and then. We’ll be keeping this guide up to date if the steps happen to change.
Secondly, it is not currently possible to drag and move the entire taskbar to the right, left, or top of the screen. This option has been removed in the early versions of Windows 11. If you really want to do that, then be sure to stay on Windows 10. We’re just talking about the orientation of the icons in this post.
Just as things worked in Windows 10, you’ll want to begin the process of moving the taskbar by right-clicking on any open space in it. You should then see a pop-up menu that says Taskbar Settings. Click this, and it will open up a new settings menu. Alternatively, you also can open up the settings app and search for Taskbar Settings.
Next up, you’ll want to scroll down the taskbar personalization page in settings. There should be a subsection at the bottom that mentions Taskbar Behaviors. From here, look for Taskbar Alignment. Click this, and choose Left from the drop-down menu.
After you choose this, the taskbar will snap back to the left side of the screen automatically. There are no reboots required — the change is instant. Your taskbar and Start menu will go back to the position as it was in Windows 10, helping makes things just as they were in older versions of Windows.
Since you’re in the taskbar settings menu, you might want to toggle some other settings. If you don’t like seeing notification counts, you can turn off the badges. You also can show the taskbar on all your displays and toggle the ability to click on the corner to show the desktop.
And, if you’re the type of person who prefers to keep the taskbar clean, you can toggle off icons for the different system apps in the taskbar and even turn off the icons for different system items. That includes search, task view, and widgets. There are even options to show the corner icons for the pen menu and the touch keyboard if you’re on a 2-in-1.