How to Change Taskbar Settings

By Aaron Wein

The Windows taskbar initially loads with Microsoft's default settings, positioned on the bottom with a few programs permanently pinned next to the "Start" menu. For many Windows users, these settings work fine. But if you want to get the most out of your computer, you should consider customizing the taskbar to create a user-friendly experience tailored to your needs. For instance, can pin your frequently used items to the taskbar or change how opened programs display. Run the taskbar's options window to change these settings.

Change Properties

Step 1

Click the Windows "Start" button on the taskbar. A menu appears.

Step 2

Click "Control Panel" from the menu. The "Control Panel" window runs, displaying various operating system options.

Step 3

Click "Appearance and Personalization." A new set of options appears.

Step 4

Click "Taskbar and Start Menu." A new box appears.

Step 5

Click "Taskbar," located in the tabs list on the top of the box. Taskbar settings appear (see Tips).

Step 6

Make your desired changes and click "Apply" to finish.

Add and Arrange Icons

Step 1

Click the Windows "Start" button on the taskbar and locate the program or folder you want to add to the taskbar's quick-launch list. When you add a program or folder to the taskbar, its icon permanently appears on the taskbar so you can quickly open the item.

Step 2

Left-click the program and continue holding down the mouse button. Drag the program's icon to the taskbar. Release the mouse to permanently pin the item to the taskbar.

Step 3

Arrange icons in the taskbar using the click and drag method detailed in Step 2.

Step 4

Delete an item from the taskbar's quick-launch section by right-clicking the unwanted item and selecting "Unpin."

Tips & Warnings

  • "Lock the Taskbar" seals the taskbar in place, preventing future changes. Click the check box to lock or unlock the taskbar.
  • "Auto-Hide the Taskbar" makes the taskbar disappear when the mouse drifts from the taskbar's location.
  • "Use Small Icons" decreases the size of the launched or pinned programs on the taskbar.
  • Click the "Taskbar Location on Screen" drop-down menu to set the taskbar's location on the top, bottom, left or right side of your display.
  • Click the "Taskbar Buttons" drop-down menu to change how the opened programs display in the taskbar.
  • Click "Customize" in the "Notification Area" section to edit which notification icons display in the taskbar's bottom-right corner.