Taskbar in Windows 10

This explains the components of the taskbar

One of the things that drive people towards trying out Win10 is the return of the well-missed Start Menu. However, there are still a lot of good things in the Taskbar that may easily get overlooked. Some of these features are new, while there are some that are carried over from previous Windows iterations. The highlights include the Task View, Cortana integration, and a lot of the organizational functions that long-time Windows users will be familiar with.



To customize your taskbar;


  • Open it by right-clicking an unoccupied area of the taskbar (if the taskbar is full, right-click the Task View button)
  • Select "Properties"



Windows 10 allows you to see more things in a single glance. This is more evident with the feature-packed Start menu, which has a single scrolling list of apps complete with fly-out menus on one side and the Live Tiles on the other. The Live Tiles themselves can feature 3D cube rotating animations. If that’s not enough, you can even increase the size of the Start panel or maximize it to full-screen. 


Win10 has made quite an extensive Cortana integration in Windows 10. Clicking the new circle icon on the taskbar will launch Cortana, and so will hitting Win+S on your keyboard.




This is another great feature that ends up being used only sparingly. The task view button is best used to switch through apps without having to scan the icons on the taskbar. This is perfect if you have multiple windows of the same program open.



The Win7/8 combined shortcuts and window indicators are still present, and the Jump List feature is also still there. Simply right-click on any of the programs displayed on the taskbar to get a list of all functions that may be relevant to the program. If you are doing this on a Word, Excel, or any other app from the Office Suite, you can also navigate to the most recently opened (or most oft-used) documents. When used on browsers, you can also go to the frequently visited sites. Like everything on the taskbar, items in the jump lists can be unpinned.


The Action Center is often compared to an earlier and similar app introduced to PC users in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 -- Charms.  Similar to Charms, the Windows 10 Action Center opens as a vertical panel on the right of the screen if you swipe from the right, tap or click on its icon in the notification tray.  You can also use the shortcut 

+ A to open Action Center.




Those still longing for the “vanilla” “version of old Windows installments may want to get rid of Cortana and Task View from their taskbars. Fortunately, Win10 allows you to do just that.


  • Right-click on any empty space on the taskbar > Unpick the “Show Task View button” option.
  • Right-click on any empty space on the taskbar > Select Cortana > Select "Hidden"


Also in the right-click menu are the options to lock the taskbar (fixing programs in place so they cannot be rearranged by click-and-drag), adding miniature toolbars for putting in the URLs directly, and the option to add a link to any folder or sub-folder. “Properties” has more options in store.

For those keen on conserving screen space, the “Use small taskbar buttons” will still be there. However, the default buttons are already small enough so this may not be too good an option. The taskbar can still be moved to the four sides of the monitors, but placing them in places other than the default screen bottom will disable Cortana from working. Outside of these, all other settings remain the same.


If you want to customize taskbar color, you might take a peek in the “Properties” menu. Big surprise, however, is that the appropriate section is not where you thought it would be -- it has been moved to the “Personalize” settings that appears when an empty portion of the desktop is right-clicked. Click on “Colors” in the left-hand menu to change the setting. By default, the bar is set to a translucent shade that complements the desktop background.

To select a taskbar color, you have to turn on the “Show color on Start, taskbar, and action center” setting. This will change all values to the default Windows color. Then, turn off the “Automatically pick an accent color from my background” setting to be able to select your own. From there, you will gain the option of about 50 different colors.

If you do not want to have a translucent taskbar, simply slide off the “Make Start, taskbar, and action center transparent”.

For assistance please contact the IT Help Desk by calling 573-341-4357 (HELP), visiting the IT Help Desk on the first floor of the Curtis Laws Wilson Library, or submitting a ticket online at: http://help.mst.edu

Keywords:start menu, cortana, task view, jump lists   Doc ID:65037
Owner:Connie G.Group:Missouri University of Science and Technology
Created:2016-07-11 12:13 CDTUpdated:2017-07-27 12:35 CDT
Sites:Missouri University of Science and Technology
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