Windows 11 sports a new look (with rounded corners) and features that feels good to the eyes. With Windows 11, Microsoft also centered the Start menu and other taskbar icons. However, Date/Time, Network, Battery, Volume, and other icons still show up on the right side of the taskbar just like Windows 10. And there are only a few things that you can customize on the taskbar and Start menu in Windows 11.
Windows 11 currently doesn’t even allow you to drag and drop apps or links to the taskbar. However, you can pin them to the taskbar by right-clicking on them. Besides that, you can’t move the taskbar to any side of the screen, it is fixed at the bottom. Similarly, the Start menu is not resizable in Windows 11 unlike Windows 10. However, there are still several customizations that we can do with Windows 11 taskbar and Start menu.
Modify the Taskbar and Start menu on your Windows 11 PC
So, in this tutorial, we will see some of the customizations that you can do with the Windows 11 taskbar and Start menu. We will start with Taskbar customizations first and after that, we will see the Start menu customizations.
1. Align Taskbar Icons to the Left in Windows 11
The first thing we are doing to customize in Windows 11 is taskbar alignment. By default, Windows 11 Start button and other icons appear at the center of the taskbar. However, Microsoft allows you to move the Start button and other icons to the left side of the taskbar just like Windows 10. And you can do that directly from Taskbar Settings, no need for any registry hack.
So, to modify taskbar settings, right-click on the taskbar and select Taskbar Settings.
In Taskbar settings, scroll down and click on Taskbar behaviors setting to expand and view available settings.
Now, you can see the Taskbar alignment is set to Center by default. In order to move Taskbar icons to the left side of the taskbar, change the Taskbar alignment to Left.
As soon as you select the Left option in the Taskbar alignment drop-down, all taskbar icons including the Start button will move from the center to the left side of the taskbar.
2. Hide or Show Search, Chat, Task view and Widgets Taskbar Items
The next thing we will customize in the taskbar is special taskbar icons. By default, you will see Search, Chat (Microsoft Teams), Task View, and Widgets icons beside the Start menu, Microsoft Edge, and other icons. And just like taskbar alignment, you can also change which of these 4 icons appear on the taskbar.
So, again, right-click on Taskbar and select Taskbar Settings. Here, under Taskbar items, you can choose which of the items will show up on the taskbar.
After that, you can see the items for which you turned off the toggle, disappeared from the taskbar.
Besides Taskbar Settings, you can hide these taskbar items using right-click > Hide from taskbar.
NOTE: In order to restore taskbar items, you need to go to Taskbar settings again. From there, you can enable the toggle for respective item to show it again.
3. Change Taskbar Size using Registry Hack in Windows 11
Before we begin to customize the Start menu in Windows 11, let’s move to our next taskbar customization. Now, we will customize the taskbar size.
Though Windows 11 doesn’t allow you to change taskbar size using the Settings app yet, however, there is a registry hack available to change the taskbar size. Make sure to take a backup of the registry or create a restore point before proceeding further.
Press Windows + R keyboard shortcut to launch RUN, type
regedit and press Enter to start Registry Editor. Alternatively, you can search and open Registry Editor from the Start menu.
In Registry Editor, go to the following path. You can also copy and paste it in the address bar of the Registry Editor.
Here, right-click on the Advanced key and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value to create a new DWORD.
Name the new DWORD as
TaskbarSi and double-click on it to modify its value to customize taskbar size in Windows 11. Set following values to change taskbar size to small, medium, or large.
|DWORD Value||Taskbar Size|
After that restart your Windows 11 or restart Windows Explorer to make the changes effective. Here is an overview of the taskbar in small, medium (default), and large sizes.
NOTE: You can revert the changes by settings
TaskbarSi DWORD’s value to 1 or by simply deleting the DWORD. After that restart Explorer or your Computer.
4. Other Taskbar Customizations
Besides these, there are some other tweaks that you can use to customize your taskbar in Windows 11. You can check them in Taskbar Settings.
In Taskbar settings, you can define which tray icons always show and which one hides behind the arrow icon. You can also set the taskbar to auto-hide in Taskbar behaviors settings.
SEE ALSO: How to Start Windows 11 in Safe Mode?
5. Customize Pinned Apps on Windows 11 Start Menu
After Taskbar customizations, let’s move to customize the Start menu in Windows 11. First, we will customize the pinned apps which appear on the Start menu when you click the Start button in Windows 11.
Unpin Apps from Start Menu
To remove a pinned app from Start, simply right-click on it and select unpin from Start. You can also uninstall the app by selecting Uninstall right from there.
Pin Apps to Start Menu
Similarly, you can also pin the apps to the Start menu in Windows 11. Just right-click on the app icon on your desktop and select Pin to Start.
The drag and drop feature is not available in Windows 11 taskbar yet. However, you can use this temporary fix to enable the taskbar drag and drop feature in Windows 11.
6. Customize or Disable Recommended Section in Windows 11 Start Menu
Below the pinned apps, you will see the Recommended section on Windows 11 Start menu. The Recommended section displays the recently opened files, apps, etc. just like Quick Access in File Explorer.
Just like the pinned apps, you can also customize the Recommended section in the Start menu on Windows 11 and select which item to remove from the list. So, to remove an item, right-click on it and select “Remove from list“.
Besides just customizing the list, you can disable the Recommended section from the Start menu altogether. To do that, go to Settings > Personalization > Start. Here, turn off the toggles for recent apps, most used apps, and recently opened files.
After that, you can go to the Start menu again to see the changes.
7. Display Important Folders Next to Power Button
The next customization we are going to discuss is a quite useful one. This time we will customize the list of folders or settings icons that appear next to the Power button on the Windows 11 Start menu.
So, to set which icons appear next to the Power button, go to Settings > Personalization > Start. After that, click Folders to see available options.
Here, you will see the list of available folders that you can select to show next to the power button. So, enable the desired items and they will appear on the Start menu next to the power button.
Customize the Start Menu and Taskbar in Your Windows 11 PC
The above tutorial explained how you can easily customize your Windows 11 taskbar and Start menu. You can use these simple tips and tricks to make the most out of Windows 11. These simps tricks will help you enhance your Windows 11 experience. So, if you have not tried Windows 11 yet, we recommend you give it a shot if your PC meets system requirements.
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