It’s been there for as long as Windows itself and you’ll struggle to go a day without using it on your PC. We’re referring to the taskbar – or ‘that bar along the bottom’ – which acts as the quick space to hop from application to application in Microsoft’s operating system.
Over the years, the taskbar has evolved drastically (just take a look at Windows 1.0) but little has changed on the Windows 10 taskbar compared to earlier versions.
However, most people don’t realise they can make adjustments to the taskbar that might make things easier and simpler to use.
See what you can do with the taskbar on Windows 10 by following these top six tips:
Tip 1: Pin your most used apps to the taskbar
It’s a good idea to pin any apps you use frequently to the taskbar, so that you can access them more easily and save time in the process.
To do this, all you have to do is right-click on the icon of your chosen app and choose Pin to taskbar.
Likewise, you can remove any apps that Microsoft has put down there and that you don’t need by right-clicking on them and selecting Unpin from taskbar.
Tip 2: Make more space on the taskbar
In Windows 10 quite a few things take up space on the taskbar but you can hide or condense these to make some room.
Cortana is one of the biggest culprits, which you can hide if you want to (you can find instructions on how to do that here). However, you may prefer to make it smaller in the form of a single icon.
To do this, right click anywhere on the taskbar and click Cortana, followed by Show Cortana icon.
There are a few other icons you may not need and can hide too, such as Task View (a feature which lets you choose from all open windows) and the touch keyboard (a button which summons the on-screen keyboard).
To hide these, simply right click on the taskbar and choose Show Task View button and/or Show touch keyboard button.
Tip 3: Show and hide the system tray icons
The far right corner also has some icons that you can clean up as well.
Some are hidden under the arrow which points upwards (this area is sometimes called the system tray) while others are permanently visible. These have been pre-arranged by Microsoft according what it thinks you’re most likely to need. But you can hide some under the arrow, and move others out from beyond it.
To do this, open the Start Menu and click Settings.
Click on Notifications & actions - Select which icons appear on the taskbar.
Toggle the apps you wish to see and those you wish to hide. Alternatively, if you wish to make all icons appear you can switch the top part marked Always show all icons in the notification area to on.
Tip 4: Customise system icons
The system icons are where the important bits are found, adjacent to the system tray.
Go back to the Notifications & actions page and this time click on Turn system icons on or off.
From here, you can toggle the switches on and off for any of the system icons available.
Tip 5: Give the taskbar some colour
You don’t have to stick with the dark taskbar tone set by Microsoft. Changing the colour will also impact the Start Menu and open windows too.
Go into Settings and then Personalization.
From the left menu, select Colors.
Go down and switch Show color on Start, taskbar, action center and title bar on. You can then select a colour you like from above.
Tip 6: Hide the taskbar
If you’d prefer to keep the entire taskbar hidden until you need it, you can. Hiding the Taskbar tucks it out of view at the bottom or the screen; whenever you want to use it all you have to do is move your cursor down and it’ll reappear temporarily.
To do this, right click on the taskbar and select Properties.
Tick the box marked Auto-hide the taskbar, followed by the Apply and OK buttons.
Have you managed to customise your taskbar? Let us know what adjustments you made in the Comments section below.