Configure and customize Windows 11 taskbar - Configure Windows (2022)

  • Article
  • 9 minutes to read

Applies to:

  • Windows 11

Looking for OEM information? See Customize the Taskbar and Customize the Start layout.

Your organization can deploy a customized taskbar to your Windows devices. Customizing the taskbar is common when your organization uses a common set of apps, or wants to bring attention to specific apps. You can also remove the default pinned apps.

For example, you can override the default set of apps with your own a set of pinned apps, and in the order you choose. As an administrator, use this feature to pin apps, remove default pinned apps, order the apps, and more on the taskbar.

To add apps you want pinned to the taskbar, you use an XML file. You can use an existing XML file, or create a new file. If you have an XML file that's used on Windows 10 devices, you can also use it on Windows 11 devices. You may have to update the App IDs.

This article shows you how to create the XML file, add apps to the XML, and deploy the XML file.

Before you begin

  • There isn't a limit on the number of apps that you can pin. In the XML file, add apps using the Application User Model ID (AUMID) or Desktop Application Link Path (the local path to the app).

  • There are some situations that an app pinned in your XML file won't be pinned in the taskbar. For example, if an app isn't approved or installed for a user, then the pinned icon won't show on the taskbar.

  • The order of apps in the XML file dictates the order of pinned apps on the taskbar, from left to right, and to the right of any existing apps pinned by the user. If the OS is configured to use a right-to-left language, then the taskbar order is reversed.

  • Some classic Windows applications are packaged differently than they were in previous versions of Windows, including Notepad and File Explorer. Be sure to enter the correct AppID. For more information, see Application User Model ID (AUMID) and Get the AUMID and Desktop app link path (in this article).

  • It's recommended to use a Mobile Device Management (MDM) provider. MDM providers help manage your devices, and help manage apps on your devices. For Microsoft, that includes using Microsoft Endpoint Manager. Endpoint Manager includes Microsoft Intune, which is a cloud service, and Configuration Manager, which is on-premises.

    In this article, we mention these services. If you're not managing your devices using an MDM provider, the following resources may help you get started:

    (Video) Windows 11 Taskbar Customization Tutorial

    • Microsoft Endpoint Manager overview
    • What is Microsoft Intune and Microsoft Intune planning guide
    • What is Configuration Manager?

Create the XML file

  1. In a text editor, such as Visual Studio Code, create a new XML file. To help you get started, you can copy and paste the following XML sample. The sample pins two apps to the taskbar - File Explorer and the Command Prompt:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?><LayoutModificationTemplate xmlns="" xmlns:defaultlayout="" xmlns:start="" xmlns:taskbar="" Version="1"> <CustomTaskbarLayoutCollection> <defaultlayout:TaskbarLayout> <taskbar:TaskbarPinList> <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationID="Microsoft.Windows.Explorer" /> <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\System Tools\Command Prompt.lnk" /> </taskbar:TaskbarPinList> </defaultlayout:TaskbarLayout> </CustomTaskbarLayoutCollection></LayoutModificationTemplate>
  2. In the <taskbar:TaskbarPinList> node, add (or remove) the apps you want pinned. You can pin Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps and desktop apps:

    • <taskbar:UWA>: Select this option for UWP apps. Add the AUMID of the UWP app.
    • <taskbar:DesktopApp>: Select this option for desktop apps. Add the Desktop Application Link Path of the desktop app.

    You can pin as many apps as you want. Just keep adding them to the list. Remember, the app order in the list is the same order the apps are shown on the taskbar.

    For more information, see Get the AUMID and Desktop app link path (in this article).

  3. In the <CustomTaskbarLayoutCollection> node, the apps you add are pinned after the default apps. If you want to remove the default apps, and only show the apps you add in the XML file, then add PinListPlacement="Replace":

    • <CustomTaskbarLayoutCollection>: Keeps the default pinned apps. After the default apps, the apps you add are pinned.
    • <CustomTaskbarLayoutCollection PinListPlacement="Replace">: Unpins the default apps. Only the apps you add are pinned.

    If you want to remove some of the default pinned apps, then add PinListPlacement="Replace". When you add your apps to <taskbar:TaskbarPinList>, include the default apps you still want pinned.

  4. In the <defaultlayout:TaskbarLayout> node, use region=" | " to use different taskbar configurations based on the device locale and region.

    In the following XML example, two regions are added: US|UK and DE|FR:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?><LayoutModificationTemplate xmlns="" xmlns:defaultlayout="" xmlns:start="" xmlns:taskbar="" Version="1"> <CustomTaskbarLayoutCollection PinListPlacement="Replace"> <defaultlayout:TaskbarLayout region="US|UK"> <taskbar:TaskbarPinList > <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationID="MSEdge"/> <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationID="Microsoft.Windows.Explorer"/> <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationID="Microsoft.Office.WINWORD.EXE.15" /> <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\System Tools\Command Prompt.lnk"/> </taskbar:TaskbarPinList> </defaultlayout:TaskbarLayout> <defaultlayout:TaskbarLayout region="DE|FR"> <taskbar:TaskbarPinList> <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationID="Microsoft.Windows.Explorer"/> <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationID="Microsoft.Office.WINWORD.EXE.15" /> <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationID="Microsoft.Office.EXCEL.EXE.15" /> <taskbar:UWA AppUserModelID="Microsoft.WindowsTerminal_8wekyb3d8bbwe!App" /> </taskbar:TaskbarPinList> </defaultlayout:TaskbarLayout> <defaultlayout:TaskbarLayout> <taskbar:TaskbarPinList> <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationID="Microsoft.Windows.Explorer"/> <taskbar:DesktopApp DesktopApplicationID="Microsoft.Office.WINWORD.EXE.15" /> <taskbar:UWA AppUserModelID="Microsoft.WindowsTerminal_8wekyb3d8bbwe!App" /> </taskbar:TaskbarPinList> </defaultlayout:TaskbarLayout> </CustomTaskbarLayoutCollection></LayoutModificationTemplate>

    The taskbar applies when:

    • If the <TaskbarPinList> node has a country or region, then the apps are pinned on devices configured for that country or region.
    • If the <TaskbarPinList> node doesn't have a region tag for the current region, then the first <TaskbarPinList> node with no region is applied.
  5. Save the file, and name the file so you know what it is. For example, name the file something like TaskbarLayoutModification.xml. Once you have the file, it's ready to be deployed to your Windows devices.

Use Group Policy or MDM to create and deploy a taskbar policy

Now that you have the XML file with your customized taskbar, you're ready to deploy it to devices in your organization. You can deploy your taskbar XML file using Group Policy, or using an MDM provider, like Microsoft Endpoint Manager.

This section shows you how to deploy the XML both ways.

Use Group Policy to deploy your XML file

Use the following steps to add your XML file to a group policy, and apply the policy:

(Video) How to Configure and Customize the Windows 11 Taskbar

  1. Open your policy editor. For example, open Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) for domain-based group policies, or open gpedit for local policies.

  2. Go to one of the following policies:

    • Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Start Menu and Taskbar\Start Layout
    • User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Start Menu and Taskbar\Start Layout
  3. Double-select Start Layout > Enable. Enter the fully qualified path to your XML file, including the XML file name. You can enter a local path, like C:\StartLayouts\TaskbarLayoutModification.xml, or a network path, like \\Server\Share\TaskbarLayoutModification.xml. Be sure you enter the correct file path. If using a network share, be sure to give users read access to the XML file. If the file isn't available when the user signs in, then the taskbar isn't changed. Users can't customize the taskbar when this setting is enabled.

    Your policy looks like the following policy:

    Configure and customize Windows 11 taskbar - Configure Windows (1)

    The User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Start Menu and Taskbar policy includes other settings that control the taskbar. Some policies may not work as expected. Be sure to test your policies before broadly deploying them across your devices.

  4. When you apply the policy, the taskbar includes your changes. The next time users sign in, they'll see the changes.

    For more information on using group policies, see Implement Group Policy Objects.

Create a Microsoft Endpoint Manager policy to deploy your XML file

MDM providers can deploy policies to devices managed by the organization, including organization-owned devices, and personal or bring your own device (BYOD). Using an MDM provider, such as Microsoft Endpoint Manager, you can deploy a policy that configures the pinned list.

Use the following steps to create an Endpoint Manager policy that deploys your taskbar XML file:

  1. Sign in to the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center.

  2. Select Devices > Configuration profiles > Create profile.

  3. Enter the following properties:

    (Video) How To Customize Windows 11 Taskbar

    • Platform: Select Windows 10 and later.
    • Profile type: Select Templates > Device restrictions > Create.
  4. In Basics, enter the following properties:

    • Name: Enter a descriptive name for the profile. Name your profiles so you can easily identify it later. For example, a good profile name is Win11: Custom taskbar.
    • Description: Enter a description for the profile. This setting is optional, and recommended.
  5. Select Next.

  6. In Configuration settings, select Start > Start menu layout. Browse to, and select your taskbar XML file.

  7. Select Next, and configure the rest of the policy settings. For more specific information, see Configure device restriction settings.

  8. When the policy is created, you can deploy it now, or deploy it later. Since this policy is a customized taskbar, the policy can also be deployed before users sign in the first time.

    For more information and guidance on assigning policies using Microsoft Endpoint Manager, see Assign user and device profiles.


For third party partner MDM solutions, you may need to use an OMA-URI setting for Start layout, based on the Policy configuration service provider (CSP). The OMA-URI setting is ./User/Vendor/MSFT/Policy/Config/Start/StartLayout.

Get the AUMID and Desktop app link path

In the layout modification XML file, you add apps in the XML markup. To pin an app, you enter the AUMID or Desktop Application Link Path. The easiest way to find this app information is to use the Export-StartLayout Windows PowerShell cmdlet:

  1. On an existing Windows 11 device, pin the app to the Start menu.

  2. Create a folder to save an output file. For example, create the C:\Layouts folder.

  3. Open the Windows PowerShell app, and run the following cmdlet:

    (Video) Windows 11 Personalization & Customization Guide - Taskbar, Start Menu, Themes & More!

    Export-StartLayout -Path "C:\Layouts\GetIDorPath.xml"
  4. Open the generated GetIDorPath.xml file, and look for the app you pinned. When you find the app, get the AppID or Path. Add these properties to your XML file.

Pin order for all apps

On a taskbar, the following apps are typically pinned:

  • Apps pinned by the user

  • Default Windows apps pinned during the OS installation, such as Microsoft Edge, File Explorer, and Microsoft Store.

  • Apps pinned by your organization, such as in an unattended Windows setup.

    In an unattended Windows setup file, use the XML file you created in this article. It's not recommended to use TaskbarLinks.

Apps are pinned in the following order:

  1. Windows default apps are pinned first.
  2. User-pinned apps are pinned after the Windows default apps.
  3. XML-pinned apps are pinned after the user-pinned apps.

If the OS is configured to use a right-to-left language, then the taskbar order is reversed.

OS install and upgrade

  • On a clean install of the Windows client, if you apply a taskbar layout, the following apps are pinned to the taskbar:

    • Apps you specifically add
    • Any default apps you don't remove

    After the taskbar layout is applied, users can pin more apps, change the order, and unpin apps.

  • On a Windows client upgrade, apps are already pinned to the taskbar. These apps may have been pinned by a user, by an image, or by using Windows unattended setup. For upgrades, the taskbar layout applies the following behavior:

    • If users pinned apps to the taskbar, then those pinned apps remain. New apps are pinned after the existing user-pinned apps.
    • If the apps are pinned during the install or by a policy (not by a user), and the apps aren't pinned in an updated layout file, then the apps are unpinned.
    • If a user didn't pin an app, and the same app is pinned in the updated layout file, then the app is pinned after any existing pinned apps.
    • New apps in updated layout file are pinned after the user's pinned apps.

    After the layout is applied, users can pin more apps, change the order, and unpin apps.


How do I customize the taskbar in Windows 11? ›

Right-click on the taskbar and then click on the Taskbar settings option. Here at the top, you'll see all the taskbar default items with a toggle button next to them. Just toggle off the items you don't want to see on the taskbar, and they will be removed.

How do I fix the taskbar error in Windows 11? ›

In this post, you can learn how to fix the Taskbar not working in Windows 11.
  1. Method 1: Shut down your device.
  2. Method 2: Restart the services in Task Manager.
  3. Method 3: Restart your PC through Task Manager.
  4. Method 4: Repair system files via CMD.
  5. Method 5: Reinstall UWP with a PowerShell command.
18 Aug 2022

How do I completely customize my taskbar? ›

If you want to change multiple aspects of the taskbar at one time, use Taskbar settings. Press and hold or right-click any empty space on the taskbar, and then select Taskbar settings . In the Taskbar settings, scroll to see the options for customizing, sizing, choosing icons, battery information and much more.

What is the best way to customize Windows 11? ›

8 Ways to Personalize Windows 11
  1. Custom Wallpaper. The home screen is the first thing you see after unlocking your system. ...
  2. Windows Themes. ...
  3. A Slideshow for a Desktop Background. ...
  4. Custom Fonts. ...
  5. Customization Apps. ...
  6. Add Apps to the Taskbar. ...
  7. Customize the Start Menu. ...
  8. Customize Your System Sounds and Change Your Mouse Pointer.
28 Jun 2022

How do I use the taskbar in Windows 11? ›

Right-click on the taskbar and select Taskbar settings. You'll find four taskbar items at the top: search, task view, widgets, and chat. All items except "chat" (a Microsoft Teams shortcut) are enabled by default. You can hide the items enabled by default by turning the toggle next to their names off.

Where is the taskbar on Windows 11? ›

As you probably know, the Windows 11 taskbar is locked to the bottom center of the screen. And while you can move the icons to the left bottom edge like Windows 10, that's about it.

How do I restore the default taskbar in Windows 11? ›

How to Restart or Reset Windows 11 Taskbar - YouTube

Is Windows 11 better now? ›

Windows 11 is worth the update for most people. It comes with a wide range of new features, performance improvements, and design changes. As the latest Windows OS, it usually gets more attention than Windows 10, too. There's not too much risk in upgrading to Windows 11, either.

How do I enable Never combine taskbar buttons in Windows 11? ›

Launch StartAllBack on your PC and click Taskbar. Click on the drop-down menu beside Combine taskbar buttons: and select Never. And that's it!

How do I resize the taskbar icons in Windows 11? ›

Right-click the Advanced key, select New and click on DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name the key TaskbarSi and press Enter. Double-click the newly created DWORD and change its value from 0 to 2 to change the Taskbar icons size to large. The value 0 is for the small size and 1 is for the default icon size.

How do I add apps to the taskbar in Windows 11? ›

To pin apps to the taskbar
  1. Select Start , scroll to the app you want to pin, then press and hold (or right-click) the app. Select More > Pin to taskbar.
  2. If the app is already open on the desktop, press and hold (or right click) the app's taskbar icon, and then select Pin to taskbar.

What does Windows 11 Start menu look like? ›

The Start button in Windows 11 is a small button that shows the Windows logo. It always appears at the left end of the primary group of buttons within the taskbar. The buttons in the Windows 11 taskbar appear in the center of the bar, by default.

How do I Personalize my Windows? ›

To access the Personalization settings, right-click anywhere on the desktop, then select Personalize from the drop-down menu. The Personalization settings will appear. Click the buttons in the interactive below to learn more about using the Personalization settings.

What is taskbar very short answer? ›

The taskbar is the access point for programs displayed on the desktop, even if the program is minimized. Such programs are said to have desktop presence. With the taskbar, users can view the open primary windows and certain secondary windows on the desktop, and can quickly switch between them.

How do I restore my taskbar back to normal? ›

How To Reset Windows 10 Taskbar To Its Default Settings - YouTube

How do I restore my taskbar icons? ›

Restore Icons to the Desktop
  1. Right-click the desktop and click Properties.
  2. Click the Desktop tab.
  3. Click Customize desktop.
  4. Click the General tab, and then click the icons that you want to place on the desktop.
  5. Click OK.

Is Win 11 slower than win 10? ›

Windows 11 is faster than Windows 10. However, some users is experiencing slow performance issue due to low disk storage or outdated drivers.

What are the disadvantages of Windows 11? ›

With that said, below is our selection of the top complaints users have about Windows 11.
  • Windows 11's Hardware Requirements Are Too Stringent. ...
  • Changing Default Apps in Windows 11 Is Too Hard. ...
  • You Have to Sign in to a Microsoft Account to Use Windows 11. ...
  • Windows 11's Start Menu Is Less Usable Than Windows 10's.

Is win11 2022 stable? ›

Windows 11 was first released in October 2021, but Microsoft has been making constant additions and changes to its OS since then. The company began adding new features within weeks, before lots of new functionality was added in a February 2022 update.

Can I ungroup Taskbar Windows 11? ›

To ungroup icons on the taskbar in Windows 11, install StartAllBack. Click Taskbar in the left navigation pane of the app, and locate the option to ungroup taskbar icons under Tweak behavior and superpowers. Does Windows 11 have a 'Never combine taskbar buttons' feature?

How do I ungroup folders in Taskbar Windows 11? ›

Ungroup Folders or Apps in Taskbar in Windows 11

Unfortunately, you cannot ungroup them directly in Windows 11. You will have to install Explorer Patch to achieve this.

How do I show all open files in Taskbar Windows 11? ›

Right-click the taskbar, and then choose any of these options to display all open windows: Select Cascade windows to show open windows cascaded, with each window's title bar visible. Select Show windows stacked to display all open windows in one or more vertical stacks.

How do I make the Taskbar two rows in Windows 11? ›

Make Windows 11 show notification area icons in two rows

On the right, double-click the Settings binary value. To display the taskbar icons in two rows, modify the data in the cell of the 00000028 row and FE column and set it to 02. Click OK to apply.

How do I resize a window in Windows 11? ›

There are several ways to resize windows in Windows 10 and 11. You can use the Minimize and Maximize buttons in the top-right corner on every window to manage size. You can point the mouse at the edge of the window to drag the edges to resize windows manually.

Can I get TaskbarX for free? ›

The store version is exactly the same as the normal/free version. It's a donation sytem. The store version does give you the benefit of automatic updates and easy installing.

What is the difference between toolbar and taskbar? ›

A toolbar like the Main browser bar/ Favorites bar/ Bing bar and even other third party toolbars like google toolbar are usually located on the top of the screen, Where as the Taskbar is usually on the bottom of the screen but can be on either side of the screen.

How do I change the taskbar theme? ›

What to Know
  1. Click Start > Settings > Personalization > Colors, and select a custom color.
  2. Check the Start, taskbar, and action center checkbox in the color settings, and the taskbar will change to your custom color.
  3. If the default Windows mode is on Light, you can't choose a custom color.
14 Jun 2022

How do I change the default taskbar in Windows 10? ›

How To Reset Windows 10 Taskbar To Its Default Settings - YouTube

Is TaskbarX secure? ›

TaskbarX for Windows is a safe application that won't make any permanent changes to your computer.

How do I uninstall FalconX? ›

Right click on the "TaskbarX" or "FalconX" entry and click "Delete". You can also use SCHTASKS /DELETE /TN "TaskbarX PCNAMEUSERNAME" to remove the scheduled task from the command line.

How do I run TaskbarX? ›

Download TaskbarX for Windows

If you prefer to use the free version, scroll down the page and select the Portable Zip file instead. Once this is downloaded, extract all of the files to a folder on your PC, and then launch the file called TaskbarX Configurator.exe.

What is the main purpose of the taskbar? ›

The taskbar is the access point for programs displayed on the desktop, even if the program is minimized. Such programs are said to have desktop presence. With the taskbar, users can view the open primary windows and certain secondary windows on the desktop, and can quickly switch between them.

What does the taskbar contains? ›

The Taskbar consists of the area between the start menu and the icons to the left of the clock. It shows the programs that you have open on your computer. To switch from one program to another, single click the program on the Taskbar, and it will become the frontmost window.

How many bars does a computer have? ›

Answer: There are four bars in computer system Menu bar, Navigation bar,Places bar and Progress bar. Explanation:Menu bar - A bar at the top of the screen that gives access to all of the menus. Navigation bar - Gives access to all navigation features in a browser.

How do I show all open files in taskbar Windows 11? ›

Right-click the taskbar, and then choose any of these options to display all open windows: Select Cascade windows to show open windows cascaded, with each window's title bar visible. Select Show windows stacked to display all open windows in one or more vertical stacks.

How do I make my taskbar transparent on w11? ›

Here is how you control it:

Select Start and then Settings to open the Settings application (or use the keyboard shortcut Windows-I). Go to Personalization > Colors. Toggle the option "Transparency Effects" to on. The taskbar should change its color when you change the value of the parameter.

How do I change the taskbar color in Windows 11? ›

How to Change the Taskbar Color in Windows 11
  1. Navigate to “Settings” and choose “Personalization” in the left section of your screen.
  2. Go to the right side of your screen and pick “Colors.”
  3. Use the drop-down menu that lets you select your mode and click “Custom.”
16 Jul 2022

Can I move my taskbar in Windows 11? ›

Click on Taskbar. Use the “Taskbar style” setting and select the “Windows 10” option. Use the “Primary taskbar location on screen” setting and select the Top option to move the Taskbar to the top of the screen. (You also have the option to move it to the left or right side.)

How do I expand the system tray in Windows 11? ›

On Windows 11 device, Click on the Start button and select Settings. Click on Personalization on the left side and click on Taskbar on the right side. Click on Taskbar corner overflow on the right side to expand it.

How do I make the taskbar smaller in Windows 11 2022? ›

Double-tap the “TaskbarSi” value to launch an editing box. To make the taskbar smaller, change the “Value Data” to 0. Restart the PC to implement the changes.
It will contain three files:
  1. The “win11_taskbar_small. reg” file shrinks the taskbar.
  2. The “win11_taskbar_medium. ...
  3. The “win11_taskbar_large.
28 Apr 2022


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