Microsoft is taking another crack at redesigning a taskbar optimized for tablets and updating the Settings menu
Microsoft is once again trying its hand at building a taskbar that is tablet-optimized and modernizing the Settings menu in a new preview build for Windows 11. Before being abandoned and starting over, changes to the taskbar on tablets had been under development as long ago as February 2022(opens in new tab). The taskbar will have two alternative options now in Preview Build 25197(opens in a new tab): collapsed and extended. Users will have more screen space in the collapsed mode because the taskbar is hidden, leaving only the most crucial items, like the clock and battery life, visible.
In expanded mode, the entire taskbar is shown, including widgets, programs, and the Start button. Simply swiping up and down at the bottom of the screen will allow you to change between the two modes. Microsoft also notes that when the keyboard is detachable or folded back, the taskbar on 2-in-1 laptops “will immediately switch to this optimized form.” In the Preview Build, the redesigned taskbar will be the default. By heading to the Taskbar behaviors area of the Settings menu, you may check to see if you have this feature. “Optimize taskbar for touch interactions when this device is used as a tablet” will be a choice.
Microsoft intends to keep working on the streamlined taskbar because there are still some kinks. Widgets are reportedly being removed, and the taskbar changeover is taking longer than expected. All devices, not just tablets, are impacted by the remaining new Preview Build features. New animated symbols and drawings will be added to the Settings menu to add some extra flair. The Settings icons will have a small popping motion, as seen in the attached video(opens in a new tab).
The icons seen in the bottom right corner will receive “rounded focus and hover treatment” in the new System Tray. In order to understand exactly what this entails, we contacted Microsoft. If we hear back, we’ll update this story. Additionally, the company notes that the drag-and-drop functionality for icons in the System Tray is disabled for this iteration, but promises users that it will return in a later version.
New native Arm64 functionality has also been added to the Calculator program. According to Microsoft, the Calculator will run more quickly on Arm64-compatible hardware. For rapid video editing, Media Player will also provide direct access to Clipchamp in the context menu. There are other bug fixes in the Preview Build as well. Except for a few that are unique to tablets, all of the fixes will be applied to all Microsoft products.
When the system tray is modified on tablets, the taskbar no longer starts to flash. The date and time shouldn’t be truncated anymore, and Microsoft fixed a fault that might make some areas of the taskbar use the incorrect color scheme. The alterations to the tablet, however, have a requirement. For the fixes to take effect, you must have the newly streamlined taskbar activated.
Regarding the additional fixes, they address various facets of Windows 11. Large recycling bins in File Explorer will now empty more quickly. The Task Manager has been improved in terms of dependability, and issues that occasionally caused crashes have been fixed. The Windows Insider Dev Channel is presently hosting a download for Preview Build 25197. By pressing the Windows key and the F key simultaneously, users can visit the Feedback Hub(opens in a new tab) and provide their opinions on the build.