Microsoft admits it won’t be fixing Windows 11’s taskbar for a while

When it launched, Windows 11 came with some major changes – and it looks like one of the most unpopular tweaks is here to stay, with Microsoft admitting that adding missing features to the taskbar simply isn’t a priority.

As Windows Latest reports, Microsoft has revealed that some of the biggest requests from users won’t be appearing any time soon.

The taskbar, which usually runs along the bottom of your screen, has been an important part of Windows since Windows 95, and with Windows 11, Microsoft decided to radically redesign it, including rebuilding it from scratch.

This left the Windows 11 taskbar missing some big, useful, features that people have been using for decades. One of the most noticeable features missing in action was the ability to drag and drop files or applications to the taskbar, either to pin them there for easy access, or to open them in an app already pinned to the taskbar.

This seemingly little feature was actually really useful, so many people were upset to find it missing in Windows 11. Microsoft has stated that drag and drop is coming to Windows 11 with the 22H2 major update later this year.

However, in a Windows Insider video, which you can view below, the Windows 11 development team revealed that other features won’t be coming any time soon.

Restricted movement

Another big complaint about Windows 11’s taskbar is the fact that you can’t reposition it. Many people liked to move the taskbar in previous versions of Windows to the side of the screen, or even to the top. With Windows 11, it’s stuck at the bottom, and that’s not going to change for a while, at least.

This is because, according to the Windows 11 development team, the animation flow of the Start menu in Windows 11, can’t handle a different taskbar position just yet. “Think about having the taskbar on the right, all of a sudden the reflow and the work all of the apps or Start menu have to do,” the team admitted.

Because the taskbar has been rebuilt from scratch, Microsoft is prioritizing adding features such as drag and drop, which involves extensive testing from volunteers. Sadly, it seems like the company doesn’t think moving the taskbar is as important.


Analysis: unfinished business

Man upset using a laptop

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

While it’s understandable that Microsoft has more important features to add to Windows 11, the fact that it launched with a taskbar missing so many features is pretty remarkable. Being able to move the taskbar gives people a greater level of freedom when configuring Windows to behave the way they prefer.

So, by not including this feature, there will be a large number of people who are annoyed and frustrated by Windows 11, and it gives the feeling that the operating system launched in an unfinished state, which is something our Windows 11 review pointed out.

It’s no surprise, then, that Windows 11 is struggling to get people to upgrade as fast as Windows 10 had managed.

If Windows 11 had been open source, like Linux, then we’d wager someone would have already added the ability – one of the benefits of being open source. Thankfully, there are also tools such as Start11 from Stardock which adds extra functionality to both the Start menu and taskbar – including the ability to change the taskbar’s position – which Microsoft is seemingly struggling with.

This isn’t the first time teams like Stardock have stepped in to fix unpopular changes to Windows – we saw a plethora of third-party apps that brought the Start menu back to Windows 8 after Microsoft unwisely dropped it.

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Microsoft admits it won’t be fixing Windows 11’s taskbar for a while

When it launched, Windows 11 came with some major changes – and it looks like one of the most unpopular tweaks is here to stay, with Microsoft admitting that adding missing features to the taskbar simply isn’t a priority.

As Windows Latest reports, Microsoft has revealed that some of the biggest requests from users won’t be appearing any time soon.

The taskbar, which usually runs along the bottom of your screen, has been an important part of Windows since Windows 95, and with Windows 11, Microsoft decided to radically redesign it, including rebuilding it from scratch.

This left the Windows 11 taskbar missing some big, useful, features that people have been using for decades. One of the most noticeable features missing in action was the ability to drag and drop files or applications to the taskbar, either to pin them there for easy access, or to open them in an app already pinned to the taskbar.

This seemingly little feature was actually really useful, so many people were upset to find it missing in Windows 11. Microsoft has stated that drag and drop is coming to Windows 11 with the 22H2 major update later this year.

However, in a Windows Insider video, which you can view below, the Windows 11 development team revealed that other features won’t be coming any time soon.

Restricted movement

Another big complaint about Windows 11’s taskbar is the fact that you can’t reposition it. Many people liked to move the taskbar in previous versions of Windows to the side of the screen, or even to the top. With Windows 11, it’s stuck at the bottom, and that’s not going to change for a while, at least.

This is because, according to the Windows 11 development team, the animation flow of the Start menu in Windows 11, can’t handle a different taskbar position just yet. “Think about having the taskbar on the right, all of a sudden the reflow and the work all of the apps or Start menu have to do,” the team admitted.

Because the taskbar has been rebuilt from scratch, Microsoft is prioritizing adding features such as drag and drop, which involves extensive testing from volunteers. Sadly, it seems like the company doesn’t think moving the taskbar is as important.


Analysis: unfinished business

Man upset using a laptop

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

While it’s understandable that Microsoft has more important features to add to Windows 11, the fact that it launched with a taskbar missing so many features is pretty remarkable. Being able to move the taskbar gives people a greater level of freedom when configuring Windows to behave the way they prefer.

So, by not including this feature, there will be a large number of people who are annoyed and frustrated by Windows 11, and it gives the feeling that the operating system launched in an unfinished state, which is something our Windows 11 review pointed out.

It’s no surprise, then, that Windows 11 is struggling to get people to upgrade as fast as Windows 10 had managed.

If Windows 11 had been open source, like Linux, then we’d wager someone would have already added the ability – one of the benefits of being open source. Thankfully, there are also tools such as Start11 from Stardock which adds extra functionality to both the Start menu and taskbar – including the ability to change the taskbar’s position – which Microsoft is seemingly struggling with.

This isn’t the first time teams like Stardock have stepped in to fix unpopular changes to Windows – we saw a plethora of third-party apps that brought the Start menu back to Windows 8 after Microsoft unwisely dropped it.

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Windows 11’s best new feature comes with a big catch

Microsoft has announced a powerful new feature for Windows 11 that can protect users from malicious apps and downloads – but to enable it, you’ll have to deal with a pretty big catch: a total reinstall of Windows 11.

The Smart App Control feature aims to keep your PC protected from malicious apps, and as PCWorld reports, this “major enhancement to the Windows 11 security model,” as Microsoft calls it, will be baked into Windows 11, with every new app you run checked to see if it may be a virus – or worse.

It appears to be based on similar tech to SmartScreen, which is included in the Edge web browser, but will go much further in checking apps you run on your PC, including ones you download using other browsers.

This increased level of threat protection is great to have, and will be of particular use to businesses and enterprises that want to ensure their devices are protected. However, it comes with a pretty big caveat: existing Windows 11 users will need to reinstall Windows 11 completely. This means wiping your entire PC and starting again, and that could be a real pain for many users.


Analysis: is it worth it?

Angry man ripping out his hair in front of his laptop

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

As Microsoft explained when it announced the feature, “Devices running previous versions of Windows 11 will have to be reset and have a clean installation of Windows 11 to take advantage of this feature.”

For new Windows 11 devices, this shouldn’t be an issue, as hopefully they'll ship with the latest version of the operating system which includes this feature. However, if you're already running Windows 11 you’ll be faced with a dilemma: do you wipe and reinstall Windows 11, or miss out on added security?

Performing a fresh install of Windows 11 is not a minor task. Although it’s certainly easier than with previous versions of Windows, you’ll be erasing all your apps, documents and settings. You’ll need to make sure all your important documents are backed up before you do this, and then spend time re-downloading and installing your apps and games, and tweaking your settings.

This is a time-consuming process on a single device, but for businesses that have a large number of Windows 11 PCs already it could cause major logistical issues.

Despite this, it’s advisable for many people to perform the reinstall to get the new feature, as any additional protection against online threats is worth having, especially if that protection is baked-in at a system level, which should minimize any impact on performance.

For people who download a lot of programs from the internet, and businesses for which the protection of devices and the data they hold is of the utmost importance, this is an inconvenience that's worth enduring – and the earlier you do it, the less impact it should have.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Windows 11’s best new feature comes with a big catch

Microsoft has announced a powerful new feature for Windows 11 that can protect users from malicious apps and downloads – but to enable it, you’ll have to deal with a pretty big catch: a total reinstall of Windows 11.

The Smart App Control feature aims to keep your PC protected from malicious apps, and as PCWorld reports, this “major enhancement to the Windows 11 security model,” as Microsoft calls it, will be baked into Windows 11, with every new app you run checked to see if it may be a virus – or worse.

It appears to be based on similar tech to SmartScreen, which is included in the Edge web browser, but will go much further in checking apps you run on your PC, including ones you download using other browsers.

This increased level of threat protection is great to have, and will be of particular use to businesses and enterprises that want to ensure their devices are protected. However, it comes with a pretty big caveat: existing Windows 11 users will need to reinstall Windows 11 completely. This means wiping your entire PC and starting again, and that could be a real pain for many users.


Analysis: is it worth it?

Angry man ripping out his hair in front of his laptop

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

As Microsoft explained when it announced the feature, “Devices running previous versions of Windows 11 will have to be reset and have a clean installation of Windows 11 to take advantage of this feature.”

For new Windows 11 devices, this shouldn’t be an issue, as hopefully they'll ship with the latest version of the operating system which includes this feature. However, if you're already running Windows 11 you’ll be faced with a dilemma: do you wipe and reinstall Windows 11, or miss out on added security?

Performing a fresh install of Windows 11 is not a minor task. Although it’s certainly easier than with previous versions of Windows, you’ll be erasing all your apps, documents and settings. You’ll need to make sure all your important documents are backed up before you do this, and then spend time re-downloading and installing your apps and games, and tweaking your settings.

This is a time-consuming process on a single device, but for businesses that have a large number of Windows 11 PCs already it could cause major logistical issues.

Despite this, it’s advisable for many people to perform the reinstall to get the new feature, as any additional protection against online threats is worth having, especially if that protection is baked-in at a system level, which should minimize any impact on performance.

For people who download a lot of programs from the internet, and businesses for which the protection of devices and the data they hold is of the utmost importance, this is an inconvenience that's worth enduring – and the earlier you do it, the less impact it should have.

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Windows 11’s built-in video editor removes its biggest drawback

Windows 11 recently got Clipchamp, or at least the video editing app graced the latest preview build of the OS, and now one of the biggest complaints about the free version has been fixed.

Clipchamp – which was acquired by Microsoft in September 2021, and turned up for Windows 11 testers earlier this month, had a major downside in that the basic free plan only allowed for videos to be exported at 480p resolution.

That’s pretty crummy, of course, but now the free version has been upped to include unlimited exporting to Full HD or 1080p resolution, which previously required you to subscribe to the Creator plan (at the price of $ 9 / £8 / AU$ 10 monthly).

There are still benefits for paying a Creator subscription, of course, namely access to stock audio clips and unlimited cloud storage for your projects. Meanwhile, business plans furnish you with extra goodies including stock video clips and the ability to fully brand your creations.


Analysis: A quick change following Windows 11 debut, and a necessary one

It’s good to see 1080p exports coming to the freebie incarnation of Clipchamp, though really, 480p was a very low bar to set, and so this was a move that needed to be made.

It’s obvious enough that Clipchamp being introduced as a Windows 11 app in testing – presumably set to come to the OS later this year in the big 2022 update – brought a lot more attention to the program. And with the spotlight shining more intensely on that export limitation, and perhaps given initial tester feedback, Microsoft decided that the 480p situation had to change (we can but guess).

Clipchamp is, in effect, the return of Windows Movie Maker, giving casual users a built-in and convenient option to quickly edit video clips within Windows 11. However, having to pay for a decent resolution with the end result would’ve severely limited Clipchamp’s usefulness in terms of that positioning.

Via Windows Central

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Windows 11’s built-in video editor removes its biggest drawback

Windows 11 recently got Clipchamp, or at least the video editing app graced the latest preview build of the OS, and now one of the biggest complaints about the free version has been fixed.

Clipchamp – which was acquired by Microsoft in September 2021, and turned up for Windows 11 testers earlier this month, had a major downside in that the basic free plan only allowed for videos to be exported at 480p resolution.

That’s pretty crummy, of course, but now the free version has been upped to include unlimited exporting to Full HD or 1080p resolution, which previously required you to subscribe to the Creator plan (at the price of $ 9 / £8 / AU$ 10 monthly).

There are still benefits for paying a Creator subscription, of course, namely access to stock audio clips and unlimited cloud storage for your projects. Meanwhile, business plans furnish you with extra goodies including stock video clips and the ability to fully brand your creations.


Analysis: A quick change following Windows 11 debut, and a necessary one

It’s good to see 1080p exports coming to the freebie incarnation of Clipchamp, though really, 480p was a very low bar to set, and so this was a move that needed to be made.

It’s obvious enough that Clipchamp being introduced as a Windows 11 app in testing – presumably set to come to the OS later this year in the big 2022 update – brought a lot more attention to the program. And with the spotlight shining more intensely on that export limitation, and perhaps given initial tester feedback, Microsoft decided that the 480p situation had to change (we can but guess).

Clipchamp is, in effect, the return of Windows Movie Maker, giving casual users a built-in and convenient option to quickly edit video clips within Windows 11. However, having to pay for a decent resolution with the end result would’ve severely limited Clipchamp’s usefulness in terms of that positioning.

Via Windows Central

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Windows 11’s newest Easter egg is a real time-waster – in a good way

Windows 11 has an Easter egg where you can spin the Settings cog in certain parts of the interface.

The nifty spinning animation was highlighted by The Verge, who reported on the ability to do this in the Notepad app after a denizen of Reddit posted about it. Further additions to that Reddit thread include the observation that the ability is also present in the new Task Manager, at least in the dev and beta builds for Windows 11 testers.

Again, this is the same deal – bottom-left, there’s a cog icon that you can spin, and it’s a surprisingly addictive little extra.

Presumably we can expect more cogs to be fully spinnable elsewhere in the interface of Windows 11 in the future, too.

Windows 11 Notepad Spinning Cog

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Analysis: Some Windows extras are pretty obvious, others not so much…

Hidden extras in Windows are nothing new, of course, and indeed they can go quite some time undiscovered. Very recently an enterprising user managed to find an Easter egg in the very first version of Windows, somehow, which comprised of a secret list of developers who worked on Windows 1.0 (one of them being a certain Gabe Newell, co-founder of Valve).

So that particular nugget lay undiscovered for nearly 37 years before it was stumbled across. Makes you wonder if there are some incredibly well-hidden secrets in Windows 10 or 11 (or indeed other recent versions of Microsoft’s desktop operating system). We’re betting there are, somewhere…

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Windows 11’s newest Easter egg is a real time-waster – in a good way

Windows 11 has an Easter egg where you can spin the Settings cog in certain parts of the interface.

The nifty spinning animation was highlighted by The Verge, who reported on the ability to do this in the Notepad app after a denizen of Reddit posted about it. Further additions to that Reddit thread include the observation that the ability is also present in the new Task Manager, at least in the dev and beta builds for Windows 11 testers.

Again, this is the same deal – bottom-left, there’s a cog icon that you can spin, and it’s a surprisingly addictive little extra.

Presumably we can expect more cogs to be fully spinnable elsewhere in the interface of Windows 11 in the future, too.

Windows 11 Notepad Spinning Cog

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Analysis: Some Windows extras are pretty obvious, others not so much…

Hidden extras in Windows are nothing new, of course, and indeed they can go quite some time undiscovered. Very recently an enterprising user managed to find an Easter egg in the very first version of Windows, somehow, which comprised of a secret list of developers who worked on Windows 1.0 (one of them being a certain Gabe Newell, co-founder of Valve).

So that particular nugget lay undiscovered for nearly 37 years before it was stumbled across. Makes you wonder if there are some incredibly well-hidden secrets in Windows 10 or 11 (or indeed other recent versions of Microsoft’s desktop operating system). We’re betting there are, somewhere…

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

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Windows 11’s next big update for 2023 is already underway

Windows 11’s big update for 2023 is already being worked on by Microsoft, or at least that’s the word from the grapevine, with references to the 23H2 build having been spotted.

This sighting was made by @XenoPanther, who picked up on references to CU23H2, or ‘Copper’ 23H2, in a DLL file within Windows Server build 25075. The current 22H2 build being tested, and set to debut later this year, is known as ‘Nickel’, as well as its more widely used ‘Sun Valley 2’ codename.

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While we have to trust that this finding shared on Twitter is genuine, it’s not the only clue here. As Neowin further points out, during a Microsoft stream (the Windows Insider Program webcast), there was also a reference to ‘SV3 Refined Investments Next Step’ tucked away in a Share Content menu (for Teams).

SV2 is an abbreviation used by Microsoft in the past for Sun Valley 2, so it’s a reasonable assumption that SV3 could well refer to Sun Valley 3, or Copper 23H2.


Analysis: This is just very early work on the next version of Windows 11

As @XenoPanther makes clear, this is the very first reference to 23H2 or next year’s big update that we’ve seen – remember, Microsoft has changed to an annual cadence for feature updates with Windows 11 – and so this will (in theory) be the very early beginnings of work on Copper or SV3.

Sun Valley 3, incidentally, may well just be a working codename to denote the next step on with Windows 11, and it could be discarded or changed – if it even means that at all, as noted (but that seems likely).

Windows 11 22H2 could be released pretty early on this year, maybe at the start of the second half of 2022 going by some rumors – perhaps July – although September or October (perhaps a year on from the initial launch of Windows 11) seem safer bets to us. The likelihood is that 23H2 would then debut something like a year on from that point.

The incoming 22H2 update makes some big changes, including introducing Android app support, but obviously we have no idea yet what kind of plans Microsoft might have for the 23H2 upgrade. If work really has begun on the latter, though, the expectation is we’ll be hearing developments from the rumor mill before too long.

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Read More

Windows 11’s next big update for 2023 is already underway

Windows 11’s big update for 2023 is already being worked on by Microsoft, or at least that’s the word from the grapevine, with references to the 23H2 build having been spotted.

This sighting was made by @XenoPanther, who picked up on references to CU23H2, or ‘Copper’ 23H2, in a DLL file within Windows Server build 25075. The current 22H2 build being tested, and set to debut later this year, is known as ‘Nickel’, as well as its more widely used ‘Sun Valley 2’ codename.

See more

While we have to trust that this finding shared on Twitter is genuine, it’s not the only clue here. As Neowin further points out, during a Microsoft stream (the Windows Insider Program webcast), there was also a reference to ‘SV3 Refined Investments Next Step’ tucked away in a Share Content menu (for Teams).

SV2 is an abbreviation used by Microsoft in the past for Sun Valley 2, so it’s a reasonable assumption that SV3 could well refer to Sun Valley 3, or Copper 23H2.


Analysis: This is just very early work on the next version of Windows 11

As @XenoPanther makes clear, this is the very first reference to 23H2 or next year’s big update that we’ve seen – remember, Microsoft has changed to an annual cadence for feature updates with Windows 11 – and so this will (in theory) be the very early beginnings of work on Copper or SV3.

Sun Valley 3, incidentally, may well just be a working codename to denote the next step on with Windows 11, and it could be discarded or changed – if it even means that at all, as noted (but that seems likely).

Windows 11 22H2 could be released pretty early on this year, maybe at the start of the second half of 2022 going by some rumors – perhaps July – although September or October (perhaps a year on from the initial launch of Windows 11) seem safer bets to us. The likelihood is that 23H2 would then debut something like a year on from that point.

The incoming 22H2 update makes some big changes, including introducing Android app support, but obviously we have no idea yet what kind of plans Microsoft might have for the 23H2 upgrade. If work really has begun on the latter, though, the expectation is we’ll be hearing developments from the rumor mill before too long.

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