Ditch the Microsoft Teams icon from the taskbar to speed up Windows 11

There is a lot to take in if you've moved to Windows 11 from Windows 10, with many of the major changes visible in the taskbar. Yes, there is the repositioned Start button and the centered shortcuts, but there are plenty of other changes too. Just look to the right-hand side of the taskbar, and you'll notice all manner of changes since previous versions of Windows.

As Microsoft has tried to encourage people away from using the likes of Slack and Zoom, the company has been pushing its own Microsoft Teams app. A seemingly innocuous addition to the taskbar has been a shortcut to Teams, and while you may resent giving up space to the icon if you're not a user of the app, there are more reasons to hide the icon than simply saving space in your taskbar.

You might be surprised to learn that so long as the Microsoft Teams icon is housed in the Windows 11 taskbar, it is firing up processes in the background. These Microsoft Edge WebView2 processes are associated with the browser rendering engine, and they use up system resources that could be put to better use.

Drain on resources

The same is true of the Widgets icon that sits in the taskbar but, as developer Michael Niehaus points out, there is key difference between the two icons. While Widgets only launches processes when the icon is clicked, the mere presence of the Teams icon is enough to use up many megabytes of RAM.

If you're not using Teams, you might want to consider simply uninstalling the app. But to avoid the problem of having to reinstall it should you find you need it further down the line, there is an alternative – just hide the icon. This simple act is enough to prevent Teams from gobbling up resources in the background.

If you try right-clicking the Teams icon to delete it, you'll notice that no context menu appears. To remove the icon you will instead have to head to Windows 11's Settings app and go to Personalization > Taskbar, before moving the 'Chats' toggle to the 'Off' position.  

Via Ars Technica

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