Windows 11 users rejoice – the case of the disappearing taskbar has been solved

Earlier this month, some Windows 11 users noticed that their taskbar was behaving strangely and disappearing following a recent update – and it looks like Microsoft has now released a fix for the annoying bug.

A new preview build has been released in the Beta Channel of the Windows Insider Program this week that looks like it’s bringing fixes for multiple reported issues, including the taskbar problem, which saw it appearing as a blank space for some users, before slowly reloading. 

The Windows Insider Program is a Microsoft-run community for professionals and Windows enthusiasts who would like the most up-to-date information about new developments, and the ability to try new features and versions of Windows in order to provide feedback ahead of their release to the wider user base. 

BetaNews also writes of another taskbar-related error that’s apparently been plaguing users for weeks: whenever they would load Windows 11, it would take several seconds for the taskbar to appear. 

These sorts of task-bar related issues are annoying for a number of reasons, the biggest of which is that it becomes a lot harder to start and run applications, and limits the user’s ability to actually engage with the OS, since the Windows 11 taskbar is such an essential part of the operating system’s user interface. 

A woman sitting at a computer and smiling

(Image credit: Antonio Guillem/Shutterstock)

The nature of the Beta Channel update

The newly-created fix is only available in the Beta, Dev, and Canary Channels of the Windows Insider Program for now. This means that Microsoft is still testing and collecting feedback about the build, and it will probably take a couple of weeks before it makes its way to the Stable Channel (through which most users get updates that are in their final iteration and deemed ready for release by Microsoft). BetaNews speculates that this release could fall on March’s Patch Day which is March 12, 2024.

At the moment, the build that’s currently available in the Beta Channel doesn't introduce any major new features, and the focus of this update is specifically the fixes for the reported issues above. Other updates in the preview build, according to an official Windows Insider Blog post, include a new badge for Widget notifications to notify users when there are unread Widget notifications, and higher quality Widget icon images that should appear sharper. 

While Windows 11’s taskbar problems did take a little while to be addressed by Microsoft, and seems the vocal backlash finally got the company to spring into action, it’s good that the problems seemed to have been finally fixed. If you absolutely cannot stand the faulty taskbar behavior, you can join the Windows Insider Program (which is free), and then join the Beta Channel.


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Rejoice! WhatsApp users on iOS can celebrate the return of this great feature

The beta builds of WhatsApp are where you tend to find new features and options to play with. From time to time, however, these preview builds also serve as a glimpse of things that are vanishing from the messaging app.

This is precisely what happened with the camera media bar recently, and this led to a wave of complaints from disgruntled users. Previously, you would be able to scroll through your images horizontally while having the camera available to shoot, but a recent update relegated this to just one image.

Thankfully, WhatsApp is very good at listening to feedback, and as such it has taken action to give people what they want. What this means is that – for iOS users, at least – the scrollable camera media bar is back.

The removal this feature caused a lot of upset as it made sending photos and videos a more long-winded process. A few extra taps here and there may not sound like much in theory, but it is something that soon gets extremely annoying in practice.

The bar is back

WhatsApp media bar

(Image credit: WABetaInfo)

Although the initial change that saw the removal of the camera media bar did not make the feature unusable, it did complicate the process unnecessarily. If you wanted to send out a message with a previously-taken image as quickly as possible, any extra steps could have been a major irritation.

This is far from being the first time WhatsApp has introduced a change only to backtrack on its design decision, and it almost certainly won't be the last.

This is why the return of the scrollable media bar will be welcomed by most. Anyone who is signed up for the TestFlight beta program can download and install WhatsApp beta version for iOS.

Once installed, this version of the app restores the scrollable media browser bar, making it quick and easy to navigate through the contents of your camera rolls and select videos, photos and other images to send in messages.

Via WABetaInfo

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