customize windows taskbar - logo

7 ways to customize your Windows taskbar

customize windows taskbar - logo

The first thing I did after getting a new laptop is set a new wallpaper for the desktop. I guess most of us do the same thing – change the wallpaper, set the screensaver, install all those wonderful music/video softwares etc. But what we do ignore is setting up the taskbar according to our liking.

Taskbar seems to be set in stone – but it isn’t. So I tried out most of the options which might make my taskbar attractive – or at least it makes the desktop look fresh. You can try out a few of these and check out the difference it makes!

NOTE : The customizations have been done for Windows 7 (Home Premium Edition) operating system.

1. Choose any side of the desktop screen

When you install the OS, the taskbar is set on the bottom of your screen. And that’s where it remains for most of it’s lifetime. But you can change the position of the taskbar – left, top or right. Positioning the taskbar at the sides will give you more vertical space for web pages, documents, and everything else.

Right-click the taskbar, select Properties, and select a location from the Taskbar location on screen box. Then click ‘Apply‘.

customize windows taskbar - side

Here is how your taskbar will look on the left side of the screen:

customize windows taskbar - side result


2. Auto-hide the taskbar

If the taskbar is obstructing your beautiful landscape wallpaper and want to make it disappear from the screen, Microsoft has provided an option to do exactly that.

To toggle auto-hide, right-click the taskbar, select Properties, and click the “Auto-hide the taskbar” box. Then click ‘Apply‘. Also, you need to uncheck ‘Lock the taskbar‘ option to ensure the disappearance.

customize windows taskbar - autohide

Here is the taskbar.. err.. i mean the disappeared taskbar:

customize windows taskbar - autohide result


3. Use traditional taskbar

Windows 7 introduced a new style of taskbar that combined program-launching and window-switching with a single taskbar icon. However, if you mostly use your browser and like having different browser windows that you can easily switch to from your taskbar, you can still use the previous style of taskbar.

To choose the type of taskbar you want to use, right-click the taskbar, select Properties, and choose one of the options from the Taskbar buttons box. Then click ‘Apply‘.

customize windows taskbar - combine

Here is the good old taskbar:

customize windows taskbar - combine result


4. Use small icons

Large icons are probably ideal if you’re using a high-resolution screen, but if you have a tiny screen —mostly the netbooks — choosing small icons will give you more of your display back.

To make taskbar icons smaller, right-click the taskbar, select Properties, and enable the Use small taskbar buttons checkbox. Then click ‘Apply‘.

customize windows taskbar - small

Here is the ‘small’ taskbar:

customize windows taskbar - small result


5. Hide the clock

The clock seems like a permanent part of the taskbar, but it’s not. You can hide the clock (and other items) pretty easily and empty your taskbar for other goodies.

Right-click the clock, select “Customize notification icons”.

customize windows taskbar - clock

Click “Turn system icons on or off“.

customize windows taskbar - clock home

Set the Clock to Off. Then click “OK“.

customize windows taskbar - clock off

This is your taskbar without the clock:

customize windows taskbar - clock result

Similarly you can set off the Volume, Battery display or other notification icons of your taskbar.


6. Customize notification area

The notification area — also known as the system tray — has become such a mess over time that Windows hides most notification icons by default. But you can easily customize which icons will and won’t be shown.

Again, right-click the clock, select “Customize notification icons“. Here, selecting ‘show icons and notifications‘ will show you the icon while selecting ‘Only show notifications‘ will hide the icon.

customize windows taskbar - icons

This is how the notifications will look like:

customize windows taskbar - icons result



7. Pin the program to taskbar

This is the most common customization of the tasbar. Since most of you would already be using it, I have added this at the end of the article. Pinning a program to the taskbar will make that program always visible to you.

You can also pin taskbar icons to make them always-visible by right-clicking them and selecting “Pin this program to taskbar” or drag and drop them to rearrange them on your taskbar.

customize windows taskbar - pin


These are some of the customizations you can do for personalizing your taskbar. There are of course many other ways you can customize the taskbar, and I will be posting them in future posts.

Meanwhile, do let me know if you find these useful!

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