How to alter the size of your windows desktop taskbar

With a Windows 10 computer, there are a ton of ways you can personalize your computer to make it your own.

From changing the background on your desktop or the appearance of your cursor to your default browser, there are more than a few ways to personalize your Windows 10 computer.

You can also modify the size of your icon shortcuts. So if you want to make your icons smaller to fit more shortcuts on your desktop, or increase the size of icons so you don’t have to squint, you can do so in a few steps.

Here’s how to change the size of your desktop or Taskbar icons on your Windows 10 computer.

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How to change your desktop icon size in Windows 10

1. Power on your Windows 10 computer and use your mouse to right-click anywhere on your desktop.

2. In the pop-up menu, click on the “View” tab, and three options will appear: large, medium, and small. The default icon size on your computer is typically medium.

How to change your Taskbar icon size in Windows 10

1. Power on your Windows 10 computer and use your mouse to right-click anywhere on your desktop.

2. In the pop-up menu, click on “Display settings.”

3. In “Display settings,” click “Select & Layout” and then in the drop-down menu choose which size you want your text, apps, and other miscellaneous items to be. Click on the size and the changes will be applied immediately.

Here’s how to customize and beef up your Windows 10 taskbar.

How to alter the size of your windows desktop taskbar

The Windows taskbar is a handy place for storing frequently used apps as well as apps that you currently have open. But you can tweak it to make it work the way you want. Move the taskbar to other sides of the screen, automatically hide it when you don’t need it, or change the size of the icons. And you can select which icons appears on the taskbar by default. Let’s check out how.

Move the Taskbar

By default, the taskbar appears at the bottom of the screen. But you can move it to the top or either side of the screen. To do this manually, click on any empty area of the taskbar and drag it to your preferred location.

How to alter the size of your windows desktop taskbar

If you’d rather let Windows do the moving for you, right-click on any empty area of the taskbar and click on Taskbar settings from the pop-up menu. Scroll down the Taskbar settings screen to the entry for “Taskbar location on screen.” Click the drop-down box and set the location for left, top, right, or bottom.

How to alter the size of your windows desktop taskbar

Don’t leave the Taskbar settings screen just yet; there are several more tweaks we can make here.

Hide the Taskbar

Let’s say you want the taskbar to remain hidden unless you move your mouse to its location. If you’re using your Windows PC or other device in desktop mode, turn on the option at the top of the screen that says: “Automatically hide the taskbar in desktop mode.”

If you’re using a tablet or other device in tablet mode, turn on the option that says: “Automatically hide the taskbar in tablet mode.” Your taskbar will vanish and only reappear when you move your mouse cursor to the location of the bar.

How to alter the size of your windows desktop taskbar

Adjust Icon Size

Now let’s say you want to be able to squeeze more icons onto the taskbar. Turn on the option for “Show small taskbar buttons,” and the existing icons shrink in size. Too small? Turn off the same option to return them to their larger size.

How to alter the size of your windows desktop taskbar

Peek at the Desktop

Do you want to be able to sneak a peek at your desktop without closing or minimizing all your open windows? Turn on the option for “Use Peek to preview the desktop when you move your mouse to the Show desktop button at the end of the taskbar.” Now move your mouse to the lower right corner of the screen, and your desktop should appear. Move your mouse cursor away from that spot, and your desktop goes back into hiding.

Make Room

Okay, now let’s say you have so many icons nestled on the taskbar that there’s barely room for them on a single row.

How to alter the size of your windows desktop taskbar

You can resize the taskbar to make it grow taller. Just grab the top border of the taskbar and drag it up until it takes up two rows.

How to alter the size of your windows desktop taskbar

If you decide to get rid of most of the icons, you can reduce the height of the taskbar back to a single row by dragging down the top border. Depending on how you resize the toolbar, you can also take precautions so you don’t accidentally resize it. At the Taskbar settings screen, turn on the option to “Lock the taskbar.” Now you won’t be able to resize it unless you turn off the option to lock it.

How to alter the size of your windows desktop taskbar

De-Clutter

Here’s another way to set how icons fit on the taskbar. Scroll down the Taskbar settings screen until you see the section for “Combine taskbar buttons.” Click on the drop-down box beneath, and you’ll see three options: “Always, hide labels,” “When taskbar is full,” and “Never.”

“Always, hide labels” means Windows will always combine multiple open files from a single application, like browser tabs, into one taskbar button. Hover over the button for such an application to see a preview of what files are open.

“When taskbar is full” normally displays a separate button for each file you’ve opened. But when the taskbar gets full, those three separate buttons will be condensed into one. And “Never” means the taskbar buttons never get combined, no matter how full the taskbar gets.

Customize the System Tray

Finally, you can choose which icons appears in the System Tray at the right corner of the screen (clock, Wi-Fi, volume, etc.).

First, scroll down the Taskbar settings screen to the section for “Notification Area.” Click on the link for “Select which icons appear on the taskbar.”

At the “Select which icons appear on the taskbar” screen, turn on the icons that you wish to see in the System Tray and turn off the ones you want to stay hidden.

How to alter the size of your windows desktop taskbar

If you love having everything at your fingertips, turn everything on:

Once you narrow it down, you can turn icons on or off easily on the Taskbar settings screen under “Turn system icons on or off.”

At the “Turn system icons on or off” screen, turn on the system icons you wish to see in the System Tray and turn off the ones you don’t need to see.

These eye-pleasing PC tweaks will make using Windows 10 a bit more pleasant.

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In what was either a revelation or a sign of getting older, I recently experienced a sudden urge to make my Windows 10 mouse cursor bigger.

Squinting at the teeny default cursor in Windows 10, I wondered why I was punishing myself. A quick trip to Windows settings, and I was in business with a larger pointer. Life’s too short to feel ashamed at making screen elements larger than the default.

Making this switch got me thinking about all the other little tweaks I’ve done to make using Windows a little more pleasant. A short list is below:

Change your Windows 10 cursor size and color

In Windows, you can make the cursor larger by heading to Settings > Ease of Access > Mouse Pointer, or by typing “mouse size” in the Start menu and pressing Enter. Look for the “Change pointer size” slider on the settings page.

Jared Newman / IDG

You can also change the cursor color from its default white in the same menu. (I’m partial to the black cursor with a white outline. This resembles the default on Macs and stands out better against white backgrounds.)

Make your Windows 10 taskbar or dock smaller

While it’s nice to have a bigger cursor, you don’t really need big taskbar or dock icons taking up valuable screen space. Shrink down the Windows taskbar by right-clicking on it, selecting “Taskbar settings,” then enabling “Use small taskbar buttons.”

Make everything else larger (or smaller)

Do your icons, text, and other screen elements seem too small (or, perhaps, too large)? In Windows 10, you can easily adjust the size of everything without changing your screen’s display resolution. Just head to Settings > System > Display, then look under “Scale and layout” for an setting called “Change the size of text, apps, and other items.” Increase or decrease the percentage to make items larger or smaller.

Never combine taskbar buttons

This one might be a little contentious, but I’ve never liked the way Windows combines multiple windows from a single program behind one taskbar button. That just adds more time and friction to the process of switching between windows, especially if you group web browsing tasks into separate windows like I do. To fully spread your windows, right-click on the taskbar, select “Taskbar settings,” and change “Combine taskbar buttons” to “Never.”

Stretch out the Windows 10 Start menu

In Windows 10, I’ve never understood why the Start menu only takes up a sliver of the screen by default. Give yourself more room to place your favorite app shortcuts by clicking the right edge of the Start menu, then dragging it out to the right. You can also make the Start menu taller by clicking and dragging up on the top edge.

Jared Newman / IDG

If, after doing this, you want to cram more apps into each section of the Start menu—or add some more visual separation between sections—just head to Settings > Personalization > Start and enable “Show more tiles on Start.” This gives each section four columns instead of the usual three.

Clean up your Windows 10 desktop

Ideally, your computer’s desktop should be a place of serenity, where you can showcase an interesting image or personal photo. Instead of cluttering it with files you’ll never use or icons you’ll never click, consider limiting your desktop to the handful of apps you really use most.

First, move your less frequently used apps from the desktop to your Start menu. You can do this by right-clicking on any desktop icon, selecting “Pin to Start,” then deleting the icon from your desktop.

Jared Newman / IDG

For files, just move them to a different folder on your computer, such as Documents or Photos. Or, at the very least, move them all into a single folder on your desktop. (Just don’t delete the files from your desktop unless they’re unnecessary; doing so will send them straight to the Recycle Bin.)

More eye-pleasing tricks await

If you want to go even deeper with visual tweaks for Windows, check out this handy guide, with tips on setting up automatic dark mode, night modes, grayscale mode for staying focused, and more.

A version of this article first appeared in Advisorator, Jared’s newsletter for practical tech advice. Sign up to get tech tips and deals in your inbox every week.

Jared Newman covers personal technology from his remote Cincinnati outpost. He also publishes two newsletters, Advisorator for tech advice and Cord Cutter Weekly for help with ditching cable or satellite TV.

Here’s how to customize and beef up your Windows 10 taskbar.

How to alter the size of your windows desktop taskbar

The Windows taskbar is a handy place for storing frequently used apps as well as apps that you currently have open. But you can tweak it to make it work the way you want. Move the taskbar to other sides of the screen, automatically hide it when you don’t need it, or change the size of the icons. And you can select which icons appears on the taskbar by default. Let’s check out how.

Move the Taskbar

By default, the taskbar appears at the bottom of the screen. But you can move it to the top or either side of the screen. To do this manually, click on any empty area of the taskbar and drag it to your preferred location.

How to alter the size of your windows desktop taskbar

If you’d rather let Windows do the moving for you, right-click on any empty area of the taskbar and click on Taskbar settings from the pop-up menu. Scroll down the Taskbar settings screen to the entry for “Taskbar location on screen.” Click the drop-down box and set the location for left, top, right, or bottom.

How to alter the size of your windows desktop taskbar

Don’t leave the Taskbar settings screen just yet; there are several more tweaks we can make here.

Hide the Taskbar

Let’s say you want the taskbar to remain hidden unless you move your mouse to its location. If you’re using your Windows PC or other device in desktop mode, turn on the option at the top of the screen that says: “Automatically hide the taskbar in desktop mode.”

If you’re using a tablet or other device in tablet mode, turn on the option that says: “Automatically hide the taskbar in tablet mode.” Your taskbar will vanish and only reappear when you move your mouse cursor to the location of the bar.

How to alter the size of your windows desktop taskbar

Adjust Icon Size

Now let’s say you want to be able to squeeze more icons onto the taskbar. Turn on the option for “Show small taskbar buttons,” and the existing icons shrink in size. Too small? Turn off the same option to return them to their larger size.

How to alter the size of your windows desktop taskbar

Peek at the Desktop

Do you want to be able to sneak a peek at your desktop without closing or minimizing all your open windows? Turn on the option for “Use Peek to preview the desktop when you move your mouse to the Show desktop button at the end of the taskbar.” Now move your mouse to the lower right corner of the screen, and your desktop should appear. Move your mouse cursor away from that spot, and your desktop goes back into hiding.

Make Room

Okay, now let’s say you have so many icons nestled on the taskbar that there’s barely room for them on a single row.

How to alter the size of your windows desktop taskbar

You can resize the taskbar to make it grow taller. Just grab the top border of the taskbar and drag it up until it takes up two rows.

How to alter the size of your windows desktop taskbar

If you decide to get rid of most of the icons, you can reduce the height of the taskbar back to a single row by dragging down the top border. Depending on how you resize the toolbar, you can also take precautions so you don’t accidentally resize it. At the Taskbar settings screen, turn on the option to “Lock the taskbar.” Now you won’t be able to resize it unless you turn off the option to lock it.

How to alter the size of your windows desktop taskbar

De-Clutter

Here’s another way to set how icons fit on the taskbar. Scroll down the Taskbar settings screen until you see the section for “Combine taskbar buttons.” Click on the drop-down box beneath, and you’ll see three options: “Always, hide labels,” “When taskbar is full,” and “Never.”

“Always, hide labels” means Windows will always combine multiple open files from a single application, like browser tabs, into one taskbar button. Hover over the button for such an application to see a preview of what files are open.

“When taskbar is full” normally displays a separate button for each file you’ve opened. But when the taskbar gets full, those three separate buttons will be condensed into one. And “Never” means the taskbar buttons never get combined, no matter how full the taskbar gets.

Customize the System Tray

Finally, you can choose which icons appears in the System Tray at the right corner of the screen (clock, Wi-Fi, volume, etc.).

First, scroll down the Taskbar settings screen to the section for “Notification Area.” Click on the link for “Select which icons appear on the taskbar.”

At the “Select which icons appear on the taskbar” screen, turn on the icons that you wish to see in the System Tray and turn off the ones you want to stay hidden.

How to alter the size of your windows desktop taskbar

If you love having everything at your fingertips, turn everything on:

Once you narrow it down, you can turn icons on or off easily on the Taskbar settings screen under “Turn system icons on or off.”

At the “Turn system icons on or off” screen, turn on the system icons you wish to see in the System Tray and turn off the ones you don’t need to see.

By Sherry | Follow | Last Updated December 02, 2020

Summary :

You may use the taskbar ever day. Do you know how to change the taskbar button width? 3 ways to change width of the taskbar in Windows 10 are offered in this post. And if your Windows 10 has boot issue, you can try to fix it with MiniTool Partition Wizard.

Quick Navigation :

  • What Can You Do with Taskbar
  • How to Change the Taskbar Button Width
  • Move the Taskbar to a Different Edge of the Screen
  • User Comments

What Can You Do with Taskbar

A taskbar is an element of a graphical user interface which has various purposes. It typically shows which programs are currently running.

The Windows 10 taskbar offers shortcuts and icons for every running app. You can use the taskbar to search for things, see apps, check the battery and clock, or use the Start button to access other apps or settings quickly.

And if you want more spaces for loads of icons in your taskbar, or you think your taskbar is too wide, you can customize the taskbar in Windows 10.

How to Change the Taskbar Button Width

Solution 1: Turn Off Lock the Taskbar Option

Here is an easy way to change width of the taskbar.

Step 1: Right-click the taskbar and turn off the option “Lock the taskbar”.

Step 2: Place your mouse at the top edge of the taskbar and drag to resize it.

Solution 2: Change Settings

You can also change the taskbar button width by altering Settings.

Step 1: Right-click Start and choose Settings.

Step 2: Select Personalization in Windows Settings,and then choose Taskbar from the left panel.

Step 3: Turn on the option Use small taskbar buttons.

After you change the taskbar button width, you can see that almost everything is the same as before except that the buttons are smaller and the taskbar shrink a bit vertically.

Besides, date will not show on the taskbar. If you want to check the date, you need to click the clock on the taskbar.

Solution 3: Use the Registry Editor

If you want to manually customize the taskbar in Windows 10, you can use the registry editor. Steps are as follows.

Step 1: Press Win + R to open the Run window, and input “regedit” in the box to get into Registry Editor.

Step 2: Open HKEY_CURRENT_USER>Control Panel>Desktop>WindowMetrics.

Step 3: Find a key named “MinWidth” from the right panel and double-click it to go to Edit String.

Note: If you can’t find MinWidth, you need to create one. Follow the guide listed below:

  1. Right-click the empty space on the right panel and put you mouse on New, and then choose String Value.
  2. Name the new string value as “MinWidth”and press Enter.

Step 4: Then type a number between 38 and 500 in the Value Data box and click on Ok to change the taskbar button width.

Move the Taskbar to a Different Edge of the Screen

Now you must know how to change the taskbar button width. The taskbar is located on the bottom edge of the screen by default in Windows 10, but you can move it.

You may find it nicer to have the taskbar on the right or left edge of a display if you want to get an extra-wide display or multiple displays. Or maybe you prefer it at the top.

Step 1: Right-click any empty area of the taskbar and choose Taskbar Settings.

Step 2: Expand the drop-down menu under Taskbar location on screen and choose a proper side to display the taskbar.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

How to alter the size of your windows desktop taskbar

Position: Columnist

Sherry has been a staff editor of MiniTool for a year. She has received rigorous training about computer and digital data in company. Her articles focus on solutions to various problems that many Windows users might encounter and she is excellent at disk partitioning.

She has a wide range of hobbies, including listening to music, playing video games, roller skating, reading, and so on. By the way, she is patient and serious.

Keeping the desktop clean is important to access the files easily and speed up the booting time of your PC. However, most of us add many files on the desktop to make it clutter. In addition, visually finding a file will become a difficult task with too many icons on a desktop. Some solutions to clean up the desktop include arranging the icons with sufficient spacing and adjusting the size to make them readable. In our earlier article, we have explained how to increase or decrease the Launchpad icon size on Mac. In this article, let us explore how to change desktop icons size and spacing in Windows 10.

Adjusting Desktop Icons in Windows 10

You have different options in Windows 10 to setup the desktop icons as per your preference. Two main attributes you can modify are the size and the spacing ­­o­­f the icons.

Change Desktop Icons Size

In order to change the icons size, right-click on any empty area of your desktop. Click on the “View” option to expand the menu.

By default, Windows will setup the icons as medium size. However, you can change the size to smaller or larger as per your preference. Remember, even when you have fewer icons, setting up the size as larger will occupy the entire screen. Only use the larger size when you have visual problem to read the captions.

Grid Layout

Other than resizing, you can also align the icons properly using auto arranging and align to grid options.

  • Grid layout will force the icons to align in a grid, which means you cannot freely place the icons on different place. When you drag and drop the icons, it will automatically aligned to the grid position (horizontally and vertically). Disable this option if you want to keep icons on different positions on the desktop.
  • Auto arranging will force the icons to align in the column and row format. When enabled, placing icons anywhere on the desktop will auto arrange to the columns.

Changing Icons Spacing

We recommend enabling the grid layout in order to have good looking and avoid overlapping of icons. In grid layout, the spacing between the icons remains same regardless of whether you keep the smaller, medium or larger icons on your desktop. By default, Windows assigns the desktop icon spacing value as -1130 units for both the horizontal and the vertical spacing to keep the space between icons. Unfortunately, you cannot change the horizontal or vertical spacing between the icons with the context menu. However, you can easily change the spacing by using the registry editor.

  • Press “Win + R” shortcut keys on the keyboard and open Run dialog box.
  • Type “regedit” and enter to open RegistryEditor.
  • Go to the path “HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Control Panel > Desktop > WindowMetrics”.
  • After opening “Window Metrics” double click on “Icon Spacing”
  • Modify the “Value data” of horizontal spacing from -1125 to any value between -480 to -2730.
  • -480 is the minimum spacing and -2780 is the maximum spacing allowed in Windows.
  • Click “OK” to save your changes.
  • In order to adjust the vertical spacing all you need to do is double click on “IconVerticalSpacing” key. Similar to horizontal icon spacing, set any value between -480 to -2730. Click “OK” to save changes.
  • Restart your computer to view the change in spacing on desktop icons.

In cash if the spacing is not looking good, you can modify or reset to original values by following the same process.

Other Options for Adjusting Icons

In addition to adjusting size and space, you can do the followings to control the visibility.

  • Right click on the desktop and disable “Show desktop icons” option under “View” menu. This will completely disable all icons on your desktop. You can toggle the option to make the icons visible again.
  • Choose “Display Settings” on the right click context menu to go to the Windows Settings app. In “Display” section, you can adjust the font size, resolution and orientation of the monitor display.

Wrapping Up

Windows 10 is a comprehensive operating system that offers many features to customize the desktop icons and spacing. You can change the size and display with the frontend setting. However, you need to adjust the spacing by modifying registry keys as explained above.

Here’s how to customize and beef up your Windows 10 taskbar.

How to alter the size of your windows desktop taskbar

The Windows taskbar is a handy place for storing frequently used apps as well as apps that you currently have open. But you can tweak it to make it work the way you want. Move the taskbar to other sides of the screen, automatically hide it when you don’t need it, or change the size of the icons. And you can select which icons appears on the taskbar by default. Let’s check out how.

Move the Taskbar

By default, the taskbar appears at the bottom of the screen. But you can move it to the top or either side of the screen. To do this manually, click on any empty area of the taskbar and drag it to your preferred location.

How to alter the size of your windows desktop taskbar

If you’d rather let Windows do the moving for you, right-click on any empty area of the taskbar and click on Taskbar settings from the pop-up menu. Scroll down the Taskbar settings screen to the entry for “Taskbar location on screen.” Click the drop-down box and set the location for left, top, right, or bottom.

How to alter the size of your windows desktop taskbar

Don’t leave the Taskbar settings screen just yet; there are several more tweaks we can make here.

Hide the Taskbar

Let’s say you want the taskbar to remain hidden unless you move your mouse to its location. If you’re using your Windows PC or other device in desktop mode, turn on the option at the top of the screen that says: “Automatically hide the taskbar in desktop mode.”

If you’re using a tablet or other device in tablet mode, turn on the option that says: “Automatically hide the taskbar in tablet mode.” Your taskbar will vanish and only reappear when you move your mouse cursor to the location of the bar.

How to alter the size of your windows desktop taskbar

Adjust Icon Size

Now let’s say you want to be able to squeeze more icons onto the taskbar. Turn on the option for “Show small taskbar buttons,” and the existing icons shrink in size. Too small? Turn off the same option to return them to their larger size.

How to alter the size of your windows desktop taskbar

Peek at the Desktop

Do you want to be able to sneak a peek at your desktop without closing or minimizing all your open windows? Turn on the option for “Use Peek to preview the desktop when you move your mouse to the Show desktop button at the end of the taskbar.” Now move your mouse to the lower right corner of the screen, and your desktop should appear. Move your mouse cursor away from that spot, and your desktop goes back into hiding.

Make Room

Okay, now let’s say you have so many icons nestled on the taskbar that there’s barely room for them on a single row.

How to alter the size of your windows desktop taskbar

You can resize the taskbar to make it grow taller. Just grab the top border of the taskbar and drag it up until it takes up two rows.

How to alter the size of your windows desktop taskbar

If you decide to get rid of most of the icons, you can reduce the height of the taskbar back to a single row by dragging down the top border. Depending on how you resize the toolbar, you can also take precautions so you don’t accidentally resize it. At the Taskbar settings screen, turn on the option to “Lock the taskbar.” Now you won’t be able to resize it unless you turn off the option to lock it.

How to alter the size of your windows desktop taskbar

De-Clutter

Here’s another way to set how icons fit on the taskbar. Scroll down the Taskbar settings screen until you see the section for “Combine taskbar buttons.” Click on the drop-down box beneath, and you’ll see three options: “Always, hide labels,” “When taskbar is full,” and “Never.”

“Always, hide labels” means Windows will always combine multiple open files from a single application, like browser tabs, into one taskbar button. Hover over the button for such an application to see a preview of what files are open.

“When taskbar is full” normally displays a separate button for each file you’ve opened. But when the taskbar gets full, those three separate buttons will be condensed into one. And “Never” means the taskbar buttons never get combined, no matter how full the taskbar gets.

Customize the System Tray

Finally, you can choose which icons appears in the System Tray at the right corner of the screen (clock, Wi-Fi, volume, etc.).

First, scroll down the Taskbar settings screen to the section for “Notification Area.” Click on the link for “Select which icons appear on the taskbar.”

At the “Select which icons appear on the taskbar” screen, turn on the icons that you wish to see in the System Tray and turn off the ones you want to stay hidden.

How to alter the size of your windows desktop taskbar

If you love having everything at your fingertips, turn everything on:

Once you narrow it down, you can turn icons on or off easily on the Taskbar settings screen under “Turn system icons on or off.”

At the “Turn system icons on or off” screen, turn on the system icons you wish to see in the System Tray and turn off the ones you don’t need to see.

The Windows 10 taskbar houses frequently used apps as well as those that are currently in use, but it includes a few handy customization options to help improve your workflow.

How to alter the size of your windows desktop taskbar

The Windows taskbar is a handy place for storing frequently used apps as well as those that are currently open. But you can tweak the taskbar to make it work the way you want. You can move it to other sides of the screen, automatically hide it when you don’t need it, or change the size of the icons. Let’s check out how.

Pin Apps to the Taskbar

The first thing you should know how to do is pin an app to the taskbar. You can do this from the Start menu, Start screen, or the Apps list. Click the Start button and right-click on any app icon or tile. Select More > Pin to Taskbar to lock the app to the Windows taskbar.

Move the Taskbar

By default, the taskbar appears at the bottom of the screen, but it can be moved to the top or either side of the screen. To do this manually, click on any empty area of the taskbar and drag it to your preferred location.

If you’d rather let Windows do the moving for you, right-click on any empty area of the taskbar and click “Taskbar settings” from the pop-up menu. Scroll down the taskbar settings screen to the entry for “Taskbar location on screen.” Click the drop-down box and set the location for left, top, right, or bottom.

Don’t leave the Taskbar settings screen just yet; there are several more tweaks we can make here.

Hide the Taskbar

Let’s say you want the taskbar to remain hidden unless you move your mouse to its location. If you’re using your Windows device in desktop mode, turn on the option at the top of the Taskbar settings screen that says “Automatically hide the taskbar in desktop mode.”

If you’re in tablet mode, turn on the option that says “Automatically hide the taskbar in tablet mode.” Your taskbar will vanish and only reappear when you move your mouse cursor and hover over the location of the bar.

Adjust Icon Size

Now let’s say you want to squeeze more icons onto the taskbar. Turn on the option for “Use small taskbar buttons,” and the existing icons shrink in size. If the icons are too small, go back to the Taskbar settings screen and turn off this option to return them to their larger size.

View Desktop

The small section of the Windows Taskbar in the lower-right corner of the screen is known as the “Show Desktop” button. If you click the button, it offers you a quick way to switch back and forth between the desktop and all open windows.

With some apps and windows open, click the Show Desktop button. Your desktop appears. Click the Show desktop button again and all the windows you had open will reappear in the foreground.

Peek at the Desktop

Do you want to sneak a peek at your desktop without closing or minimizing all your open windows? Open the Taskbar settings windows and turn on the option for “Use Peek to preview the desktop when you move your mouse to the Show Desktop button at the end of the taskbar.”

Now you can move your mouse to the lower-right corner of the screen, and by hovering over the Show Desktop button, your desktop should appear. Move your mouse cursor away from that spot, and your desktop goes back into hiding.

Resize Taskbar

Okay, now let’s say you have so many icons nestled on the taskbar that there’s barely room for them on a single row. You can resize the taskbar to make it grow taller. Just grab the top border of the taskbar and drag it up until it takes up two rows.

If you decide to get rid of most of the icons, you can reduce the height of the taskbar back to a single row by dragging down the top border again.

You can also take precautions so you don’t accidentally resize the taskbar. At the Taskbar settings screen, turn on the “Lock the taskbar” option. Now you won’t be able to resize it unless you turn this option off again.

Declutter the Taskbar

Here’s another way to control how icons fit on the taskbar. Scroll down the Taskbar settings screen until you see the section for “Combine taskbar buttons.” Click on the drop-down box beneath, and you’ll see three options available. These options determine how your taskbar handles multiple instances of the same application.

The “Always, hide labels” option means Windows will always combine multiple open files from a single application, such as File Explorer windows or Word documents, into one taskbar button. This option also hides the labels or names that would otherwise appear next to each icon. Hover over the button of an application with multiple windows open to see how this option works.

Windows normally displays a separate icon in the taskbar for each open window of the same application. However, if you choose the “When taskbar is full” option, it will wait until the taskbar is full before condensing these separate buttons into one.

If you prefer to keep these open windows separate, choosing the “Never” option will make sure multiple open windows are never combined, no matter how full the taskbar gets.

Show Badges in the Taskbar

Similar to Live Tiles, badges serve to display notifications for a specific application, such as new messages for Mail or updates for the Weather app. You can control the visibility of these badges from the Taskbar settings screen.

Turn this feature on by activating the switch under “Show badges on taskbar buttons.” Icons in the Windows taskbar will now function as badges.

Customize the System Tray

You can choose which icons appear in the System Tray at the right corner of the screen (clock, Wi-Fi, volume, etc.). Scroll down the Taskbar settings screen to the section for “Notification Area.” Click the link for “Select which icons appear on the taskbar.”

At the “Select which icons appear on the taskbar” screen, turn on the icons that you wish to see in the System Tray and turn off the ones you want to stay hidden. If you love having everything at your fingertips, turn everything on.

You can also easily turn system icons on or off via the Taskbar settings screen. Click the “Turn system icons on or off” link.

Choose which system icons should stay in the System Tray, and which should be turned off.