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Ever since it existed, the Windows Taskbar has appeared at the bottom of the screen. While it has changed in design over the years, that horizontal bar has become synonymous with the operating system. But did you know you can set it to appear vertically?

We’re not only going to show you how to get a vertical Taskbar, but also argue its case. It might seem like a strange change at first, but trust us when we say it’s something worth trying out.

If you’ve got any thoughts to share on a vertical Taskbar, or if you’ve been using one for a while, please let us know in the comments.

How to Get a Vertical Taskbar

First, right-click an empty space on your Taskbar. Then check to see if Lock the taskbar has a tick next to it. If it does, click it, otherwise you’re already set. Next, left-click and hold an empty space on your Taskbar and drag it to either the left or right of your screen. Release your mouse, then lock the Taskbar. That’s it!

Why You Should Use a Vertical Windows Taskbar lock the taskbar

The Benefits of a Vertical Taskbar

Without further ado, let’s discuss why you should use a vertical Windows Taskbar.

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1. Widescreen Displays

Monitors with a 4:3 aspect ratio were standard when the Taskbar first hit the scene. It made sense to have the Taskbar on the bottom to maximize the limited real estate you had on screen. However, now your monitor is likely to be far wider than it is tall, meaning you have more horizontal space to play with than you do vertical.

Why You Should Use a Vertical Windows Taskbar monitors 640x338

Consider also that many websites and applications don’t make full use of horizontal space and are designed responsively to account for mobile displays. Take this very website — you can happily lose a bit of white space on the sides to benefit from fitting more of the article on screen.

2. See More at Once

Now that you have horizontal space to play with, you can extend the Taskbar past the thin strip you’re used to. For this, hover on the border of the Taskbar until the cursor changes. Then left-click, hold, and drag to make the Taskbar wider.

Why You Should Use a Vertical Windows Taskbar taskbar tray

You’ll benefit from being able to see the full date and time, plus more of the icons in your tray and any toolbars you might have enabled Use Windows 10's Secret Taskbar to Navigate Like a Pro Use Windows 10's Secret Taskbar to Navigate Like a Pro Finding files and folders on Windows 10 can be a nuisance, so here's a quick way to find them without any navigational headaches. Read More . And depending on your Taskbar settings, which you can adjust at any time by right-clicking an empty space and selecting Settings, you’ll also see more of a window’s title.

3. More Natural to Read

You might think that reading left to right is natural for the majority of the world, but if you have your Taskbar spread out over a huge horizontal space it isn’t totally efficient. Instead, having your Taskbar vertical means that you quickly see everything with a single glance at the side of your screen.

Why You Should Use a Vertical Windows Taskbar vertical taskbar 1

Every window is a separate row on the Taskbar, so you can quickly scan down the list and find the icon and window name. It might not seem like a major benefit, but it’s a subtle quality of life improvement that you’ll find hard to go back from.

4. Less Obstructive

This one is especially true if you’re using a touch device. Having your Taskbar at the bottom of your screen can be cumbersome to control, particularly if you have a keyboard attached at the same time because it can be awkward to reach. Placing the Taskbar on the side of your dominant hand is much more natural.

Why You Should Use a Vertical Windows Taskbar no need for tablets surface pro 640x350

Also, if you set your Taskbar to autohide How to Auto Hide the Taskbar in Windows 10 Tablet Mode How to Auto Hide the Taskbar in Windows 10 Tablet Mode Now you can auto-hide the taskbar in Tablet Mode, which is a new feature arriving in the next big Windows 10 build! Read More and have it positioned at the top or bottom of your screen, you might find that you have trouble performing certain actions like resizing windows because the Taskbar will either activate at the wrong time or force itself over where you need to click. Having the Taskbar vertical combats this problem entirely.

Autohide can be problematic. For advice on how to fix it, check our guide to fixing Windows 10 Taskbar issues 5 Steps to Fix Your Windows 10 Taskbar Issues 5 Steps to Fix Your Windows 10 Taskbar Issues You almost don't notice how useful it is, until it stops working. Troubleshoot your Windows 10 Taskbar with these five simple fixes to common errors. Read More .

Join the Vertical Movement

It might seem strange to have your Taskbar vertically at first, especially if you’ve been used to the Windows default for years, but try it out. It’ll take a bit of time to get used to, so don’t get frustrated if you keep pulling your mouse to the bottom of your screen, but it’s worth sticking with. For extra style, why not make your Taskbar totally transparent How to Make the Taskbar Transparent in Windows 10 How to Make the Taskbar Transparent in Windows 10 Windows 10 took a lot of power away from users like you and me, but this nifty third-party utility lets you turn your taskbar transparent with zero effort. Read More .

If you’re after even more Taskbar tips, check out our two guides on customizing the Windows 10 Taskbar 7 Tips for Customizing the Windows 10 Taskbar 7 Tips for Customizing the Windows 10 Taskbar The taskbar remains a staple feature in Windows 10. It's been given a fresh look and new features, including Cortana. We show you all the tweaks to make the taskbar your own. Read More and some advanced Windows 10 Taskbar tweaks 6 Advanced Taskbar Tweaks for Windows 10 6 Advanced Taskbar Tweaks for Windows 10 Windows 10 has brought many changes and the taskbar wasn't spared. Still, many small tweaks can enhance your experience. We'll show you how you can customize it to perfection. Read More . There’s a lot you can do with the Taskbar and moving it vertically is only scratching the surface.

Do you have your Taskbar set vertically? What do you find advantageous about that setup?

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