Windows 10 Taskbar Customization: The Complete Guide
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The Windows 10 Taskbar is one of the least appreciated aspects of the Windows user interface (UI). It’s there, it’s reliable, and it does exactly what it’s supposed to.

Some, however, have come to terms with the fact that desktop customization is a thirst that knows no bounds. Even your Taskbar isn’t off limits Your Windows Taskbar Should Be Vertical, Here's Why Your Windows Taskbar Should Be Vertical, Here's Why The default position of the Windows Taskbar is at the bottom of your screen. But a vertical Taskbar might be better for you. Let's find out why. Read More : there are plenty of ways, both by default and through third-party software, which allows users to tweak every conceivable facet of their 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 .

Since it’s such a minor aspect of the UI, however, there’s almost never a complete online guide to twist, shape, and change your Taskbar. That is, until now! Read on to learn how to completely customize your Windows 10 Taskbar.

Default Windows 10 Taskbar Options

There’s a slew of customization options you can use to change various facets of your Windows 10 Taskbar.

Center Windows 10 Taskbar Programs

This is my favorite default customization, simply because of how clever it is. It also makes for a more aesthetically pleasing desktop. First, right-click on your Windows 10 Taskbar and ensure the Lock the taskbar parameter is not checked. Then, mouse over Toolbars and select Links.

You should now see a Links option in your Taskbar. Drag the separator beside Links to the left-most edge of your Taskbar. Your icons should automatically shift to the right. Then, drag the separator on the right-hand side to the middle, shifting your programs along with it.

windows 10 taskbar center icons taskbar

Once you’ve centered your icons, right-click on the Links parameter (which should now be to the left of your Taskbar) and uncheck both Show Text and Show title. Finally, right-click your Taskbar and select Lock the taskbar. That’s it: you went from a regular Taskbar to a centered one.

Auto-Hide Your Windows 10 Taskbar

Right-click your Windows 10 Taskbar and select Taskbar settings. This window provides various essential Taskbar options for users. Switch the Automatically hide the taskbar in desktop / tablet mode options to On. That should hide your Taskbar instantly.

windows 10 taskbar hide

To view your Taskbar again, move your mouse to your Taskbar’s previous location.

Remove Windows 10 Taskbar Text

I’m not sure why, but having text on my Taskbar irks me to no end. To change, locate the Combine taskbar buttons parameter in your Taskbar Settings panel.

Click on the drop-down menu and select Always, hide labels.

windows 10 taskbar combine buttons

Your changes should take effect instantly.

Display Specific Windows 10 Taskbar Icons

Why miss a Slack notification if you don’t have to? To change the icons which appear on your Windows 10 Taskbar, head to the Notification area in your Taskbar settings and click on the Select which icons appear on the taskbar option.

windows 10 taskbar notification options

Go through this list and select the icons you’d like to place directly on your Taskbar. Additionally, you can enable and disable your system icons — the Taskbar clock for example — by clicking the Turn system icons on or off option and selecting from that list as well.

Multiple Display Windows 10 Taskbar

For too long, your secondary monitor has housed a seldom-used Taskbar. To modify the Taskbar of your second monitor, or remove it, head to the Multiple displays section of our Settings window.

windows 10 taskbar multiple displays

To turn it off, set the Show taskbar on all displays option Off. You can also modify how to display the Taskbar icons in the options below.

Edit Windows 10 Taskbar Notifications

Most don’t realize that the dings and pings of program alerts occur through the Windows 10 Taskbar, which can be particularly annoying. To modify, click on your Start Menu and type notifications. Then, select the Notifications & actions setting option. Scroll down until you see the Get notifications from these senders category.

windows 10 taskbar notifications

Proceed to select Off for the programs you wouldn’t want to hear notifications from. If you want to completely shut down notifications from a particular program, you’ll have to uninstall it.

Move Your Windows 10 Taskbar

If you find the default, bottom Taskbar insufferable, changing its location is as easy as pressing a button. Head to your Taskbar settings and locate the Taskbar location on screen option.

windows 10 taskbar move

Simply click on the drop-down menu and select your orientation.

Pin Programs & Folders to Your Windows 10 Taskbar

If you already have programs on your Windows 10 Taskbar, chances are you don’t need to learn how to pin them. Simply search for your program — either using your Start Menu or the File Explorer — then right-click and select Pin to taskbar.

Did you know, however, that you can also store specific folders on your Taskbar as well? First, right-click on your desktop and mouse over View. Ensure Show desktop icons is checked. Then, right-click on your desktop and head to New, then Shortcut. From the Create Shortcut window, click Browse, and select your folder. Before you finish, ensure you enter explorer before the folder location (as shown in the example below, with the included space between explorer and your address).

windows 10 taskbar create shortcut

Proceed to create your shortcut. Once your shortcut is created, locate it on your desktop, right-click the shortcut and select Pin to taskbar. Your folder should now appear on your Taskbar.

windows 10 taskbar pin folder

This is particularly useful if you have a setup with multiple hard drives and save to one from the other.

Enlarge & Shrink Windows 10 Taskbar Icons

To enlarge Windows 10 Taskbar icons, right-click on your Taskbar and select Taskbar settings.

Track down the Use small taskbar buttons option and switch it Off.

windows 10 taskbar enlarge icons

This will enlarge your Taskbar. To shrink your icons, switch this parameter On.

Change Windows 10 Taskbar Color

To change Taskbar color, right-click on your desktop and select Personalize. Within your settings windows, select the Color category. Locate the Show accent color on the following surfaces (under More options) parameter and ensure it’s checked.

windows 10 taskbar change color

To enable transparency, turn your Transparency effect parameter On. Then, select the color of your Taskbar via the Windows colors panel. Your Taskbar color should change automatically.

Remove Cortana and Task View

Two of the least utilized aspects in the Windows Taskbar are Task View An Introduction to Virtual Desktop & Task View in Windows 10 An Introduction to Virtual Desktop & Task View in Windows 10 Windows 10's new Virtual Desktop and Task View features are quality-of-life enhancements that you shouldn't overlook. Here's why they are useful and how you can start benefiting from them right now. Read More and Cortana, both activated by default.

To remove Task View, right-click on your Taskbar and uncheck the Show task view button parameter.

windows 10 taskbar cortana task view

To remove Cortana, mouseover the Cortana option in this same window and select Hidden.

Third-Party Windows 10 Taskbar Customization

That’s it for default customization options. Now we get to the fun part. Plenty of third-party tools allow you to edit every aspect of your Windows 10 Taskbar The 8 Best Tools to Tweak and Customize Windows 10 The 8 Best Tools to Tweak and Customize Windows 10 Want to give your PC a unique look? Learn how to customize Windows 10 with these powerful tweak tools that cover your every need. Read More . Here they are!

Classic Shell

Classic Shell allows users to change most aspects of their Start button and Taskbar for free. While it performs many other functions, we’ll focus on these two. First, head to the Classic Shell website and download Classic Shell.

Once downloaded, ensure Classic Shell is running. Then, right-click your Start button and select Settings. This will open your Classic Start Menu settings. Then, click on the Start Button tab. To change your start button, which is not easily changeable by default, check the Replace Start button option.

You’re given a few default selections. If you’d like to add your own, find a Start Menu icon online. DeviantArt is a fantastic resource for, among other things, Start Menu icons. Head to the following link and download the example provided. Unzip and move to a memorable place. Then, in your Start Button tab, click on the Custom button option and then Button image.

Locate your button image, double-click it and select OK. Your Start button should change automatically.

windows 10 taskbar start button change

To adjust the Windows 10 Taskbar, head to the Taskbar category. You can modify the opacity and transparency of your Task Manager from this window, which is not allowed by default.

windows 10 taskbar taskbar customize

You can also re-texture your Taskbar to give it a distinct look, which is useful for simulating previous windows versions How to Make Windows 10 Look Like Windows XP, 7, or 8.1 How to Make Windows 10 Look Like Windows XP, 7, or 8.1 The tough part about upgrading Windows is that everything changes. Here's how to turn Windows 10 into a Windows XP, 7, or 8.1 look-alike to make the move easier -- for yourself or a friend. Read More .


Start10, though paid, is one of the best programs available to quickly, and reliable, customize your Taskbar. The added benefit of Start10 comes through its sleek UI design and high quality effects.

Beside the ability to texture your Windows 10 Taskbar, you can also change the Start button and Start Menu. While you could get much of the functionality of this paid software from Classic Shell, the ease of use and high quality of its default settings allows for all the functionality you would require from a desktop customization software.

windows 10 taskbar customization

Keep in mind: Start 10 also allows users to change every color, create custom textures and Start buttons, and modify your (sometimes clunky) Start Menu in one single, accessible program.

Take Your Windows 10 Taskbar to Task

There’s customization, and there’s perfection. For those who spend most of their professional time in front of a computer screen, there’s a particular satisfaction in making your desktop your own How to Change the Look and Feel of Your Windows 10 Desktop How to Change the Look and Feel of Your Windows 10 Desktop Want to know how to make Windows 10 look better? Use these simple customizations to make Windows 10 your own. Read More .

Whether its for functionality or for pleasure, even your Taskbar is susceptible to modification. Happy customizing!

Any other facet of Windows you’d like to customize? Let us know in the comments below!

Next, you should learn how to navigate your Windows 10 Taskbar with keyboard shortcuts How to Navigate Your Windows 10 Taskbar With Keyboard Shortcuts How to Navigate Your Windows 10 Taskbar With Keyboard Shortcuts Keyboard shortcuts are an awesome way to do more on your PC in less time. Here's a great collection of shortcuts that deal with the Windows Taskbar. Read More . And if this article made you curious about customizing Windows, also see how you can create a custom Rainmeter theme for your desktop How to Create a Custom Rainmeter Theme for Your Windows Desktop How to Create a Custom Rainmeter Theme for Your Windows Desktop Rainmeter can help you create a truly spectacular desktop with just a few clicks. We'll show how you. Read More !

Explore more about: Windows Customization, Windows Taskbar, Windows Tricks.

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  1. Orhan Bayülken
    June 29, 2019 at 10:34 pm

    I have a problem that I never encountered before on my laptop.
    After rebooting, all the apps on the start menu (under the Windows symbol) appeared on the taskbar with no apps on the start menu! I have tried many times to revert back to what it was before with no luck. I can't do a system restore since there were no restore points.
    Is there a way to change this without having to format my laptop?

    Thanks for your help.

  2. John
    January 24, 2019 at 4:46 pm

    What wallpaper is that?

  3. Landon
    July 9, 2018 at 8:16 pm

    I prefer to orient my taskbar vertically. I would love if there was a way to scroll icons vertically when the taskbar becomes full, instead of having the dumb horizontal scrollbar that I have to click on in order to access additional apps.

  4. KD
    October 23, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    All programs and apps extend down behind my taskbar making it very difficult to click buttons on the bottom of the page. Since you're the taskbar wizard, Do you have a solution for that?

  5. kevin go
    September 4, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    Windows 10: Can you remove the text next to the icon's on the additional monitor's task-bar?
    answer; is a no for me.
    I have two monitors, monitor 1 shows text with the icons . Monitor 2 does not. (which is my default monitor, cable types choose).
    If I add additional monitors they also have text on the task-bar for that monitor.
    It's annoying.
    Anyone else have this issue?
    Is there a fix?

  6. Som Harsh
    July 20, 2017 at 9:03 am

    Well, I knew all of it still read the whole article

  7. Jeff
    July 20, 2017 at 7:51 am

    Classic Shell is easier actually to tweak and adjust.

  8. ZentixZaneic
    July 20, 2017 at 2:13 am

    Great article! My favorite tweak is centering the icons on the taskbar. My only question is getting the taskbar icons to stay centered.

    For example, if you have several programs open at once, how can you get it to center the icons automatically, rather than having to do it manually?