Looking forward to a future Windows 11 update that will finally allow you to change the location of its beautiful taskbar? Don’t hold your breath, as a recent AMA session on YouTube has suggested that Microsoft doesn’t really give a damn about giving users the freedom of choice and being able to shift the menu away from the bottom of the screen. Tali Roth, Microsoft’s Head of Product, has claimed that restoring the classic feature could invite all sorts of challenges for the operating system’s UI designers, such as how the listing and look of apps might react to the taskbar being set at different edges of the screen. Roth confirmed that Microsoft has no plans to restore the feature at the moment, claiming that it’s only relevant to a small number of Windows 11 users.
“When it comes to something like actually being able to move the taskbar to different locations on the screen, there’s a number of challenges with that,” Roth explained. “When you think about having the taskbar on the right or the left, all of a sudden the reflow and the work that all of the apps have to do to be able to understand the environment is just huge.”
“And when you look at the data, while we know there is a set of people that love it that way and, like, really appreciate it, we also recognize that this set of users is really small compared to the set of other folks that are asking for other features,” Roth added. “So at the moment we are continuing to focus on things that I hear more pain around.”
“It is one of those things that we are still continuing to look at, and we will keep looking to feedback, but at the moment we do not have a plan or a set date for when we would, or if we should, actually build the side taskbar.”
Microsoft says changing taskbar location in Windows 11 is not important (Neowin)
The Start menu and taskbar are among the most controversial changes in Windows 11. Microsoft threw away the old taskbar during the development process and started making the new one from scratch. As a result, developers had to decide what features needed to be ready for the initial launch, what features they could postpone, and what features were not worth the effort. The option to move the taskbar fell into the last category.
The logic behind the explanation is easy to understand. Windows enthusiasts are quite a vocal yet relatively small community in the Windows install base with more than 1.3 billion devices. Microsoft needs to constantly balance satisfying its hardcore fans and keeping the priorities in check for the entire audience. Oftentimes, decisions Microsoft makes in favor of the larger group of users hurt the enthusiasts.
But the funny thing about the taskbar is that the Feedback Hub directly clashes with what Tali Roth has said. The ability to move the taskbar is the most upvoted feedback piece, with more than 17,600 thumb-ups and 1200 comments. Unless Microsoft has another tool to source more feedback from “regular” users, you can tell quite a large chunk of Windows 11 customers want Microsoft to bring back the missing feature more than everything else. People do not want stickers on the desktop. They want the taskbar they have lost.