March 2, 2024

Microsoft Is Optimizing Windows 11’s Taskbar for Tablets

Windows 11 logo on a dark blue shadow background

Microsoft has announced Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22563 for the Dev channel, and the most significant change is the introduction of a new tablet-optimized taskbar. There’s also the regular slew of smaller updates and tweaks that give us a glimpse into the future of Windows 11.

Tablet-Optimized Taskbar in Windows 11

“We’re introducing a new taskbar state that’s specifically designed to make you feel more confident and comfortable using your device as a tablet,” said Microsoft in a blog post for Windows Insiders.

With the new taskbar mode, you’ll get a collapsed and expanded view. In collapsed mode, the taskbar slides out of the way, giving you room to interact with your touchscreen. In expanded, you get a bigger taskbar with buttons designed to be touched instead of clicked with a mouse. To switch, you swipe up from the bottom of your convertible device.

If you’re using a 2-in-1 (which is required to use the new tablet-friendly taskbar), the taskbar will automatically shift to this new tablet version when you disconnect or fold away the keyboard.

Windows 11's new taskbar mode

As far as availability of this feature, Microsoft says, “We are beginning to roll this feature out, so it isn’t available to all Insiders just yet as we plan to monitor feedback and see how it lands before pushing it out to everyone.”

Other Changes in Build 22563

Microsoft is also making some changes to widgets in Windows 11. It says, “We’re trying out some changes in Widgets to bring more dynamic content to your Widgets board, by experimenting with bringing together the widgets and news feed experiences as a dynamic blended feed containing both widgets and news content.”

Another improvement is that Search from Quick Access now includes content from your OneDrive, Downloads, and any indexed location, making it far more useful.

If you’re an Edge user, tabs from the browser are now included in suggestions for snap assist.

The final significant change is that Windows Insiders can now use 37 more emoji characters in the emoji picker as part of Emoji 14.0.

Of course, there are tons of minor tweaks and improvements listed in Microsoft’s blog post, which you should read before deciding if you want to switch your PC to the Dev channel of Windows 11.

RELATED: How to Switch Between Dev and Beta Channels on Windows 11

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