How to move Windows 11 taskbar icons

Windows 11 introduces a new centered taskbar, with icons grouped together in the center of your screen, rather than the familiar left corner. If that sounds strange to you, here’s how to put the taskbar icons back to where they were in the days of Windows 10.

Why do this? Muscle memory. By now, you’re probably used to the familiar way of dragging your mouse cursor to the left corner and clicking the Start menu icon to launch an app. With the layout of Windows 11, you can’t do it subconsciously. In fact, as more and more icons are added to your Windows 11 taskbar, the Start menu slides more and more to the left.

microsoft windows 11 taskbar centered large dark Mark Hachman / IDG

The default Windows 11 taskbar layout is to place all icons in the center.

This means you’ll need to consciously look for the Start icon, rather than just dragging your mouse to the corner. It’s the PC equivalent of hunting for the TV remote.

Fortunately, there is an easy solution. And when you drag the taskbar icons to the left, you will find that the Start menu opens in the left corner as well.

1. Right-click on the Windows 11 taskbar in the empty space that other icons do not occupy. You will see an option, for Taskbar settings.

Microsoft Windows 11 taskbar click on taskbar settings Mark Hachman / IDG

2. Clicking on it will open the Generic Windows 11 Settings menu, in particular Personalization> Taskbar. Scroll down and click Behaviors of the taskbar.

3. Under the first entry, Aligning the taskbar, click on the only other option, Left. This will automatically drag all of the taskbar icons to the left, closer to the organization that came with Windows 10. That’s all you need to do.

Microsoft Windows 11 customization taskbar Mark Hachman / IDG

Just scroll down the taskbar page until you find the align option. Click the “Taskbar Behaviors” drop-down menu to display the alignment options.

Unfortunately, Windows 11 doesn’t allow you to do certain things that Windows 10 has allowed you to do, like physically moving the taskbar up, down, or to the sides of the screen. You also can’t make it bigger or smaller. Feel free to play around with the other options in Settings, however, to further polish the Windows 11 taskbar.

Check out our Windows 11 Superguide, where you can find all of our tips, tricks, FAQs and more.

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