clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

These apps let you customize Windows 11 to bring the taskbar back to life

New, 28 comments

Third-party apps are here to save the day

A user types on the Surface Pro 8 keyboard. The screen displays Microsoft Teams on a blue and white background.
The Windows 11 taskbar.
Photo by Becca Farsace / The Verge

I’m not the only one who hates the new Windows 11 taskbar, and now third-party developers are coming to the rescue with apps that bring back some of the features missing in Microsoft’s latest OS.

Microsoft removed basic taskbar functionality in Windows 11, like displaying the time and date on multiple monitors, moving the taskbar to the top of the screen or sides, and even small things like altering its height and having small icons. It has angered many Windows users, and most of the top feedback in Microsoft’s Windows Insider program was related to the taskbar changes before Windows 11 debuted last week.

Stardock’s new Start11 app primarily focuses on allowing you to change the Start menu back to classic styles, but there’s also a lot of taskbar customization, too. You can change the taskbar size, its position across multiple monitors, and even what’s shown when you right-click on the bar. If you’re a fan of having Task Manager anywhere you right-click on the Windows 11 taskbar, you can bring it back with Start11.

While drag and drop still isn’t supported with Start11, the only thing that’s really missing is the ability to show the clock on multiple monitors. Thankfully, another third-party app, ElevenClock, saves the day. ElevenClock puts the time and date on multiple monitors, a feature that is strangely missing in Windows 11.

ElevenClock brings the time and date to every taskbar in Windows 11.

Windows 11 users shouldn’t really need to resort to third-party apps just to bring back basic taskbar functionality that has existed in Windows for decades, but until Microsoft addresses this area of feedback there are at least some workarounds available.

Microsoft hinted at potential changes to the taskbar last month. “As with every experience in Windows 11, we’re constantly listening and learning, and welcome customer feedback that helps shape Windows,” said a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to The Verge in September. “Windows 11 will continue to evolve over time; if we learn from user experience that there are ways to make improvements, we will do so.”