Windows 11

Hands on: Microsoft tests new design styles for Windows 11 taskbar search

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Windows 11’s taskbar gets a new feature, but it’s not the one you were hoping for. While features like the ability to move the taskbar or ungroup icons are still missing, Microsoft is now investigating support for a Windows 10-like search bar. In addition, Microsoft is also working on new design styles for the taskbar search function.

As we reported recently, Microsoft tested a new “search box” that would appear on the left side of the taskbar. Unlike the existing search tool which is an icon, this new search bar is similar to the one on Windows 10’s taskbar, but fits in with the modern look of Windows 11.

In our testing, we found that the search bar works in a similar way and there are no visible changes to the search experience. You can still use it to search for apps, games, documents, images, and the web.

Search bar

The search bar is now being tested with users in the Dev Channel and is expected to appear in the OS later this year.

Windows 11 Build 25158 search bar

Windows 11 taskbar needs real improvements

There’s no denying that Windows 11’s taskbar is a mess and it’s far too late for a major update that will fix the missing features. While the ability to drag and drop files to a pinned app on the taskbar will be making a comeback later this year, there are many missing features that people have been asking for since the launch of Windows 11.

The search box is not one of the requested functions. In fact, many users replace their search box in Windows 10 with a simple icon and many people would just open the Start menu.

Unfortunately, some of the most requested features from users will not appear anytime soon.

For those who didn’t know, Microsoft radically redesigned the taskbar by rebuilding it from scratch. The new taskbar doesn’t come with any features available in Windows 10 and one of its most notable “full-fledged right-click” menus is no longer available.

Similarly, Microsoft has also disabled the ability to change the taskbar location, citing “workflow” as one of the reasons.

In a recent Windows Insider webcast, the company clearly confirmed that other features aren’t coming anytime soon. However, some taskbar improvements are planned for 2022 and may appear in upcoming preview builds.

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