How To Move The Taskbar (And Icons) On Windows 11

Key Points

  • To reposition the taskbar icons to the left on Windows 11, go to Settings > Personalization > Taskabr > Taskbar behavior, and select “Left” in front of Taskbar Alignment.
  • To reposition the taskbar completely, use the Windows Registry, or the third-party apps ExplorerPatches or StartAllBack.

One of the major changes you notice when shifting to Windows 11 from Windows 10 or any older operating system is the centered taskbar icons. While it may need some getting used to, you can get your old, or at least similar taskbar layout in Windows 11 by rearranging the icons to the left.

Moreover, unlike in Windows 10, you can no longer control where the taskbar is positioned on the screen in Windows 11. From the Windows 10 Settings app, you can choose whether the taskbar is at the bottom (default), top, left, or right side of the desktop. However, this option was not included in the original Windows 11 release and has not been included with any update either.

If you want your old taskbar settings back on Windows 11, you can reposition the icons to the left, and reposition the complete taskbar on any side of the screen using the methods discussed in this post.

Reposition taskbar icons to the left in Windows 11

The default position for the icons in Windows 10 was toward the left of the screen. However, in Windows 11, the taskbar icons had been aligned in the center, like they are in macOS. However, you can change this default Windows 11 setting and get the icons aligned toward the left again. Here is how to do it:

  1. Right-click the taskbar on an empty space and click “Taskbar settings.”

    Open taskbar settings 1
    Open taskbar settings

    Alternatively, you can also go the following which opens the same Settings page:

    Settings app >> Personalization >> Taskbar
  2. Scroll down and expand “Taskbar behaviors.”

    Expand Taskbar behaviors
    Expand Taskbar behaviors
  3. Expand the drop-down menu in front of “Taskbar alignment” and select Left.

    Align the taskbar to the left on Windows 11
    Align the taskbar to the left on Windows 11

You will notice that the taskbar immediately shifts to the left as soon as you select the option.

In case you want to revert the settings and bring the taskbar icons to the center again, expand the drop-down menu in front of “Taskbar alignment” again and select Center.

Move the taskbar to the top, left, right, or bottom

Repositioning the entire taskbar isn’t one of the features Windows 11 provides. For that, we need to improvise and use other non-conventional methods. Using the following steps, you can use the Windows Registry to change the position of the taskbar. Here is how:

Note: Misconfiguration of critical values in the system’s registry could be fatal for your operating system. Therefore, we insist that you create a system restore point or a complete system image backup before proceeding forward with the process.

You can also use our top selection of disk imaging and backup software so you never lose your data or operating system again.

  1. Press the Windows Key + R to open the Run Command box.

  2. Type in “regedit” and press Enter to open the Registry Editor.

  3. Now navigate to the following path from the left pane:

    Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StuckRects3
  4. Double-click the Settings binary value in the right pane.

    Open the Settings binary value
    Open the Settings binary value
  5. Now double-click the “03” value in the Value data section in the 6th column and the 2nd row, and press Delete on the keyboard.

    Double click the 03 value
    Double-click the 03 value
  6. Now enter either of the following values depending on where you want to reposition the taskbar.

    • 00 – left of the screen
    • 01 – top of the screen
    • 02 – right of the screen
    • 03 – bottom of the screen (default)
    Replace the value in the Settings binary to reposition the taskbar
    Replace the value in the Settings binary to reposition the taskbar
  7. Click OK to save the settings.

  8. Now the computer for the changes to take effect.

Once the computer restarts, you will notice that the taskbar has been repositioned.

Taskbar has been repositioned to the right of the screen
Taskbar has been repositioned to the right of the screen

In case you need to change the location again, simply use the same steps above and enter the corresponding value in the Settings binary value.

Reposition Windows 11 taskbar using third-party apps

You can also use third-party applications that allow you to reposition the taskbar at the click of a button. The apps that work with Windows 11 are:

You can use either of these applications to adjust the position of the taskbar as per your needs. Here are the steps to follow in case you use the ExplorerPatcher app:

  1. Download the ExplorerPatcher from GitHub.

    Download ExplorerPatcher
    Download ExplorerPatcher
  2. Run the .EXE file.

    As soon as you run the app, you will notice changes to the taskbar.

  3. Open the app by right-clicking the taskbar and then click Properties.

    Open the ExplorerPatcher software
    Open the ExplorerPatcher software
  4. While remaining in the Taskbar tab, select the following two options:

    • Taskbar style: Windows 10
    • Primary taskbar location on screen: Top, Bottom, Left, or Right
    Set taskbar location using ExplorerPatcher
    Set taskbar location using ExplorerPatcher
  5. Click “Restart File Explorer” in the bottom left corner of the app.

    Restart File Explorer
    Restart File Explorer

As File Explorer restarts, you will notice that the taskbar has been repositioned as per your choice.

Note that using the StartAllBack has similar steps to this one.

Ending words

When Windows 11 was first introduced, Microsoft removed several features that were already available in Windows 10, such as the ability to change the position of the taskbar. However, there are always workarounds for such things, such as manipulating Windows settings at a deeper level or using third-party apps and tools to tweak the OS.

This is exactly what we have done in this article. We discussed methods to move the entire taskbar on any side of the screen as per your liking.

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Subhan Zafar is an established IT professional with interests in Windows and Server infrastructure testing and research, and is currently working with Itechtics as a research consultant. He has studied Electrical Engineering and is also certified by Huawei (HCNA & HCNP Routing and Switching).

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