Microsoft is testing ‘Taskbar Overflow’ feature for power users
Windows 11 began rolling out to devices late last year, shaking up the formula that made Windows 10 so enduring. Among the multitude of changes, good and bad, is the taskbar. The new design is controversial to say the least, but Microsoft is testing a feature that could make the taskbar a power user’s best friend. The new taskbar overflow popup will let you access all your running programs, even if you’re running out of space at the bottom of the screen.
Windows 11’s taskbar is centered by default, a change from previous versions that pushed icons to the left. You can change this if you want, but aside from the position, Windows 11’s taskbar currently works very similarly to Windows 10. If you have too many apps open, the taskbar will jump to the one you have used most recently. This is more likely to happen on a smaller device like a travel-friendly laptop. This can also happen on any device if you’re the type to pin lots of apps to the taskbar rather than creating desktop shortcuts.
According to Microsoft, he is testing a fix for this issue in the latest Insider preview (build 25163). When you have more apps running than you can fit on the taskbar, a three-dot overflow icon appears. Click on it and you get a popup window with the rest of your apps (see below). This popup behaves much like a floating taskbar with features like pinned apps, jump lists, and an expanded user interface. The overflow list closes each time you click outside the box.
This feature is still only available in an Insiders build, which means it could be a while before it arrives in an official update. It can also change significantly before this happens. Microsoft is currently testing a number of changes to the taskbar. Just a few days ago he revealed build 25158which is testing a few new layouts with a built-in search bar similar to Windows 10.
If you want to take a peek at the latest feature in Windows 11, you’ll need to join the Insider Program and then opt into the Dev Channel. You can do this directly in Windows under Settings > Windows Update > Windows Insider Program.
It almost goes without saying, but these versions of Windows are not for the faint-hearted. Things will be buggy and you might get used to features that ultimately don’t survive testing. The taskbar overflow option, assuming it persists, may not get an official update until next year. Microsoft is already testing versions of the 22H2 update slated for release later this year.