Windows 10 Taskbar (Mar 2016)

Technology Tips – Published March 2016 in the Guide and Digest

by Don Trauger – Kennett


Customize the Windows 10 Taskbar


The Taskbar is the space at the bottom of the desktop screen that contains the clock on the right and the 4 pane white icon on the left. Clicking the icon, of course, allows you to view your apps and tiles. Another way to view it is simply press the Windows key (a 4 pane keyboard key) to open the apps menu along with the tiles. The Taskbar also allows you place shortcuts to apps you use frequently. It’s very similar to placing an icon on the Desktop screen. The main difference is the amount of space available on the Taskbar vs. the Desktop. Since there is less space, we need to customize or tweak the Taskbar to maximize the space available. By the way, programs are now called “apps”, short for applications.


Shrink Cortana



Cortana blends in better when it doesn’t take up half the Taskbar.

Cortana on Windows 10 takes up considerable Taskbar space. You can condense Cortana so that the digital assistant takes up less room, or remove it from the Taskbar completely.

Right-click on any free spot on the Taskbar or on the Cortana search box itself. In the menu, select Cortana > Show Cortana icon and the search box disappears to be replaced by Cortana’s circular icon. Just click on the icon to activate Cortana. Where it says “Ask me Anything” you can type your search item too.

To remove Cortana from the Taskbar entirely, select Cortana > Hidden and that will maximize the space. This doesn’t turn Cortana off, it just hides the icon from the Taskbar.

Of course if you have a Windows 10 standard Desktop computer (tower style) without a microphone, you definitely want to hide the icon from the Task Bar.

Another icon that appears on the Task Bar is the Task View icon. This square shaped icon is usually next to Cortana. Put the mouse arrow on top to identify it. The purpose of the Task View icon is to display all open windows on your Desktop screen. This becomes very handy when editing/copying information between one program and another. However, if you don’t use it you can remove it for additional space.


To remove Task View, right-click on the Task View icon or a free spot on the Taskbar, then UN-select the Show Task View button in the menu.

To add an icon to the Task Bar you can drag and drop a Desktop icon on the Task Bar. Another way is to right click an item from the apps menu, move the mouse to “More” and click “Pin to Taskbar”.

You can also add a Toolbar to the Taskbar. Right click a blank area of the Taskbar, move to Toolbars and click Desktop. Toward the right on the Taskbar you should see “Desktop” with a double chevron next to it. Click it and all your Desktops items will appear in a list.

Using a Taskbar icon also permits one click instead of two clicks to start an app. What a time saver!!

The PC Club meetings are open to all regardless of computer experience. If you have questions that need to be answed, be sure to attend on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 7 PM, upstairs in the Community Center. March’s topic will cover how to customize the Taskbar.