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The Windows 11 taskbar is getting better for people who open tons of apps

Enlarge / Microsoft is testing a new way to handle taskbars with too many open apps. (credit: Microsoft)

We appear to be entering a period of Windows’ development where we can expect new features and tweaks to come to the operating system several times a year. To that end, Microsoft continues to add, remove, and generally experiment with Windows 11’s features and user interface via its Insider Preview channels.

The most interesting addition we’ve seen in a while is rolling out to users on the experimental Dev Channel now: a modified version of the taskbar with much-improved handling of app icon overflow when users have too many apps open at once. Click an ellipsis button on your taskbar, and a new icon overflow menu opens up, allowing you to interact with any of those extra icons the same way you would if they were sitting on the taskbar.

This would be a big improvement over the current overflow behavior, which devotes one icon’s worth of space to show the icon for the app you last interacted with, leaving the rest inaccessible. That icon will continue to appear on the taskbar alongside the new ellipsis icon. Microsoft says that app icons in the overflow area will be able to show jump lists and other customizable shortcuts the same as any other app icon in the taskbar.

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