Microsoft is reintroducing its tablet-friendly taskbar in the latest preview of Windows 11. The taskbar was first introduced in February along with other new features included for the final rollout in Windows 11, but it was removed for further internal development. Microsoft said in a blog post that the taskbar is a part of the Windows Insiders developer channel that will be updated and will only be available for PCs used as tablets, such as 2-in-1s, rather than laptops or desktop PCs.
The taskbar is designed to be hidden when not in use by the tablet user, allowing for more needed screen space. When it collapses, it shows “critical” things like the time and battery percentage. When it’s expanded, it reveals several apps, widgets and a home button, and it appears to be more touch-friendly when in use. The taskbar is designed to return to its optimized position when disconnected or when the keyboard is folded on the 2-in-1 device.
Microsoft is also rolling out other features specifically to its system tray that work on non-2-in-1 devices in its latest update. The latest update brings animated icons and illustrations to its Settings app by adding them to its sidebar when you hover over options in the menu. These updates also include settings, widgets, task manager and some bug fixes for Windows.