Windows 11 lets you move the taskbar left or right, but it’s broken

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With a registry hack, it’s possible to move your Windows 11 taskbar to the left or right of the screen, but the buttons don’t appear. Could this mean that Microsoft plans to bring back a mobile taskbar in a future update? We are exploring the possibilities.

Borrow from Windows 10

As of October 2021, Windows 11 does not allow you to move your taskbar (or even resize it). But thanks to a Windows registry hack, it’s possible to make the taskbar appear at the top of your screen and still remain functional.

While experimenting with the taskbar at the top of the screen, we also discovered that it is possible to position the Windows 11 taskbar to the left or right of the screen, but the taskbar becomes unusable.

Interestingly, Windows 11 uses the same internal registry key values ​​as Windows 10 to determine which side of the screen to place the taskbar on. This means that taskbar positioning in Windows 11 might just be a leftover feature of Windows 10. But the fact that it still works leaves Microsoft the option of fixing the Windows 11 taskbar to take into account. load these other positions (left and right) in the future.

RELATED: Windows 11 Won’t Let You Move the Taskbar (But It Should)

Try it yourself (if you like the risk)

If you want to try moving your taskbar to the left or right of your screen, we’ll show you how, although it’s broken and none of the icons will display correctly.

Warning: Registry Editor is a powerful tool. Improper use can render your system unstable or even unusable. Still, it’s a simple hack, and if you follow the instructions completely, you shouldn’t have any problems. If you’ve never used Registry Editor before, consider reading how to use it before you begin. We also recommend backing up the registry (and your computer) before making any changes.

First, open Registry Editor. You can do this by pressing Windows + R, typing “regedit” and hitting Enter, or by searching for “registry” in the Start menu and clicking “Registry Editor”.

In Registry Editor, navigate to this key using the sidebar or paste it into the address line at the top of the window:

ComputerHKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerStuckRects3

(Note that these instructions only apply to single-monitor setups. To change the taskbar position on multiple monitors, you will need to change the same values ​​in each key listed under HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerMMStuckRects3.)

Double-click the “Settings” button in “StuckRects3”.

Navigate to the registry key and open "Settings."

When the “Edit Binary Value” window opens, locate the fifth value from the left on the second line from the top. Usually this value is set to “03”. By changing this number, you can determine which side of the screen your taskbar appears on. Here’s what each number does:

  • 00: Taskbar on the left side of the screen.
  • 01: Taskbar at the top of the screen.
  • 02: Taskbar on the right side of the screen.
  • 03: Taskbar at the bottom of the screen.

To change it, place the cursor just to the right of “03”, press Backspace once, then type the number corresponding to the position of the taskbar in the list above (such as “02” to move the taskbar tasks to the left, for example). When you’re done, click “OK.”

Change the number to "02" for a taskbar on the right.

Close Registry Editor, and then restart Windows Explorer.

To restart Explorer, press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open Task Manager, click “More Details” to expand the window if necessary, then select the “Processes” tab. Locate “Windows Explorer” in the list, right-click on it and select “Restart”.

To note: You need to restart the explorer. In our experience, you cannot just restart your PC. If you do, the change will not take effect.

Right click "Windows Explorer" and select "Restart."

You will now see something like this. The taskbar will be mostly empty, but you’ll see some of the system tray status icons and the Quick Settings button jumbled up in the corner. If you click on the speaker and Wi-Fi icons, the Quick Settings menu will open as usual, but nothing else works.

An example of a broken Windows 11 taskbar on the right.

Similarly, if you want to try moving your taskbar to the left, change the registry value mentioned above to “00”, then restart your PC or restart explorer.exe. You will see a similar situation, with an empty taskbar and no icon.

An example of a broken Windows 11 taskbar on the left.

When you’re done, press Windows + R to open the Run menu, then type “regedit.exe”. From there, you can change the value of the “Settings” key to “03” (for the taskbar at the bottom of the screen), then reboot and you’ll be back to normal. Or you can download our registry hack files and run “win11_taskbar_bottom.reg” (then restart) to restore your taskbar to its proper location. Be sure to restart Explorer after running them.

As you can see, at the moment, moving the taskbar to the left or to the right does not help, but we hope that Microsoft will work soon to formalize these options.

RELATED: 5 Ways Windows 11 Taskbar Is Worse Than Windows 10

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