Look, Windows 11’s ultra-nerfed taskbar sucks. It just does. But hopeful tidbits from new Windows Insider preview builds suggest about to get a lot more useful, streamlining your Windows productivity in the process.
First up, a much-needed correction. Windows 10 offers a search bar right in the taskbar, where you can type in a query and send your system a-scouring with a simple click of you Enter button. But Windows 11 maddeningly replaced that with a search button that instead opens a separate pop-up window used for search, forcing you to navigate several clicks and interfaces just to find a file. Why, Microsoft, why?
Fortunately, that’s about to end. As spotted by Tom’s Hardware, the latest Windows 11 Release Preview once again places a proper search bar back in the taskbar—and better yet, it’s enabled by default, at least in the Release Preview. It can’t come soon enough.
Next, Internet detectives discovered a new taskbar feature that could render the most common reason to open the Task Manager obsolete. As first reported by Bleeping Computer, Twitter user PhantomOfEarth found an option hidden in the new Windows 11 Insider build 25300 that lets you forcibly end a task by simply right-clicking on its icon in the taskbar. Yessssss.
When games get wonky or applications freeze, the easiest way around it is usually to press Crtl + Shift + Esc to summon the Task Manager, find the troublesome app in the active Processes tab, click on it, then select End Task. Having that option a simple right-click away in your taskbar would be a massive quality of life upgrade.
If it sees the light of day, that is. Phantom Ocean needed to dig deep into the guts of the Insider build using a custom-made ViVe utility to find and unlock the capability. Microsoft did not intend this feature to see the light of day yet and it may still be canned. But I hope it doesn’t.
Neither of these handy-dandy upgrades will make the Windows 11 taskbar’s controversial interface much better. But they should save you time in your everyday life and every second you spend not clicking through needlessly tedious interfaces is a second you get to spend actually enjoying your life. Nobody likes fighting with computers for no reason.
Speaking of, if you’re not a fan of Windows 11’s new-look design in general, here’s how to make Windows 11 look like Windows 10.