Windows 10 is a fairly customizable system, if you know what you want and where to find it. In fact, there are many sections where no need to install any third party tools to change the appearance of what we see on the desktop, and we talk about more than just changing the wallpaper.
In Genbeta we have already made some very complete guides on how to customize Windows 10, but this time we are going to focus on a single aspect: the task bar. This includes the icons we pinned, the search drawer, and the area with indicators and notification icons.
The behavior and appearance of the taskbar Windows 10 can be changed a lot from the same system options, the annoying thing is that many of those options are scattered in different sections and perhaps they have gone completely unnoticed.
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Change what is displayed on the taskbar
In Windows 10, by default what we see in order from left to right is: the start button, the search and Cortana drawer, the task view button, and the pinned application icons. On the far right we find the notifications button, the date and time, the language button, network, sound, battery and the indicators of the rest of Windows and third-party apps. Everything can be modified.
The search drawer
If you right click on the taskbar and select the option Cortana you can choose between three different options. Show the search drawer, show just one Cortana icon, or just completely hide your superbar function.
You can too hide task view button, you just have to right click on the bar again and uncheck the option just below Cortana. If you have a touchscreen device, you may want to try adding Windows Ink workspace or touch keyboard buttons.
Change taskbar icons
To customize the icon of an application that you have pinned to the superbar, you first have to change the shortcut icon. For this you need to edit the one on your desktop.
You just have to right click on the one you want to modify, then in the window that appears select Change Icon … and search your disk for a file whose extension is .ICO.
PNG, JPG, SVG, etc. files will not work. But, you can always use a tool to convert them, we recommend iConvert Icons. If you don’t have icons on hand, you can visit our recommendation of themes and icons for Windows 10.
Once you have changed the icon on the desktop, you can drag it to the taskbar. Remember that if you are changing an icon that is already pinned, you must remove it from the superbar and re-anchor it once the icon has been modified on the desktop, for the change to take effect.
Change notification area icons
If you right click on the bar and then choose the option Taskbar Settings you will go to a section of the system configuration from which you can choose which icons will be displayed in the area to the right of the bar.
This is quite useful for keep this area cleanEspecially if you have too many apps installed that display icons here and don’t always need your attention.
do scroll until you meet the section Notification area and then click Select the icons that will appear on the taskbar. From there you can choose between all the indicators that have been added to Windows 10 by third-party apps, as well as system indicators.
This option allows you to hide them, but not deactivate them. That is, if you then click on the up arrow next to the icons in the notification area, you will find them all grouped together:
To disable system icons and remove them completely from the notification area, you must choose the option that appears below the previous one: Enable or disable system icons.
From there you can enable or disable the icons for clock, volume, network, power, input indicator, location, activity center, touch keyboard, Windows Ink workspace, and touch panel.
The Windows 10 taskbar can also change its place, size, and you can also make it behave in a certain way when grouping windows, or when you hover the mouse pointer over it.
In the same taskbar settings section, you can choose use small taskbar buttons to get a little more screen real estate, or if you like finer things.
This also automatically removes the search bar and replaces it with just the Cortana icon.
If you click on the taskbar and make sure that the option is unchecked Lock all taskbars, you can drag the bar to the right, left or top of the desktop.
In addition, you can increase or decrease its size by simply stretching the bar when you see the mouse pointer change to a double-headed arrow.
If you want the taskbar to remain hidden unless you hover the mouse pointer right where it is, you can activate the option auto-hide taskbar in desktop mode.
And, if you want buttons with labels in the style of Windows XP to appear instead of icons in the superbar, you just have to select the option Never under option Combine Taskbar Buttons.
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