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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Windows 11’s new taskbar overflow is perfect for people who keep all their apps open

Microsoft is bringing a new taskbar overflow feature to Windows 11, designed to make it easier to find your open apps once you run out of taskbar space. It’s perfect for power users or people who love to keep all of their apps open all the time. The new taskbar overflow is a three-dot menu that appears once you’ve run out of taskbar space, and neatly hides all the apps that can’t fit on the taskbar all at the same time.

Currently, if you open too many apps in Windows 11 and Windows 10, then the taskbar creates an overflow area that only shows the most recent app that has been used or open. This means that if you’re an app connoisseur, it can get difficult to navigate between lots of programs on smaller laptop screens (especially if you don’t use alt+tab and other multitasking features).

The new taskbar overflow area.
Image: Microsoft

The new overflow menu matches the Windows 11 design, and includes all the taskbar features you’d expect to see like pinning apps and jump lists. “After invoking overflow, the menu will quietly dismiss once you click outside of it or navigate to an application,” explains Amanda Langowski, head of Microsoft’s Windows Insider program.

Microsoft’s new overflow changes come just days after the company revealed it’s testing a new UI for the Windows 11 taskbar. The software giant is experimenting with bringing back the familiar search bar from Windows 10, alongside notification badges for the Widgets section in Windows 11.

Windows 11 testers can try this new overflow feature in the latest Dev Channel build released this week. Microsoft is also testing improvements to the AirDrop-like “nearby sharing” feature in Windows 11. The built-in share window now supports UDP to find nearby devices, which means you’ll now be able to quickly find nearby PCs to quickly share files. If you share local files through the share interface, Microsoft is also adding OneDrive integration to make it quick and easy to upload and share files to the cloud.

Finally, the Microsoft Store is also getting an update this week that makes it easier to see prices for games, apps, or movies. It’s also now easier to see different editions of a game, so you can quickly see the prices between standard and deluxe editions of games.

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