How to optimize the space on the taskbar on Windows 10

The taskbar is perhaps one of the most useful features on Windows 10. It gives you easy access to the Start menu, apps, notification area to figure out the time, and much more. But alongside the useful functionalities, if you work with a lot of apps on a regular basis, you can quickly run out of space to pin more of your favorite apps.

Luckily, the taskbar is also very customizable, and there are a number of ways you can optimize the space and make room to fit more icons.

Optimizing the space on the taskbar

Whether you want to fit more apps or you want to keep the taskbar with no clutter, here are several things you can do to customize the experience.

Dealing with the search box

Windows 10 integrates a search box on the taskbar that you can use to interact with Cortana and to find anything, but while this feature can be useful, the box takes up a lot of room. (In fact, the search box takes up seven pin slots on the taskbar.)

If you don't have much use for the search box, it's possible to remove it, or show only a button to access the experience, which only takes up one pin slot.

To remove the search box, you can right-click the taskbar, select Cortana, and click the Hiddenoption, or you can also select the Show Cortana icon option.

In the case, you're worried about losing the ability to search on Windows 10, remember that you can always open Start (Windows key) and begin typing to invoke a search. It's one-click away, just like before.

Removing the Task View button

Task View is another feature new to Windows 10 that allows you to switch apps and access virtual desktops, but if it isn't a feature you use on a regular basis, or you use the Windows key + Tabkeyboard shortcut to access the experience, the icon is just wasting space.

To remove the Task View button, simply right-click the taskbar and make sure to clear the Show Task View button option.

Minimizing the space used by notification icons

On the far-right side of the taskbar, you'll find the notifications area, which provides status, quick access to controls for certain features and apps, and of course, it displays the current time and date. However, depending on your system configuration, the number of icons can grow large taking up valuable space.

To select which icons appear in the notification area, right-click the taskbar, select Taskbar settings, click the Select which icons appear on the taskbar link. Then you can decide which icons will appear in the experience, but they're always accessible clicking the up-arrow button.

In the Taskbar page, you can also select the Turn system icon on or off link, where you can decide which system icons appear on the taskbar, including Clock, Volume, Network, Power, Action Center, and others. Just turn off the toggle switch for the icons you don't want to see.

Using smaller icons

Windows 10 also includes an option to show smaller icons on the taskbar that can help make more room to pin additional apps.

To show smaller icons, right-click the taskbar, select Taskbar settings, and turn on the Use small taskbar buttons toggle switch.

Unpin apps you don't use

While it might be obvious, another way to optimize the space on the taskbar is to simply remove apps that you rarely use.

To unpin an app, simply right-click the icon you don't want and click the Unpin from taskbaroption.

Extend the taskbar

If you happen to have a multi-monitor setup, you can extend the taskbar across all your monitors to gain more room.

To show the taskbar across all your screens, right-click the taskbar, select Taskbar settings, and under "Multiple displays," turn on the Show taskbar on all displays toggle switch.

In addition, using the "Show taskbar buttons on" drop-down menu you can select Taskbar where window is open, which allows you to off load pins of running apps to the display where the app is currently open.

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