Windows 11 is getting some much-needed taskbar and Start menu improvements

By Tom Warren

Windows 11’s taskbar is a giant step back in usability compared to Windows 10, and now Microsoft is starting to make improvements. A new update that’s currently being tested by Windows Insiders brings the clock and date back to the taskbar on secondary or multiple monitors. It’s a change that multiple monitor users will appreciate, as many have had to install third-party apps like ElevenClock just to get this basic functionality in Windows 11.

I’ve not been shy about criticizing the changes made to the taskbar in Windows 11. I hate the new taskbar, so I’m happy to see Microsoft make this initial change. There’s still much more to be improved, and hopefully we see the return of being able to drag and drop files onto taskbar apps and the general customization options.

The new Windows 11 Start menu changes.
Image: Microsoft

Elsewhere, Microsoft is also making some improvements to the Start menu in Windows 11. The latest 22509 Insider build includes the ability to configure the Start menu to show more pins or more recommendations instead. That makes the Start menu a little more customizable, although many Windows 11 users are also opting for third-party apps here, too.

This latest Windows 11 build also includes more improvements to the Settings app as part of Microsoft’s ongoing effort to include more Control Panel settings in the main Settings app. “We have moved the advanced sharing settings (such as Network discovery, File and printer sharing, and public folder sharing) to a new page in Settings app under Advanced Network Settings,” explains Amanda Langowski, head of Microsoft’s Windows Insider program.

There are also improvements to the pages in the Printers & Scanners section, and some parts of the Control Panel will now redirect Windows 11 users to the main Settings app instead. It feels like Microsoft is moving ever closer to finally removing the Control Panel in favor of its modern Settings app.

All of these features won’t be available for some months yet, though. These are part of the Dev Channel round of updates to Windows 11, and some may debut as cumulative updates in the monthly changes Microsoft makes to the OS. Others may be included in the larger annual update that Microsoft is planning for Windows 11.