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  • Writer's pictureBen Bowyer

Taskbar: How quickly Switch Between Tasks

In previous versions of Windows, the taskbar was relegated to being an occasional tool. In Windows 10 it’s back where it belongs, at the very centre of the desktop workspace. Some slight tweaks in both the Anniversary and Creators updates, have made it an even more useful tool.


Mastering the Windows 10 Taskbar:

In previous versions of Windows, the taskbar was relegated to being an occasional tool. In Windows 10 it’s back where it belongs, at the very centre of the desktop workspace. Some slight tweaks in both the Anniversary and Creators updates, have made it an even more useful tool.

  1. Explore the Taskbar: The Windows 10 taskbar runs the full length of the screen and contains several separate areas. These are, from left to right: the Start menu button, the Cortana/Search box, your Pinned Apps and the System Tools. You have the option to customize almost all of these areas of the taskbar.

  2. Start Menu Button: Clicking this, as you will no doubt know by now, opens the Start menu. This is where you find all of the apps and software on your computer listed, along with Live Tiles and system folders. Right-clicking on the Start menu button opens a different menu, containing links to system tools like Task Manager.

  3. Cortana/Search Box: The Cortana/Search box is completely integrated into the taskbar in Windows 10, so it is always visible and available. Just click anywhere in the search box to begin using it. If Cortana is not yet set up, you will be prompted to do so the first time you click in the search box, and occasionally shown tips.

  4. Task View: The simple white outline icon next to the search bar is Task View. This is Windows 10’s new way to switch between open apps and it’s really rather good, providing you can get used to using it. Click to open or alternatively you can open the Task View by pressing the Windows Key + Tab.

  5. Pinning Apps: A few apps and other software will be pinned to the taskbar when you first use your Windows 10 PC. You can add more as and when you choose. To pin apps, right-click on the app icon anywhere you see it (Start menu for example), click More and then Pin to Taskbar. Shortcuts can also be pinned.

  6. System Icons: If we were using a laptop here rather than a desktop, a battery icon would appear in the notifications area. There’s also a link to further settings, taking you to the appropriate area of the all new Settings app. The exact icons that appear here will vary depending on your system set up and apps installed.

  7. Notifications: The Action Center gathers together all your pop-up notifications from things like the email app or Windows update. It also features Quick Settings buttons for things like Wi-Fi. The Anniversary update added notification badges, meaning you can see how many unread notifications you have.

  8. Peek: Hovering over any open app icon in the taskbar brings up a Peek preview of the window. If a movie is playing, for example, you will see it playing here too. If you mouse over the preview, the X icon appears so you can close the window down directly from the taskbar should you wish to.

  9. Taskbar Tools: The taskbar contains several unique tools. These can be shown or hidden as you prefer. They include the People app, Task View, the Windows Ink workspace and the Touch keyboard button. Right-click anywhere on the taskbar and you can show or hide these tools in the menu that appears.                    

  10. Jump Lists: Right-clicking anything on the taskbar once again brings up a context menu. Apps such as Word and Excel feature jump lists, showing you recent files that you can pin to the list using the drawing pin icon. What appears in the jump list varies between apps, e.g. Chrome will show recent websites visited.

I hope you have found this article helpful. Please use the button below if you have any questions




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