Windows Insiders talk directly with engineers about the taskbar

Microsoft engineers recently stepped out of the work lab and on to the phone to talk to Windows Insiders like you. The objective was to have conversations with customers who actively use the taskbar in Windows.

The engineering team is continuously improving the discoverability of taskbar settings and choosing better defaults based on how Insiders interact with the taskbar. That said, it can be challenging to strike the ideal balance of functionality for all types of users. As one engineer said, “it’s a bit like trying to make a pizza for the entire world. Everyone wants different toppings; some like it plain and others want it fully loaded.”

Insider feedback through channels like the Feedback Hub help us better understand the full spectrum of user needs. Customer research calls help us drill down even further. Organized by Microsoft User Research, these calls represent a new channel for us to engage with Insiders and incorporate even more of your feedback into Windows.

The response from Insiders to these recent taskbar calls was fantastic. We had an amazing number of Insiders participate and the conversations were lively and insightful. The whole team found the experience exhilarating and enjoyed speaking with you!

Responding to feedback

We learned a lot from our Insiders during these calls and our engineers took some valuable insights back to the lab. We’d also like to share a few tips and tricks related to one issue that often came up during the calls: Many Insiders were not aware of the options available to customize the taskbar.

One very popular option that we introduced with Windows 10 Insider Preview Builds (19H1) is the ability to extend the light theme to the taskbar. Simply go to Settings > Personalization and select Light in the Colors tab or Windows (light) in the Themes tab.

There are many more options for customizing the taskbar to your specific needs and interests.  You can also change the order of the icons, manage your calendar, move the taskbar to where you want it to display on your screen, and specify how taskbar buttons group together when you have more than one window open.

When it comes to pinning your favorite apps to the taskbar, several Insiders were interested to hear that this includes Progressive Web Apps (PWA). These apps act as a fast way to engage with your favorite apps. This is particularly beneficial for social media where you can tweet a post, upload a picture or check your DM’s quickly just by right-clicking on the app. Learn more about which apps currently use this feature.

To customize the taskbar and check out the full set of options, simply right click on any open area of your taskbar and select Taskbar settings. To learn more, go to How to use the taskbar in Windows 10.

Keep that feedback coming

Microsoft User Research will be planning more calls with Insiders and engineers in the future and we’ll be sure to give you a heads up on future opportunities. Keep an eye on the Windows Insider website,  Twitter feed @windowsinsider, and monthly e-newsletter for session updates.

And keep that feedback coming through the Feedback Hub. Every piece of feedback helps us build a better Windows for you and the rest of the world.