Dubbed “never combine mode,” the option debuted in the Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23466. It is now available in the rebooted Dev Channel flighting 23000 series builds. In an announcement, Microsoft expressed its excitement at delivering this highly requested feature.
Insider users can now view each application window separately in the taskbar, complete with their respective labels. Although Redmond clarifies that the feature is still in early development, it represents a significant step toward personalizing the taskbar by displaying labeled app icons individually.
The deployment of never combine mode is currently underway for Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel, but it may take some time to reach all enrolled devices.
Universal available soon
Once the update is available, users can activate the feature by navigating to Settings and selecting Personalization, Taskbar, and Taskbar Behaviors. From there, they can adjust the “Combine taskbar buttons and hide labels” setting to “Never.”
Furthermore, Microsoft has introduced another setting called “Combine Taskbar Buttons and Hide Labels on Other Taskbars.” This allows users to dictate button combination behaviour on additional displays.
The user community made the demand for the option to never combine app icons in the taskbar abundantly clear. Microsoft’s Feedback Hub recorded over 17,000 upvotes and over 2,100 comments regarding this feature’s absence.
The people got what they wanted
The inclusion of never combine mode has received an overwhelmingly positive response. Tellingly, one user had stated that their company would only upgrade once this feature was reintroduced.
In addition to this notable enhancement, the recent Dev Preview build includes introducing the Dev Drive feature. It will be part of the forthcoming Windows 11 22H2 ‘Moment 3’ update. Dev Drive, utilizing the ReFS storage volume, is specifically designed to enhance performance for developer workloads.
Microsoft is also testing new backup and restore capabilities for Windows 11, aimed at simplifying the transfer of applications and crucial files when transitioning between PCs. This initiative is being explored through a new Windows Backup app.
Also read: Microsoft Build: overview, convenience and security for developers