7+ Taskbar Tweaker and a first look at Windows 11

Non-functional 7+ Taskbar Tweaker on Windows 11

About a week ago, on June 24, Microsoft officially announced the next version of Windows, Windows 11, the successor to Windows 10 which was released in 2015. Among the new features of Windows 11 is the redesigned interface throughout the operating system, which also affects the taskbar. As with previous releases of new Windows versions, Windows 11 breaks compatibility with 7+ Taskbar Tweaker, and even though Windows 11 wasn’t released yet and the first Insider Preview build was just released this week, users started to ask about compatibility of the tweaker with the new Windows version. I spent some time this weekend looking at the taskbar of Windows 11, and below are my findings.

Even though the taskbar of Windows 11 looks fairly similar to the taskbar of Windows 10, just centered and with different colors and animations, the implementation of the visual part of the taskbar is completely new, written from scratch using a new technology called XAML Islands (documentation, code samples). The XAML Islands feature, available since Windows 10 version 1903, allows non-UWP desktop apps to host UWP (Universal Windows Platform) controls, allowing to gradually modernize existing native apps without having to rewrite them completely.

In the image below I marked in red the parts of the taskbar which were reimplemented in Windows 11 using UWP controls, and in green – the parts that weren’t. As you can see, only the non-system part of the notification area and the thumbnail preview still use the same technology as they did in earlier Windows versions, and I suspect that the thumbnail preview window might be migrated in the near future to get a UI with rounded corners like the other parts of the new taskbar.

Also, I marked in red the tweaker’s options that have to be reimplemented from scratch, either because they depend on built-in functionality that is no longer available, or because they rely on implementation details that were completely replaced with a new implementation. The options that are not marked in red might have a chance to be tweaked to work with the new taskbar, but that requires more research, and might still require a large amount of work.

One example for removed functionality is the “Never group” option which shows each window as an individual, labeled button, and never combines them. The tweaker provides flexible options for controlling combining and labels which are not available in Windows out of the box, but to achieve that it uses the existing functionality. In Windows 11, this is no longer possible.

An example for an option that is not marked in red that I briefly looked at is the “Don’t group” option. That’s probably the most popular option of the tweaker, and it has existed since version 1.0 which was released in 2009. Its implementation is rather simple, and I even blogged about it back in 2013 (in Russian, here’s an English translation via Google Translate). Now, with the new taskbar, this simple implementation is no longer enough, probably due to new assumptions that were added to the new code, causing side effects and instability:

 
You’re probably wondering what’s going to happen with 7+ Taskbar Tweaker as a result of these changes in Windows 11. I see three options going forward:

  1. Fix the incompatibility by reimplementing and/or adjusting the code to work with the new taskbar implementation of Windows 11.
  2. Create a new tool (11 Taskbar Tweaker?) or come up with a new solution to achieve the customization that 7+ Taskbar Tweaker provides for Windows 10 and below.
  3. Do nothing and give up on taskbar customization for Windows 11.

I’ll do my best to go with option 1 or 2, not 3. I need to get more familiar with the new technology and implementation, and I also want to wait and see whether new customization options are added to the new taskbar in newer builds. For now, I lean towards option 2, but I don’t promise feature parity, and currently I can’t tell when I’ll have something to show.

Posted in Software, Updates by Michael (Ramen Software) on July 3rd, 2021.
Tags:

134 Responses to “7+ Taskbar Tweaker and a first look at Windows 11”

  1. torla says:

    it works great for me on win 11, with small corrections

    instal this:
    https://ninite.com/classicstart/ninite.exe
    and
    Winaero Tweaker

  2. Armin Torlakovic says:

    install Winaero Tweaker – classic taskbar – eneble. restart pc. Work

  3. Hello says:

    Hello,

    Please option 2 !
    Also, I would love a second page on the taskbar to differentiate workflows 🙂

  4. Aaron says:

    Thank you for this update and for trying to figure this out for all of us! It’s very much apprecated.

  5. Phuong says:

    I think it’s option 2, because in a few years microsoft will stop supporting windows 10.

  6. Ala says:

    Is it possible to extract the “Don’t group” feature in a stand-alone program ? It is really the most wanted feature.

  7. Kevin says:

    There are so many great functions of 7+TT, and one of my fav’s that I miss dearly on Win11 is the “Advanced Options | OptionsEx | w10_large_icons”. I spent a lot of time making custom icons for my Win10 taskbar, but now my taskbar in Win11 looks like hell if/until we can get a w11_large_icons …

      • Kevin says:

        Thanks for your reply RaMMicHael. I have to say, your w10_large_icons solution is magnitudes better than that Win11 registry mod. For some reason, Windows does a very low quality downgrade/compression of 32 pixel icons to 24 very blurry pixels on their task bars (both Win10 & Win11). The registry mod above actually makes the icons worse, bc it takes those low quality, compressed 24pxl. icons and blows them up to 35pxl. icons. We all know you can’t increase resolution of pics without introducing even more pixelation.

        Your solution in the Win10 7+TT was so awesome, bc you could use native 32pxl. icons that stayed sharp on the taskbar, with no added blur. It had the 2nd benefit of allowing more icons as well, by reducing the spaces between.

        Love your work, RaMMicHael !!!

  8. GioveFi says:

    Please implement at least the REORDER FUNCTION… is so useful for me !!

    As I can see from your screenshot maybe is already almost working… maybe is not so great job with your knowledge !

    Thank for your effort !

  9. aubai says:

    Hallo, have you, now is December, a testversion for Win 11 Taskview, or when cames a testversion vor real win 11 2200 ?

  10. aubai says:

    Thanks for you answer, I’am waiting.

  11. Jack Wadle says:

    Awaiting new version of Taskbar Tweaker for Windows 11.

  12. Ilia says:

    Can’t wait when the version for Windows 11 becomes available.

    The most anticipated feature is reordering the taskbar items while preserving the order when switching between virtual desktops.

    Meantime, I’m using a Windows 10 taskbar.

    Thanks for doing a great job!

  13. Guy BRUNEAU says:

    Bonjour,

    Ce mail dans un premier temps pour vous encourager et vous affirmer de mon soutient…
    Comme tout ceux qui l’utilisaient, je suis frustré et déçu ne ne pas retrouver mes fonctions préférées de 7+TT.
    Notamment (pour ce qui me concerne) :
    – scroller avec la molette pour ajuster le volume
    – double-clic pour réduire toutes les fenêtres actives
    J’ai donc hâte comme beaucoup de retrouver mon petit confort avec 7- Taskbar Tweaker…

    Bon courage
    Bien à vous

  14. Matjaz says:

    I installed Windows 11 and OMG you can’t change the volume unless you click twice. Are they crazy at Microsoft? I immediately restored Windows 10 back and I am using 7 taskbar tweeker again.

  15. Corentin says:

    Merci pour cet excellent article sur Windows 11.

    7 Taskbar Tweaker apporte à la “superbarre” de Windows toutes les options de configuration et les réglages qui peuvent manquer à la barre des tâches de ce système d’exploitation.

    Après un processus d’installation rapide et sans problème, 7 Taskbar Tweaker s’affiche sur votre bureau avec une série d’options qui vous permettent de modifier le comportement de la superbarre – et qui ne sont pas incluses par défaut dans le système d’exploitation.

  16. Michael Anthony Abril says:

    Thanks for all of your years of hard work on this project. I’ll probably delay updating to Win11 precisely because I get so much out of productivity-increasing tools such as this. I’m sure Microsoft has spent massive amounts of cash on their new OS, but ironically you do far more for the user than they do, and it’s made all the more difficult by their continual, useless changes that force you to issue new compatibility patches. Thank you, again, for what you do.

  17. Peter G says:

    Would appreciate this so much. The two most desired features by myself and probably many others: re-ordering in system tray, and remove wide spacing in system tray.

    For what it’s worth, although the title syntax of “7+…” was catchy, you’re likely to get more search results and downloads if you title the new tool “Windows 11…” as opposed to just “11…”

  18. Karina says:

    Hi! Do you have a program like this to manage and disable tabs , ie, open hyperlinks in new window ?
    Thanks!

  19. dawid says:

    Hi!
    I know that Win 11 is not officially supported. I use 22H2 version, which probably is even worse… but… Im addicted to middle-click-closing window, which don’t work. Unfortunately for some other reasons im forced to work on 22h2 :(.
    Now with 7+ tweaker and explorerpatcher, middle click close works only on first window, but when I try to close second window it results in explorer.exe kill & restart (of explorer).
    Windhawk mod doesn’t work at all.
    If you will find a way to fix that, it would be very happy day for me 🙂
    thanks!

    • Hi Dawid,

      Windhawk’s Middle click to close on the taskbar mod works for me on Windows 11 22H2 (build 22621, without Explorer Patcher). Can you please try again? Note that some of Windhawk’s mods, this mod including, rely on Microsoft symbols which are sometimes released with a delay.

      Regarding 7+ Taskbar Tweaker crashes, I’m aware that Windows 11 22H2 broke 7+ Taskbar Tweaker and that it needs to be updated. I’ll look at it as soon as I have some spare time for it.

    • Hi again,
      I’ve just released a new version of 7+ Taskbar Tweaker, 5.13, which adds support for Windows 11 version 22H2 (build 22621).

  20. Waffles says:

    I use mainly OpenShell for making Windows 10 tolerable. The one, critical feature I use 7+ Taskbar Tweaker for that OpenShell can’t do is the Taskbar Inspector which lets me re-order windows within a group. Having windows in a specific order significantly impacts my productivity, so I hope there’s no great barrier to supporting this feature in Windows 11.

  21. Aaa says:

    Hello,

    did someone test the toool StartAllBack?

    The author promises a lot to tune windows 11 back to windows 7:

    https://www.startallback.com/

Leave a Reply