Windows 11 was officially released two days ago, and here’s another post about 7+ Taskbar Tweaker’s compatibility with it. In short: Nothing changed regarding the tweaker’s compatibility with the new Windows 11 taskbar, and probably never will, but there’s a way to get back the old taskbar, with which 7+ Taskbar Tweaker is mostly compatible.
Getting back the old taskbar in Windows 11
Let’s start with the good news. Even though Microsoft reimplemented the new Windows 11 taskbar from scratch as was mentioned in the previous blog post, the old taskbar code was left beside the new one, and there are several ways to activate it. Here is a great summary of the options by Gaurav, but I’ll just mention the steps that worked for me:
- Install and configure Explorer Patcher for Windows 11, a great project by Valentin-Gabriel Radu which brings back the old taskbar on Windows 11, and fixes some of the quirks that have to be fixed as a result.
- Install the latest beta version of 7+ Taskbar Tweaker (non-beta support will follow soon, keep reading for details).
- Enjoy Windows 11 with the good old taskbar tweaked to your taste.
The latest beta version of 7+ Taskbar Tweaker, 188.8.131.52, has most of the tweaks working with the old taskbar on Windows 11. Originally designed to be compatible with a Windows 10 Dev Channel build, the beta version requires a supporter access code for it to work on Windows 11. Your support is highly appreciated, and if you have any problems with it, feel free to contact me. The latest non-beta version of 7+ Taskbar Tweaker, 5.11.3, doesn’t support the old taskbar on Windows 11. I’ll be working on a new, fully compatible non-beta version, which should be ready in the near future.
Update (October 22): Windows 11 with Windows 10’s taskbar is fully supported in 7+ Taskbar Tweaker v5.12.
Regarding the new taskbar in Windows 11
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, 7+ Taskbar Tweaker will probably never be compatible with the new Windows 11 taskbar. It took a lot of time and effort to implement all of the functionality for the old taskbar, and since most of it has to be reimplemented from scratch, it’s not feasible to have a tool with a similar set of functionality in the short term. At the beginning it will only contain a small subset of the old options. Also, I might end up adding new tweaks which are only relevant for the new taskbar. With all this in mind, it makes sense to start fresh.
I played with the new taskbar a bit, and there are two scopes for possible tweaks:
- Non-UI tweaks, which are about customizing code unrelated to the UI. Of the two, I’m much more familiar with tweaking these kinds of things. An example would be a tweak to close programs on middle click instead of creating a new instance – I don’t need to fiddle with the UI, I can just replace the new instance launching functionality with closing the target program. Actually, I’ve implemented it for the new taskbar and it works nicely.
- UI tweaks, which are about customizing UI code. An example would be a tweak to get back labels on the taskbar. Being unfamiliar with the new UI framework that is used in the new taskbar, I need some time for research to even be able to estimate the difficulty of such tasks. The new UI framework might, or might not, make tweaks easier than for the old taskbar, but at this point I still don’t know how to approach it.
My plan is to start with non-UI tweaks, and at the same time explore the new UI at my spare time. I’ll try to prioritize the tweaks according to the users’ demand, ease of implementation, and my own interest.