Microsoft drops Windows 11’s taskbar tablet UI, but system tray reorder feature is still missing

Windows 11 tablet taskbar UI

Unlike Windows 10, Windows 11 doesn’t come with a dedicated
tablet mode, so Microsoft has decided to apply improvements to
the desktop UX to better support tablets, an approach the
company previously employed for Windows 8.

It goes without saying that Windows on a 2-in-1 is in a much
better position today, but there’s still room for improvements.
In recent preview builds, Microsoft made several improvements
and key changes to the taskbar to better support the taskbar on
a tablet or 2-in-1 device.

For example, Microsoft created a new minimized taskbar
interface, which aims to take less space when you’re not using
it. This is particularly useful on small-screen tablets as it
gives more space to the apps running on the device and it’s
similar to how mobile operating systems work.

Taskbar tablet UI

Like Android or iOS, you could swipe up from the taskbar to
expand it and access the pinned apps. When you swipe up from
the bottom of the desktop on a tablet, a thick taskbar would
appear with large icons to help tablet folks easily click on
the icons.

This might sound like a good idea, but there’s a catch –
Microsoft’s new feature made it harder to use system tray
capabilities in Windows 11. To better support this new
tablet-optimized taskbar, Microsoft removed the ability to drag
and drop icons displayed inside or around the system tray.

With
Windows 11 Build 22610, Microsoft has now pulled the
“tablet-optimized” taskbar, citing feedback from early testers.
It looks like the company received tons of negative reviews as
the tablet-optimized taskbar ended up causing usability issues
on tablets.

Microsoft has made it clear that the feature is not returning
anytime soon, which means it won’t ship with
Windows 11’s anniversary update.

As Microsoft officials have previously said, features that show
up in the Beta or Dev channels won’t always see the light of
day.

Windows 11’s system tray drag and drop capability is still
missing

Although the tablet-optimized taskbar has been pulled from the
preview builds, users are still unable to reorder/drag and drop
icons inside or around the system tray.

Windows 11 system tray UI

In other words, if you want to reorder system tray icons or
move icons to the system tray when they’re outside, the only
option is to use the Settings app and manually toggle on/off
for all icons (if available).

In a Feedback Hub post, Microsoft previously confirmed that the
system tray’s drag and drop capability was removed for the
tablet-optimized taskbar:

“We’ll be continuing to monitor this feedback, but with the
updates we made for the new tablet-optimized taskbar in Build
22563, we’re no longer supporting dragging icons in the system
tray or between the system tray and the show hidden icons
flyout. Instead, you should use the Settings >
Personalization > Taskbar > System tray section to manage
these icons,” Microsoft said.

At this point, we don’t know if Microsoft is still willing to
undo this unnecessary change concerning the taskbar as the
company is not talking about it on any public platform.

For now, make sure you upvote the feedback post in the Feedback Hub in
a bid to bring back the missing drag and drop functionality in
the system tray.

It is also worth noting that Windows 11 22H2 is set to hit the
RTM status later this month, so there’s enough time for
Microsoft to revert this wanted change.

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