Windows 11’s taskbar drag and drop support is probably coming back

Windows 11 taskbar upgrade

Windows 11 has a redesigned Start menu and it’s placed in the
center of the taskbar, perfect for those with large monitors
and touch screens. In addition to a new Start menu, Microsoft
has also created a new taskbar for Windows 11 and it’s based on
XAML modern code.

Recently, users discovered that they cannot drag and drop files
into app icons like File Explorer on the taskbar. This was
possible in Windows 10 and other versions of Windows, and it’s
a handy way to open files in certain apps or pin shortcuts to
the taskbar.

In Windows 11, if you drag a file or folder to the taskbar, an
alert icon appears preventing users from performing the task.
Users hoped that Microsoft would “fix” it ahead of October
2021, but as we anticipated, this change isn’t a bug and it
won’t be fixed in the first version of Windows 11.

Taskbar drag and drop
Taskbar drop and drop blocked in Windows 11 21H2

The new taskbar is a deliberate design choice by Microsoft and
it does offer a modern experience (compatibility with new
system tray), but there are several limitations. In a Feedback
Hub post, Microsoft officials have confirmed that “dragging a
file onto an app in the taskbar to open it in that app” is not
a supported scenario.

However, Microsoft is listening to the feedback and we’re
expecting the return of the functionality in Windows 11 version
22H2 (October 2022 Update).

In Build 22458, Microsoft is experimenting with a new feature
that will allow users to drag and drop files/folders onto an
app like Registry editor in the taskbar. In our tests, we were
able to drag and drop a folder onto the taskbar and pin it to
the File Explorer’s jump list, as shown in the below
screenshot.

Taskbar limitations
Taskbar drag and drop works partially after modifying
registry

Similarly, users can soon drag and drop folders onto an app in
the taskbar and open it in that app. This is currently not
supported in Windows 11 21H2 22000.xxx builds.

This gives us hope that the taskbar drag and drop feature could
be reinstated later on as Windows 11 development advances.

It’s not yet clear when a full-fledged taskbar will be enabled
for users and there are other
taskbar features being dropped in favour of a modern Windows 11
taskbar. For instance, it’s no longer possible to display
clock seconds in the taskbar. Likewise, the taskbar is now
locked to the bottom of the screen, so you cannot move the
taskbar either.

Here’s a list of all taskbar limitations:

  • Drag and drop feature is no longer supported.
  • Taskbar is locked to the bottom.
  • Clock seconds on the taskbar is no longer supported.
  • Right-click menu no longer lets you access options like
    Task manager.
  • Windows 11 disables events integration in the calendar
    flyout.
  • Modern taskbar does not allow you to ungroup items/apps.

Unfortunately, Windows 11 will be shipping with these taskbar
limitations on October 5, but it would be offered as an
optional upgrade, so you can skip it and download Windows 10
October 2021 Update instead.

If you choose to upgrade, you can still restore the classic
taskbar experience using third-party paid apps or open-source
tools.

For example, you can try StartIsBack, a popular Start menu
replacement for Windows 11. This tool restores the classic
taskbar design and lets you move the taskbar, and you can also
the original system tray from previous versions of Windows. Of
course, you can also get a classic Start menu from Windows 7.

Other features going away with Windows 11

According to official documentation, Windows 11 will also
remove Windows Timeline integration and Cortana will no longer
be included in the first boot experience.

Microsoft noted that the desktop wallpaper cannot be synced
across devices and Live Tiles are no longer available as part
of the redesigned Start.

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