A highly requested classic Taskbar feature is coming to Windows 11 soon — here's a first look

Windows 11 Taskbar with show labels
The Windows 11 Taskbar with the new show labels option enabled. (Image credit: Albacore on Twitter)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft has been working on bringing back some classic Taskbar features to Windows 11 for some time.
  • The latest preview builds include two hidden features that have been highly requested by users.
  • These features are "never combine" and "show app labels" for running apps.

Microsoft has been slowly working on bringing back some classic features to the Windows 11 Taskbar. Most recently, it added back the ability to show seconds in the system tray, and it also re-added the ability to launch the Task Manager by right-clicking anywhere on the Taskbar.

Now, two more classic features are making a return, and the latest Windows 11 preview builds now have a functional version for us to check out, albeit in a hidden state for now. First spotted by Albacore on Twitter, the ability to "never combine" and "show app labels" on the Taskbar is now functional, and works exactly like it used to on Windows 10 and prior versions of the OS.

Being able to never combine and show app labels has been a highly requested feature for many classic Taskbar users, who prefer the old-school method of manually managing the position of running apps on the Taskbar, as well as being able to see the titles of running apps.

The short video from Albacore shows what the Windows 11 Taskbar looks like when show app labels is enabled and it looks just like it did on previous versions of Windows, which should be very exciting for users who have been waiting for this functionality to return.

Microsoft has been rebuilding the Taskbar on Windows 11 from the ground up, which is why so many classic Taskbar features were absent from the first two releases of Windows 11. But as Microsoft continues to build-out the new Taskbar, it's also been adding back older features that users have been asking for most.

While not everything will be making a return, it's good to see that features like never combine and show app labels are in the works and will likely show up in an official Windows 11 update later in the year.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter and Threads