Two minutes from now you will learn all the parts of Windows 8 taskbar and their functionality.  

In this Windows 8 tutorial I will describe 

  • All the elements of Windows 8 taskbar.
  • How to go to Taskbar properties and change them.

Windows 8 taskbar is the same old taskbar we find in Windows 7. Only difference is we cannot find the Start button and Start menu. They are replaced with Start screen. We have explained Windows Start screen in the previous post. So, let’s go through the Taskbar in details.

Windows 8 Taskbar Elements

Windows 8 taskbar explained

Taskbar buttons

Taskbar buttons were introduced in Windows 7. It was cool at that time but hardly used the full functionality of them. You can pin frequently use desktop applications to taskbar and launch them with one click. Each desktop application will have its native functionalities (eg. sign in and sign out)  and information (eg. history). You can access these functionalities and information by right click on pinned applications.


Toolbars is another feature which has been there for sometimes. You can right click on the taskbar and select toolbars and add a toolbar to taskbar. Improved virtual keyboard is one of the added toolbar.

touch keyboard

Notification Area

Windows operating system and desktop applications need to notify the user in various situations. These notifications will display right hand side of the taskbar. You have full control over notifications. You can switch on or off the notifications or set it to display notification only if it there is a notification. Go to Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Notification Area Icons to manage notifications or Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Notification Area Icons\System Icons to manage System Icons.

Notification Area Icons


There is nothing new with the clock. It can display up to three clocks for different time zone. However, personally I think this needs to be improved a lot.  Some basic features like alarm clock is missing.

Show Desktop Button

This is another feature added in Windows 7 but did not have much use at that time. However, with touch screen devices show desktop button will be useful. You can add show desktop or Peek at desktop features.

Taskbar Properties

Right click on the taskbar and click properties to access taskbar properties. you can lock or unlock taskbar, enable or disable Auto-hide the taskbar or you can use smaller taskbar buttons. Alos, you can move task bar to bottom, left, right or top.  You can choose how you want to arrange the taskbar buttons.

Taskbar Properties

We can clearly see most of the features that is require to replace Start button and Start menu is already been added to the taskbar in Windows 7.