An Incomplete, Borrowed Legacy From Windows 10X
Windows 11 is based on Windows 10X, which was created by Microsoft for a different type of hardware platform with two screens. The taskbar and Start menu were redesigned along the way to make them more user-friendly. Microsoft adapted 10X to single-screen devices after abandoning the dual-screen concept, and later migrated Windows 10X interface elements (such as a new Start menu and taskbar) to Windows 11.
We’ll be stuck with a dramatically simplified Start menu and taskbar when Windows 11 launches in October 2021, both of which lack many of the power-user options that Windows 10 users take for granted. You can’t resize the Start menu or the taskbar, for example, or move the taskbar to different sides of the screen. (Fortunately, you can move the Start menu to the taskbar’s left side.)
It’s possible that Microsoft will add these features to Windows 11 in the future—and we hope it does. If the development of Windows 10 is any indication, Microsoft will most likely continue to improve Windows 11 over time. It’s unclear whether Microsoft considers a resizable taskbar or Start menu to be an improvement.
Taskbar and Start Solutions
In Windows 11, you can move the icons on the taskbar to the left side of the screen (including the Start button), but you can’t resize the taskbar itself. There is a workaround that involves editing the Windows Registry, but it comes with some drawbacks: The results aren’t perfect, and there are only three sizes available. If you’re still interested, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to show you how.
We don’t know of a way to resize the Start menu in Windows 11, but you can potentially replace it. Stardock has created a program called Start11 (which is still in early development as of October 2021) that lets you replace the Windows 11 Start menu with one that looks more like Windows 10. Also, a free Start replacement called Open-Shell has been reported to work in Windows 11 with a few tweaks. Open-Shell‘s are likely to add full Windows 11 support in the future.
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In the absence of those options, the best course of action may be to send Microsoft feedback via the Feedback Hub app that comes with Windows 11. If you believe Microsoft should make the taskbar and Start menu more flexible in Windows 11, the best course of action may be to send Microsoft feedback via the Feedback Hub app that comes with Windows 11. To do so, open Start and type “feedback” into the search box, then click the Feedback Hub icon.
Click “Suggest a Feature” when the window opens, then type in the details of what you’d like to see.
You can also try sending Microsoft messages via social media (such as Twitter). But remember to be courteous—Microsoft engineers are working hard to create the best software possible, even if we don’t always agree with their design decisions. In the future, there will always be room for change.