With the Dev channel build 25211 Microsoft re-introduced the ability to drag-n-drop icons in the system tray on the taskbar. However, this novelty is not available to everyone. The company is rolling out it gradually, starting with a small group of users. Luckily, it is easy to activate this feature manually.
Windows 11 comes with a new taskbar that no longer includes most of its classic features. The user cannot change its on-screen position, disable icon grouping, and enable text labels for running apps. Even its context menu has been simplified, and contains only one "Settings" item.
Microsoft is slowly restoring the missing taskbar functionality, and also adds new modern features. Dev channel builds feature a new tablet-optimized taskbar and improved widgets. Finally, starting in build 25211 the taskbar context menu again includes the task manager entry.
Also in this build, Microsoft has added the ability to re-arrange tray icons with drag and drop. This feature isn't tied to the tablet-optimized taskbar, it works for the default UI mode.
By default, it is only available to a small select group of users, but anyone can enable it with help of the open source ViveTool app. Here's how.
Enable drag-n-drop for tray icons in Windows 11 build 25211
- Download ViveTool from this GitHub page and extract it to the c:\vivetool folder.
- Press Win + X and select Terminal (Admin) to open an elevated console.
- In PowerShell or Command Prompt, run the following command:
c:\vivetool\vivetool /enable /id:38764045
- Restart Windows 11 to apply the change.
You are done.
Now, try to move tray icons. The taskbar should now support this feature.
Later you can disable this feature with the following command:
c:\vivetool\vivetool /disable /id:38764045
Don't forget to run it from an elevated Terminal or Command Prompt.
It is good to see that Microsoft continues to improve the taskbar in Windows 11 and restores the features it lost on the way from Windows 10. Hopefully it will eventually receive the ability to ungroup apps and show their text labels.
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