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Re-enable the tablet-optimized taskbar in Windows 11 build 25193

As you may remember, for a brief moment of time Insiders in the Dev channel could have a new tablet-optimized taskbar. Microsoft quickly ceased this feature as they planned to rework it. Now it returns back in  Windows 11 build 25193, but is hidden.

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The new tablet user interface includes two variants of the taskbar. The first one included a more compact layout where the taskbar appears "collapsed". In this mode it shows only "critical status icons". It is designed to provide more space to apps and also to prevent tablet users from accidental taskbar taps.

The second layout is a full-features two row tall taskbar that shows everything. It is nicely adjusted for the touch screen with extra spacing, big icons, and so on.

Tablet Optimized Taskbar in Windows 11

The user can switch between these two states by doing a swipe up/down on the taskbar.

The new tablet UI features were introduced in build 22563, but then later were removed in build 22610. Now, they are back. But now it is a hidden feature, so you need to enable it manually. Traditionally ViveTool helps with this kind of tasks.

How to Enable Tablet Optimized Taskbar in Windows 11 build 25193

  1. Navigate to this link to download ViveTool.
  2. Extract the archive to the c:\vivetool folder.
  3. Right-click the Start menu button and select Terminal (Admin).
  4. In PowerShell or Command Prompt tab issue the following command: c:\vivetool\vivetool /enable /id:26008830. By default Terminal opens to PowerShell.
  5. Now, restart Windows 11.
  6. Finally, open the Settings app (Win + I), and navigate to Personalization > Taskbar > Taskbar behaviors.
  7. On the right, turn on (check) the Optimize taskbar for touch interactions when this device is used a tablet option.

Done! It is worth noting that the above mentioned option may do nothing on Desktop PCs without a touch screen. But if your device supports the touch input, you can give it a try.

Reverting the change is also easy. Uncheck the "Optimize taskbar for touch interactions..." option, open a new Terminal as admin, and type the following command:

c:\vivetool\vivetool /disable /id:26008830

The new checkbox will again disappear from the Settings app.

This is not the only thing you can enable with ViveTool in recent builds. There are also new icon animations and live memory dumps hidden deep inside the OS, so check them out.

That's it.

Via @PhantomOfEarth

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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