How to restore the Windows 10 taskbar on Windows 11

The Windows 11 taskbar gets worse with every release, and widget popups, copilot buttons, and an expanded search bar don't help either. Here's the idea, what if you destroyed the whole thing with a nuke? What if you could restore the Windows 10 taskbar so that you could place it on any edge of the screen, or see full-width app names again? Microsoft won't let you do this, but the free, open-source utility does, and it doesn't require any modifications to the registry or command prompt: all you need to do is download and install the ExplorerPatcher app.

How ExplorerPatcher’s Windows 10 Taskbar Works

Once you launch it, the taskbar will automatically revert to Windows 10 style, even after you restart your computer. It is important to note here that Microsoft may disable this application in the Windows 11 24H2 update released in late 2024. But we're sure the developer community will find a solution for this. Until then, you can choose not to update to 24H2, and if you're running Windows 11 23H2, you won't be forced to update, and the version will be supported until November 2025, plenty of time to sort out the taskbar situation Came out on his own.

By default, the application makes some changes to the Windows 11 taskbar, start menu, and file explorer. This includes system tray icons, pop-up menus, taskbar buttons, etc. By default, you will find that the app displays the Windows 10 startup icon in the upper left corner of the screen. Next to it will be a Search button and Task View button that together display all open applications and windows (can be disabled). Next, you'll find the Apps section, just like before in Windows 10. You'll see the full names of applications and windows, underlined to show open applications. Hover over to see a preview and contextual buttons.

On the other side of the taskbar you'll find the amazing weather widget from Windows 10 (yes, it's back!), then you'll find the system tray icon, the gear icon for opening Control Center, the clock , a notification button, and then a dedicated "Show Desktop" button that you can quickly click to display the desktop.

Of course, the interesting part here is that even the popup menu is from Windows 10. So when you click the Control Center button, you'll see Windows 10 style for quick settings and switching. The same goes for clocks. It will show you a large calendar view, as well as upcoming appointments (in Windows 11, this is merged with notifications).

How to customize the taskbar to make it better

The default settings are fine on their own. But the best thing about using ExplorerPatcher is that you can mix and match to your liking. Every element of the taskbar and start menu is customizable.

First, let's align the Start menu and taskbar to the left edge of the screen (the app defaults to the center-aligned option). Right-click an empty part of the taskbar and click Properties . Go to Start Menu > Start Menu Style and select the Windows 10 option. The Start menu will still pop up from the center, though, so go to the location on the screen and select the On screen edge option.

Now, let's customize the taskbar itself. From Taskbar > Main taskbar position on screen, you can dock the taskbar to the top of the screen. In the taskbar section, you can also choose to hide the search button or the task view button. You can also move the entire taskbar to the center (while still acting like a Windows 10 taskbar). If you prefer, you can also revert to Windows 11-style taskbar icons.

You can customize the flyout button for each system tray menu. Go to the system tray and you can choose what displays when you click Network , Clock , or other options. You can choose to see a Windows 8 style menu or a Windows 11 startup flyout.

ExplorerPatcher also fixes the entire weather widget issue in Windows 11. If you want to see the weather on your taskbar at all times, but don't want all the widgets to be useless when you click on it, go to Weather > Show Weather on Taskbar . Now, the old weather widget is back.

If you want to disable the taskbar or return to the Windows 11 taskbar, just uninstall the app and restart your PC. You can also do this by keeping the app. Go to Properties > About > Restore Default Settings to restore the Windows 11 style taskbar.