Last year, we reported that Microsoft has started working on the much-awaited ‘Never Combine Taskbar Button’ feature for Windows 11. The good news, however, is that we’ve again seen evidence that Microsoft is actively working on it.
Windows enthusiast Albacore has spotted the ‘Never Combine Taskbar Button’ functionality in the latest Windows 11 Dev Channel build. On his Twitter timeline, he gave us a demo of the current state of the feature, detailing how it currently works in Windows 11. This could mean that Microsoft is very close to releasing the capability to Windows 11 Insiders.
For those unaware, ‘Never Combine Taskbar Buttons’ is essentially taskbar tab grouping. When enabled, the Taskbar Buttons drop-down menu shows individual taskbar buttons for each window and shows app labels on the taskbar buttons. If you don’t want Windows to combine taskbar buttons and hide app labels for a single app, you need to select the ‘Never Combine’ option. Unfortunately, this feature is available in Windows 10, but it did not make its way to Windows 11.
Are taskbar item labels (as well as ungrouped items) really on the way out in Windows 11?
Here’s a demo of the feature’s current state, certainly compared to the last time we saw it
Some of the settings have been tampered with in the video so you can see how it reacts pic.twitter.com/7A7H0MWpJV
— Albacore (@thebookisclosed) April 19, 2023
When ‘Never Combine Taskbar Buttons’ first appeared on Windows 11 last year, it was forcibly disabled, and as a result, it was impossible to enable using ViveTool. This hasn’t changed yet, which means there’s no ID available to enable the feature, not even the more Insiders.
It’s one of the highly requested Windows 11 features, but it’s too late to hear a Microsoft response. But since we saw ‘Never Combine Taskbar Buttons’ in Windows 11 twice, it can be said with some degree of certainty that Microsoft will introduce it in Insider Preview builds in the coming months. Worse, it could debut on Windows 12, which is expected to be released next year.