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What options exist for customizing the Windows 8.1 taskbar?

If you made changes or personalizations to your taskbar in Windows 7, you'll be happy to learn that many of the same customization options are available for the Windows 8.1 taskbar.

Microsoft provides quite a few different options for customizing the Windows 8.1 taskbar. The options that are available vary depending on the version of Windows that you are using, but customizations among versions of Windows are similar.

One of the simplest things that you can do with the Windows 8.1 taskbar is to relocate it. By default, the Windows taskbar is positioned at the bottom of the screen, but you can use drag and drop to move it to the left or right side, or to the top of the screen.

You can access the rest of the options for customizing the taskbar by right clicking on an empty area of the taskbar and selecting the Properties command from the shortcut menu. The resulting dialog box allows you to make various customizations.

One of the more commonly used options on this dialog box is Auto Hide. When this option is enabled, the taskbar is hidden from view. You can access the taskbar by moving the mouse to the bottom of the screen.

Another way of customizing the Windows 8.1 taskbar is to enable and disable various notifications. To do so, right click on an empty area of the taskbar and select the Properties command from the resulting menu. When the Taskbar and Navigation Properties dialog box appears, click on the Customize button found in the Notification Area section. Doing so will allow you to control the various notifications that are displayed.

For each notification type, you can choose to show the icon and notifications, show notifications only, or hide the icon and the notifications. Notification customizations are available for the Action Center, volume, Windows Explorer and the network. There may also be hardware- or application-specific notification options that are not a part of the core operating system.

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This was last published in May 2015

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