7+ Taskbar Tweaker on Windows 11 with Windows 10’s taskbar

Windows 11 was officially released two days ago, and here’s another post about 7+ Taskbar Tweaker’s compatibility with it. In short: Nothing changed regarding the tweaker’s compatibility with the new Windows 11 taskbar, and probably never will, but there’s a way to get back the old taskbar, with which 7+ Taskbar Tweaker is mostly compatible.

Getting back the old taskbar in Windows 11

Let’s start with the good news. Even though Microsoft reimplemented the new Windows 11 taskbar from scratch as was mentioned in the previous blog post, the old taskbar code was left beside the new one, and there are several ways to activate it. Here is a great summary of the options by Gaurav, but I’ll just mention the steps that worked for me:

  • Install and configure Explorer Patcher for Windows 11, a great project by Valentin-Gabriel Radu which brings back the old taskbar on Windows 11, and fixes some of the quirks that have to be fixed as a result.
  • Install the latest beta version of 7+ Taskbar Tweaker (non-beta support will follow soon, keep reading for details).
  • Enjoy Windows 11 with the good old taskbar tweaked to your taste.

The latest beta version of 7+ Taskbar Tweaker, 5.11.2.1, has most of the tweaks working with the old taskbar on Windows 11. Originally designed to be compatible with a Windows 10 Dev Channel build, the beta version requires a supporter access code for it to work on Windows 11. Your support is highly appreciated, and if you have any problems with it, feel free to contact me.

The latest non-beta version of 7+ Taskbar Tweaker, 5.11.3, doesn’t support the old taskbar on Windows 11. I’ll be working on a new, fully compatible non-beta version, which should be ready in the near future.

Regarding the new taskbar in Windows 11

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, 7+ Taskbar Tweaker will probably never be compatible with the new Windows 11 taskbar. It took a lot of time and effort to implement all of the functionality for the old taskbar, and since most of it has to be reimplemented from scratch, it’s not feasible to have a tool with a similar set of functionality in the short term. At the beginning it will only contain a small subset of the old options. Also, I might end up adding new tweaks which are only relevant for the new taskbar. With all this in mind, it makes sense to start fresh.

I played with the new taskbar a bit, and there are two scopes for possible tweaks:

  • Non-UI tweaks, which are about customizing code unrelated to the UI. Of the two, I’m much more familiar with tweaking these kinds of things. An example would be a tweak to close programs on middle click instead of creating a new instance – I don’t need to fiddle with the UI, I can just replace the new instance launching functionality with closing the target program. Actually, I’ve implemented it for the new taskbar and it works nicely.
  • UI tweaks, which are about customizing UI code. An example would be a tweak to get back labels on the taskbar. Being unfamiliar with the new UI framework that is used in the new taskbar, I need some time for research to even be able to estimate the difficulty of such tasks. The new UI framework might, or might not, make tweaks easier than for the old taskbar, but at this point I still don’t know how to approach it.

My plan is to start with non-UI tweaks, and at the same time explore the new UI at my spare time. I’ll try to prioritize the tweaks according to the users’ demand, ease of implementation, and my own interest.

Posted in Software, Updates by RaMMicHaeL at October 6th, 2021.
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43 Responses to “7+ Taskbar Tweaker on Windows 11 with Windows 10’s taskbar”

  1. Anon says:

    Thank you for staying motivated! Good luck with the new developments, 7+ taskbar tweaker is one of the tools I wouldn’t use Windows without.

    • Bill Gates says:

      What really pisses me off is that Microsoft has an army of developers and none of them bother implementing features like this into the OS. In fact, they seem to be bent on worsening the vanilla experience, instead of improving it for everyone including power users.

      I cannot imagine my life without this utility. Each time it crashes due to a Windows update, l drop everything I’m doing and go here to look for a beta update. How can the corporate pinheads at MS not see its value is beyond me.

  2. Konamiman says:

    No pressure, but I won’t upgrade to Windows 11 until 7+TT (or an equivalent program) is available for it 🙂 Thanks for not giving up!

    For me the most important feature is “cycle through windows on left click in combined item”, I guess that counts as one of the non-UI tweaks you mentioned?

  3. Carl says:

    As someone who jumped to Windows 11 on a whim, I like the new taskbar but do miss the customisations you made available on the old taskbr with 7+ Taskbar Tweaker. In particular the middle click to close, and volume via scroll-wheel. Thanks in advance in case you do end up implementing some Non-UI tweaks. In case you don’t, thank you for all your work in the past. Projects like this are what make the internet feel human and hopeful.

  4. Ryn says:

    我已经因为不能取消合并任务栏,并且无法兼容7+
    花了一天时间升级到了WIN11,又退回了WIN10。

  5. Hank says:

    As a long-time user, I look forward to anything you bring us. Windows 11 does need some tweaks to make it comparable to how useful your tool made the previous taskbar.

  6. kju says:

    Great news!

    Im using Explorer Patcher and it works as intended.

    Wish list for new software includes middle click to close and hover/scroll over taskbar to adjust system volume.

    Thanks!

  7. lucas says:

    that’s great news! i’m a long 7+TT user, i can’t imagine windows without this tweak. looking forward to see the WIN11 version of this awesome tool. take your time, as long you don’t let the project die.

    I kind like the new taskbar ( i have a ultra wide monitor and fells better all the icons in the middle of the screen) but having no-grouping and labels are the most important (on selected apps, not all, using taskbar inspector)

    well let’s hope you can find time to port at least some of the tweaks to the new taksbar.

    cheers mate

  8. Troik says:

    I do like the new taskbar, I’m even giving the centered look a chance. What I miss is starting the Taskmanager via the Context menu, but for now, I use the old CTRL-Shift-ESC Hotkey, that’s good enough for now. and I miss Desktop peeking, which they removed completely. Mainly used the tweaker to increase the peek area size.
    Thanks for kkeing us posted, looking forward to what’s possible

  9. Steven says:

    Mouse wheel volume control on taskbar is the feature I use most and can’t go without. I found a working replacement for now but will be switching back as soon as it’s supported. Keep up the great work!

  10. aubai says:

    Benutze StartAllBack von startisback Homepage, da kann man die alte Taskleiste einstellen. Mit der Beta Version von hier funktioniert alles.

  11. duk6046 says:

    Great job! now works well a Drag group with right click

  12. Tom says:

    https://www.startallback.com/ can show labels on the taskbar

  13. Gaurav says:

    It is such a huge relief that we have two solutions, not just one to fix the awful Windows 11 taskbar. Both Explorer Patcher (free, open source) and StartAllBack (very cheap, proprietary) can bring back 100% of the lost functionality as long as the classic Taskbar code is still left intact.

    Then 7+ Taskbar Tweaker does its magical fixes. 🙂 So far all my advanced and UI settings in 7+TT seem to work, once the classic Taskbar is enabled with either of these two projects. Thank you for continuing to support your wonderful app for so many years.

    Things were looking were bleak in July-August but then these two products fixed everything for now. The next big painful challenge will be if/when Microsoft removes the old Taskbar code entirely. Then someone will have to create a full replacement with their own code from scratch (like Classic Shell did for the Start Menu) or reverse engineer the Microsoft’s code and put it back (like StartIsBack did for the Windows 7 Start menu).

  14. Gaurav says:

    With the classic taskbar revived by ExplorerPatcher, if the icons are made larger with 7+TT by doing w10_large_icons=1, then the icons on the taskbar are blurred/scaled incorrectly. Here’s a screenshot:

    https://i.imgur.com/nDUkBdI.png

  15. sccs says:

    Thank you!!!

  16. CATSUPERBERG says:

    Thank you for a great tool. For me there is 3 significant features I’m now missing without working 7+TT: ability to disable combining buttons; control volume with mousewheel and opening taskbar by middle clicking empty space at taskbar.
    Hope those features could be implemented for new taskbar.

  17. Working fine with StartAllBack, not only can you get a vertical taskbar again, but no_width_limit from 7TT still works!

    I’m using an ultrawide monitor, so a horizontal taskbar is a massive waste of space, especially given how tall the new one is. If you do decide to start hacking the Win11 taskbar, then bringing back the option to have it narrow and vertical would be my priority, though I do realise this is likely an enormous undertaking and probably not feasible.

    In the meantime, here’s hoping MS don’t break the old taskbar implementation when 22H1 comes out!

  18. factor says:

    So I started using startallback to get back the uncombined taskbar items but that doesn’t solve one of the main problems from the original win10 taskbar where I can’t reorder apps within the groups!

    Is there a way that 7taskbartweaker could work when startallback is enabled?

  19. Kyrex says:

    I would really appreciate if you could add an option to change the icons to their smaller size, since Windows is missing that toggle on the taskbar settings now. I use a vertical taskbar with the no_width_limit option, but I want it as small as possible.
    I’ve been doing it on my computers with the registry key, but it’s a pain in the arse…

    Thank you for your work!

  20. Gaurav says:

    Hi I am posting a compatibility issue with StartAllBack’s jumplists but I am not sure if this is something to fix in 7+TT or SAB. In StartAllBack (https://www.startallback.com/), Taskbar page, there is an option “Use enhanced classic jumplists”. This enables Windows 7/8.1 style jumplists with right click and drag taskbar button towards center of the screen gesture. After that, Shift+right click shows the window menu as is the standard Windows behavior.

    But if 7+TT is loaded and the option is set show Standard window menu with right click, it still shows jumplists and Shift+right click does nothing. Is it possible to make 7+TT work with this feature of SAB?

    • RaMMicHaeL says:

      What happens is that the subclass function of StartAllBack is called before the subclass function of the tweaker, and so the tweaker is not able to affect StartAllBack’s behavior. The order of subclass function calls is not specified/guaranteed.

      I can find a tweak for it, but instead of me tweaking other customization tools, I think it’s best for StartAllBack to handle it, since the whole “classic jumplists” functionality is provided by it.

      • Gaurav says:

        I see! Thank you for taking a look at it. I will try my best to get the developer of StartAllBack to fix it. I reported it to him but since then he has put out a new version without the necessary fix. I will prompt him again. 🙂 Again, thank for the technical details which give us ordinary users some clue about the problem.

      • Gaurav says:

        Well Tihiy’s stance on this was “Well then don’t use classic/standard window menu then”. 🙄🙄

  21. lee says:

    thx, i suffered black weird bar in file explore. after following this and 7+ beta it fixed. however i can’t see time and internet. and even battery status in right side of task bar. can you tell me how to uninstall and go back to original one?

  22. Notim Portant says:

    This is probably gonna be an unpopular opinion but hear me out there.

    I feel like these kind of user experience enhancing programs aimed for new Windows versions are either should be never supported for Windows 11, or should be sold at some rather expensive prices if it is gonna eventually happen.

    One of the reasons these new Windows versions get widespread usage is that because someone, somewhere, eventually finds a way to get rid of this crap.

    And with the recent breakages, it is clear that Microsoft simply hates people who wants to use their OS in a personalized way. Why should any developer constantly put up with this? It is like an uphill battle without a win in the clear sight for the side who fights against the soldiers on the top of the hill.

    • RaMMicHaeL says:

      One of the reasons these new Windows versions get widespread usage is that because someone, somewhere, eventually finds a way to get rid of this crap.

      I don’t have data to back it up, but I don’t think that it’s true. I think that the majority of Windows users just get used to what’s available, and many don’t even notice any difference. Us, the minority who cares, are left with several options, such as keeping to use an old Windows version, getting used to the changes like the rest, or find workarounds like the tweaker.

      Of course, it depends on how bad the breakage is. That’s why Microsoft brought back the start menu after Windows 8, and that’s why Microsoft is talking about bringing back the vertical taskbar. But I won’t be surprised if less popular customization options will never be re-implemented.

      • Notim Portant says:

        Good point, I had written my comment when I was frustrated with it.

        But still, this all feels like an abusive relationship lol.

        I honestly hope for a better way outta this.

  23. Ivan says:

    Thanks! It’s the best solution for me!

  24. Tony says:

    Thanks, 7+ Taskbar Tweaker working great once ExplorerPatcher is installed. The one minor issue for me is that I have to manually run the 7+ Taskbar Tweaker application each time booting up the computer, even when the run at startup option is enabled.

    Perhaps the taskbar tweaker is running before ExplorerPatcher is loaded during the startup process?

    • RaMMicHaeL says:

      It should just work. Even if it was the case, the tweaker should sit in the tray and wait for explorer to initialize.

      Make sure that the checkbox to run the tweaker at startup is enabled in the settings, and that the startup item is not disabled in Task Manager (the Startup tab).

  25. Timothy says:

    If you make a 11 Taskbar Tweaker, I am there and more than happy to donate to help offset the work for critical features. Critical being things like getting non-combined buttons again (if it’s even possible). Anyway, this work around is awesome! Hopefully it can hold us over until the new shell code is better understood and features can be implemented again.

    I see nothing wrong with letting go of some of the old features that were left over from the Win7 days. It’s been a long time and things change. There are new priorities and possibly cool new tweaks we never even though of before that may be possible (who knows).

    Thanks again and just point us in the direction for more donations, subscriptions, bounty — however you think you might want to monetize all the work this is going to take. You deserve it! Meanwhile, I’ll chip in a few more bucks in the existing donation link. 🙂

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