Windows 11 build 25197 will bring back the tablet-optimized taskbar and redesigned system tray for PCs that can be used as tablets like 2-in-1s. Users with regular laptops or desktop PCs won’t get this update.
The taskbar was first introduced in February and was later pulled for more internal development. The taskbar is designed to be hidden when a tablet user isn’t using it, allowing for more screen real estate.
“We are re-introducing tablet-optimized taskbar and System Tray updates. These changes are beginning to roll out, so not all Insiders in the Dev Channel will see these changes right away,” Microsoft said in its blog.
Nothing functionally has changed with either feature, meaning they still operate as they did when they were first put into preview many months ago.
As mentioned in the blog: “We’re re-introducing the touch-optimized taskbar that’s designed to make you feel more confident and comfortable using your device as a tablet. Your taskbar will automatically transition to this optimized version when you disconnect or fold back the keyboard on your 2-in-1 device. This feature only works on devices that can be used as tablets and do not work on laptops or desktop PCs.
As a reminder, this taskbar has two states: collapsed and expanded. In the collapsed state, the taskbar gets out of your way, gives you more screen space, and prevents you from accidentally invoking the taskbar while holding your tablet. In the expanded state, the taskbar is optimized to be easier to use with touch. You can easily switch between the two states by swiping up and down on the bottom of your device.”
Besides this, Microsoft is also rolling out other features that work on non-2-in-1 devices, like the ‘System Tray.’ One of the best visual improvements has to do with the Settings app. When you switch between the categories on the left-side menu, users can now see animated icons and illustrations on the Settings app by adding them to its sidebar when hovering over the options in the menu. This makes the experience more spirited.
Lastly, there are updates to fix some bugs to the Settings, Task Manager, Windowing, and Widgets.