How to Enable or Disable Grouping and Labeling of Taskbar Icons in Windows 11

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The article provides a detailed guide to enabling or disabling “never combined mode” in Windows 11, essentially allowing users to individually see each application window and their corresponding labels on the Taskbar. It explains two methods for modifying these settings: through the Windows Settings app and using the Windows Registry Editor. Both methods allow for…

This article explains how to configure the Taskbar to always or never combine the Taskbar button and hide labels in Windows 11.

The Taskbar in Windows displays the Start menu, Widgets, Windows Search box, Microsoft Teams Chat, File Explorer, Windows Store app, and a few other apps’ icons. It is also centered in the middle of the screen.

If multiple displays or monitors are connected to Windows, you can show the Taskbar on all your monitors. You can also automatically hide the Taskbar or remove the clock from the Taskbar.

One feature available in previous Windows versions but recently added in Windows 11 is the “never combined mode.”

In never combined mode, you’ll individually see each window of your applications on the Taskbar and their corresponding labels. Starting with Windows 11 build 23466, you can control these settings.

Choose to always or never combine the Taskbar button and labels

As described above, starting with Windows 11 build 23466, you can control Taskbar elements by always or never combining them and hiding the labels.

Here’s how to do that.

First, open the Windows Settings app.

You can do that by clicking on the Start menu and selecting Settings. Or press the keyboard shortcut (Windows key + I) to launch the Settings app.

When the Setting app opens, click the Personalization button on the left.

Windows 11 Personalization in the Settings app

On the right, select the Taskbar tile to expand it.

Windows 11 time and language typing tile

Select and expand the Taskbar behavior tile on the Personalization -> Taskbar settings pane, then choose one of the following for the tiles below:

  • Combine taskbar buttons and hide labels:
    • Always
    • When Taskbar is full
    • Never
  • Combine Taskbar buttons and hide labels on other taskbars:
    • Always
    • When Taskbar is full
    • Never
Windows 11 combine Taskbar buttons and hide labels.

You can close the Settings app when done.

Turn on or off never combined mode via the Registry Editor

Another way users can turn on or off never combined mode in Windows 11 is to use the Windows Registry Editor.

First, open the Windows Registry, and navigate to the folder key below.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

If you don’t see the Advanced folder key, right-click on the Explorer key, then create the subkey (Advanced) folders.

windows registry advanced key
Windows registry advanced key

Right-click the Advanced folder key’s right pane and select New -> DWORD (32-bit) Value. Next, type a new key named TaskbarGlomLevel.

Double-click the new key item name (TaskbarGlomLevel) and make sure the Base option is Decimal, and then update the Value data:

  • Type 0 to always combine taskbar buttons and hide labels.
  • Type 1 to combine the taskbar buttons and hide labels when the taskbar is full.
  • Type 2 to never combine taskbar buttons and hide labels.
Windows 11 never combine mode

To enable never combined mode on other Taskbars, browse to the registry folder key below.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

Right-click the Advanced folder key’s right pane and select New -> DWORD (32-bit) Value. Next, type a new key named MMTaskbarGlomLevel.

Double-click the new key item name (MMTaskbarGlomLevel) and make sure the Base option is Decimal, and then update the Value data:

  • Type 0 to always combine taskbar buttons and hide labels on other taskbars.
  • Type 1 to combine the taskbar buttons and hide labels when the taskbar is full on other taskbars.
  • Type 2 to never combine taskbar buttons and hide labels on other taskbars.
Windows 11 never combined mode on other taskbars

Save your changes and restart your computer.

That should do it!

Reference:

https://blogs.windows.com/windows-insider/2023/05/24/announcing-windows-11-insider-preview-build-23466/

Conclusion:

This post showed you how to enable or disable never combined mode in Windows 11. If you find any errors above or have something to add, please use the comments form below.

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