Microsoft is making some important changes to the Windows 11 taskbar with the KB5010414 update
We've already written about the release of Windows 11 Build 22000.526 to testers on the Beta and Release Preview channels, but this update warrants further investigation. With the release of the KB5010414 update, Microsoft not only fixes a lot of Windows 11 problems, it also introduces some important tweaks to the taskbar that will delight users of Microsoft Teams, as well as people with more than one monitor connected to their computer.
There are various important additions to the taskbar as well as changes to functionality. These changes, such as the decision to (finally!) include the clock in all taskbars on multiple monitors, represent a pleasing evolution of a staple feature of Windows and are likely to be well-received -- but there is still room for improvement.
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The changelog for this update mentions fixes for various problems in Windows 11, but only one of them is a taskbar-related issue. Microsoft explains: "We fixed an issue that causes incorrect tooltips to appear in an empty area on the taskbar after you hover over other icons like battery, volume, or Wi-Fi".
This is good news for anyone who has been plagued by this particular issue, but it is the list of additions to the taskbar that makes for much more interesting reading.
- We added the clock and date to the taskbars of other monitors when you connect other monitors to your device.
- We added weather content to the left side of the taskbar if the taskbar is aligned in the center. When you hover over the weather, the Widgets panel will appear on the left side of the screen and will disappear when you stop hovering over the area.
- We added the ability to quickly share open application windows directly from your taskbar to a Microsoft Teams call.
- We added the ability to instantly mute and unmute a Microsoft Teams call from your taskbar. During a call, an active microphone icon will appear on the taskbar so that you can easily mute the audio without having to return to the Microsoft Teams call window.
From this quartet of new features and options, it is the long-awaited ability to see the date and time in the taskbar across multiple monitors that is the real crowd-pleaser. Unfortunately, Microsoft has not given users a choice about taskbar clocks.
If you have the taskbar enabled on multiple monitors, each taskbar will now feature a clock, with no option to turn it off for individual screens. It is also still the case that only the primary monitor's taskbar shows taskbar corner icons (system tray icons to most people).
The two Teams-related features are nice touches, but with only a limited subset of Windows 11 users also being Teams users, this is possibly slightly less exciting. The same goes for the weather widget changes; while this is something that may not be appreciated by a huge number of people, it is still a significant change for those users that it does affect.
If you are signed up for the Beta and Release Preview channels, head over to Windows Update in the Settings app to download KB5010414.