The Windows system tray is a mainstay of the operating system. You can load it with your favorite apps for easy access, or keep it clean and clear for a minimalist look. You can't move it using the Windows 10 taskbar. At least you can't move the taskbar to the center of your screen.
If you want a central app hub similar to macOS, you'll need a third-party system tray tool like TaskbarX.
What is the Windows Taskbar?
The Windows taskbar is the bar that appears at the bottom of the screen. At one end you will see the Windows 10 logo, which is the Start Menu button. Depending on your system tray configuration, you may also see options for Cortana, Windows 10 voice assistant.
There are app icons next to the start menu. These are shortcuts to apps on your computer that you can add or remove.
The standard Windows 10 taskbar can be moved to four screen positions: top, bottom, left, and right. These positions define the position of the taskbar. However, you cannot move the location of the apps along the taskbar. The icons are always moved to the default position next to the Start Menu button.
For the most part, this is fine. However, if you want to customize the Windows 10 system tray and move the system tray apps to the center, you will need a third-party customization tool.
What is TaskbarX?
TaskbarX is an open source system tray customization tool that allows you to control your system tray icons. With TaskbarX installed, you can move the system tray icons to the center of your monitor.
The tool also includes some handy extras like a transparent, fuzzy, or acrylic taskbar style, animations for apps and icons, and an option to hide the start menu icon.
How to install TaskbarX
TaskbarX is available in three different versions. For this tutorial, I'll be using the Portable Zip option, which has all of the files I need in a single archive. If you prefer the Microsoft Store, you can buy TaskbarX for $ 1.09. You have to spend a dollar on the Microsoft Store version, but in exchange, you get easier installation and automatic updates. Alternatively, TaskbarX is available as a Rainmeter skin.
First, go to the TaskbarX homepage and download the latest version. Right click on the downloaded file and extract the archive. For example, 7Zip> Extract in "Taskbar X".
Open the TaskbarX folder and run the exe File. Your system tray icons will magically move to the center of the system tray automatically!
How to configure TaskbarX
The same TaskbarX folder contains another tool, the TaskbarX configurator. The configurator is what it sounds like: a configuration tool for TaskbarX. It includes easy-to-use options for all styles of TaskbarX. There are five categories:
The Style menu controls the transparency level, or color of your taskbar. There are five options that you can choose from. Choose an option, then Apply bottom right.
You can use the sliders to create a taskbar color. Alternatively, you can click the color picker icon to pick a color from anywhere on your screen. The color will be applied to the system tray after you click Apply. However, the style changes using the other options, such as B. Transparent Gradient, Opaque and Blur. These options use your custom color as the basis for the effect.
For example, the above image shows various transparent gradients, while the following image shows the color picker option in action.
Animations detail how the system tray icons move when you open a new app. There are over 40 different TaskbarX animations to choose from. So you have to play around to find your favorite option.
The success of the animation option also depends on the options on your Windows 10 system tray icon. If you've stacked app icons like my sample images in the system tray, no matter what you choose, no animation will appear. If you choose to have multiple system tray entries per app or large system tray entries, the animation style will change.
In the Position menu, you can adjust the position of the system tray icons once they are in the middle. For example, you can offset the icons by a positive or negative number of pixels (with a negative number being offset towards the Start menu and a positive number towards the taskbar).
The Position menu has another handy option: Do not center the taskbar. Select this option if you want to customize the taskbar with the styles without moving the icons in the middle. Your system tray icons return to their original position next to the Start menu.
TaskbarX does not run automatically when Windows 10 starts. To fix this problem, go to the Task Plan menu, enter a time delay (in seconds), then press Create, then Apply.
The extra menu contains some additional TaskbarX settings, e.g. B. for multi-monitor setups. Suppose you only want to center the taskbar on one of your monitors? There is an option for that. Or if you want to hide the system tray area on your secondary monitor? TaskbarX can do that too.
I will just briefly mention the About menu.
In this menu you can check that TaskbarX is running the latest version. If not, you can download and use the latest version. Developer Chris Andriessen publishes TaskbarX updates to fix bugs and improve functions. You should always check for updates after a major Windows 10 update, as Microsoft has a habit of corrupting other developers' applications (irrelevant of course).
How to uninstall TaskbarX
TaskbarX can also be easily removed from your computer.
Open the TaskbarX Configurator and select Quit TaskbarX. Go to the Uninstall tab and select Uninstall. That's all there is to it.
Customize your taskbar with TaskbarX
Customizing Windows 10 is not always easy. You can solve problems on the go and make parts of Windows 10 unusable. However, with a tool like TaskbarX, you can customize your taskbar without worrying about whether something will be destroyed in the process.
As with all open source projects, if you like the app, consider making a donation to the developer so that they can keep the project alive.
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About the author
(597 articles published)
Gavin is the junior editor for Windows and Technology Explained, contributing regularly to the Really Useful Podcast, and was the editor for MakeUseOf's crypto-focused sister site Blocks Decoded. He has a BA (Hons) in Contemporary Writing Using Digital Art Practices Looted from the Devon Hills, as well as over a decade of writing experience. He enjoys plenty of tea, board games, and soccer.
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