How to arrange a desktop toolbar

Updated April 17, 2017

The Microsoft Windows taskbar incorporates various toolbar sections which each include icons and shortcuts to some or all of your software and hardware. The taskbar is normally located at the bottom of the computer screen, with icons arranged in a horizontal line. However, you can customise your taskbar and toolbars to suit your preferences. You can move the taskbar to the top or side of the screen, set your taskbar preferences and add or remove icons. You can also add new toolbars, add icons to the toolbars, change toolbar sizes and arrange icons in the Quick Launch toolbar.

Right-click on the "Start" button, in the bottom left hand corner of your computer screen, and choose "Properties."

Click on the "Taskbar" tab at the top of the "Taskbar and Start Menu Properties" to open your taskbar options.

Select or deselect the check boxes to set your taskbar preferences. Preference options include hiding the taskbar, having it appear on top of other windows and grouping together affiliated application icons (such as multiple Microsoft Word document windows).

Select "Customize" to change preferences to the "Notifications" section of your taskbar, which is located in the right-hand corner of the computer screen. A "Customize Notifications" window will now appear. Select an item from the on-screen list and select either "Hide when inactive," "Always hide" or "Always show" from the drop-down menu which appears in each item's "Behavior" column.

Select "OK" in the "Customize Notifications" window then "Apply" in the "Taskbar and Start Menu Properties" window to save your changes.

Click and hold the mouse on an empty section of the taskbar and drag and drop it to either side or to the top of the screen in order to change the position of the whole taskbar.

Add pr remove a toolbar by right-clicking on any blank spot on the taskbar, hovering the cursor over the "Toolbars" option in the subsequent menu and selecting one of the toolbar options from the new submenu. These toolbar options include "Quick Launch," "Desktop" and "Language Bar," amongst others. Repeat this step to add more toolbars to your taskbar.

Set up a new toolbar, if the toolbar you want to include is not in the "Toolbars" drop-down menu, by right-clicking on the taskbar, hovering the cursor over the "Toolbars" menu and selecting "New Toolbar..." from the submenu. Select an item from the "New Toolbar" window that appears on your screen and click "OK."

Right-click on each new toolbar view which appears in the taskbar and change any settings you like by choosing an option from the context menu that appears.

Enlarge or decrease the width of each toolbar by clicking on the vertical dotted line which separates it from another toolbar, dragging the line left or right and letting go of the mouse button when you are satisfied with its positioning.

Right click on the taskbar, select "Toolbars" from the subsequent menu and select "Quick Launch," if the Quick Launch toolbar does not appear on the taskbar, to the immediate right of the Start button. This toolbar incorporates various application icons.

Right click on an empty space in the "Quick Launch" toolbar and change any or all settings using the options in the resulting context menu.

Add items to your "Quick Launch" toolbar by opening the "Start" menu, selecting "Programs" and then dragging and dropping a program from the list in to an empty space in the Quick Launch toolbar.

Delete applications from your toolbar by right clicking on an icon and selecting "Delete."

Drag an icon from its position in your "Quick Launch" toolbar and drop it to another position if you want to arrange the order of the application icons. Ensure that each icon is dropped in to an empty space or between two icons in the toolbar or the icons will move. Repeat this step until you are satisfied with the order of your icons.

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About the Author

Christopher Tebbutt started writing professionally in 2004. He's had content published on both the "Guardian" and "TimeOut" magazine's websites, amongst others. He has written for internationally renowned brands such as Burberry, Boots and Party Gaming. He has also worked for journalists within the BBC, Reuters and BSkyB as a researcher. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in politics and history from Nottingham Trent University.