Windows 10 has new features that appear on the Taskbar, but you might want to clean it up a bit. Here’s some tweaks you can do so your taskbar is cleaner.
Note: This article has been updated to show how to remove icons from the system tray.
Shrink Cortana Search or hide it
By default the Search box, powered by Cortana, takes up a lot of space on the Taskbar. But the cool thing is you can make it small, to just a button, or remove it completely.
To do that, right click an empty area on the Taskbar and then go to Cortana. There you can switch it to just show an icon, or click Disable to get rid of it entirely.
Personally, I shrink it down to just a button, as shown below, but you can also hide it completely.
If you don’t plan on using it (with your mouse anyway) you can completely hide it. You can still access Cortana by using the keyboard shortcut Windows Key+Q or using your voice, if you have the “Hey Cortana” feature enabled.
Hide Task View Button
If you have no desire to use the new Virtual Desktops feature in Windows 10, you can hide the Task View icon. Right-click the Taskbar and uncheck Show Task View button.
If you do use Virtual Desktops, but still want to free up some space, use the keyboard shortcut Windows Key+Tab to launch the feature, and Windows Key+Ctrl+D to create new virtual desktops.
Unpin Items from Taskbar or Add a Toolbar
Of course the most obvious way to clear up space on the Taskbar is to unpin items you don’t use often, or if you launch them from inside the Start menu.
Another interesting thing you can do is use the Desktop toolbar. It actually adds an item to the Taskbar, but it can allow you to unpin virtually everything from the Taskbar.
This isn’t anything new, it’s been a feature of Windows for quite a while. But to add it, right-click the Taskbar and go to Toolbars > Desktop.
It allows you to access to everything on your desktop, and includes sub-menus.
For instance, if you enable God Mode, and have the folder on your desktop, you can find everything that’s in the folder as shown below.
Hide Icons in the System Tray
You can also remove items from the system tray on the right, where the clock and Action Center are located. The more you install desktop programs, especially utilities, the more you’ll find icons over there. Some of them allow you hide them simply by giving them a right-click and selecting a hide or remove option.
But you can also hide them using Windows 10 settings. Go to Settings > System > Notifications & Actions.
Then click the link Select which icons appear on the taskbar. Form there you can turn icons on or off to hide them. Turn off Always show all icons in the notification area (or keep it on if you don’t want to see anything), then individual select what you want to hide or turn on to see.
Did I miss anything? Leave a comment below and let us know your tips for saving space on the Windows 10 Taskbar.