‘Never Combine taskbar buttons’ may be coming to Windows 11

November 17, 2022
windows 11 update error

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When Microsoft launched Windows 11, many tech reviewers heaped praise because of the modern design and robust security. However, not everyone was pleased, as the operating system lacked some noteworthy Windows 10 features. For many, the Windows 11 taskbar is not on par with Windows 10.

Aside from lacking the ability to let users move the Taskbar, Windows 11 has no solution to stop tab grouping on the Taskbar. While a movable Taskbar in Windows 11 may not come any time soon, Microsoft seems to have started working on ‘Never Combine Taskbar buttons’ for Windows 11. As spotted by Albacore on Twitter, the feature is currently hidden in the Windows Server Preview build 25246.

While you can enable many hidden Windows 11 features by using ViveTool GUI, the ‘Never Combine Taskbar buttons’ functionality seems to be an exception in this case. As explained by the Twitter user, the functionality is forcibly disabled, which means it is of no use even if you manage to enable it by using ViveTool. This is because the code behind the feature is broken.

If you are unfamiliar with Taskbar tab grouping, here is what it does: in Windows 10, a Never combine item in the Taskbar buttons drop-down menu shows different taskbar buttons for each window and show App labels on taskbar buttons. You have to select the ‘Never combine’ option if you do not want Windows 10 to combine taskbar buttons for the same App, and hide App labels.

This is one of the highly requested Windows 11 features, but Microsoft is quite late in listening to the feedback. Worryingly, the fact that it is hidden in a Preview build does not confirm anything. Microsoft could silently kill the functionality before making it available to the general public. However, unlike with the movable Taskbar in Windows 11, we see some hope that the ‘Never Combine Taskbar buttons’ capability will not be canceled after all since Microsoft support itself confirmed that it would come in a future update.

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