TaskBar Groups Beta by Pike

johnlgalt

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TaskBar Groups by Pike is a fork of the app TaskBar Groups by tjackenpacken that serves to fill a niche functionality previously supplied by a few apps, most notably BINS by 1UP Industries.

For those who've never tried any of these, here is a brief history.

BINS was developed by Jeff Bargmann, who had a major hand in developing the original FENCES app (StarDock now), BINS, PhotoDrive, and the Flickr Camera Roll app. You can read a bit about him on his LinkedIn page. https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffbargmann

BINS was unique in that it allowed the user to combine icons that were pinned on the taskbar into groups. To get a better idea of the app, see the Screenshots page. This was easily done by simple drag & drop. Run BINS, let it run in hte background, and start dragging and dropping.

It had several features, and Including using a dedicated single icon or the ni-collage of up to 4 icons in the group, transparency effects, and more.

When Windows 10 came out, I tested it extensively, and wrote to Jeff a few times via email regarding the software. The biggest issue with BINS was the inability to add Modern Apps (aka apps from the Windows Store) to BINS. And the last time it was updated is now over 4 years ago, 26 July 2021.

Early this year I went looking for a replacement for BINS. I found several online, but the one that caught my eye was taskbar groups, because it was open source (on GitHub) and because it worked. I started using it, but then found that Pike had forked the build and added more development to the app, so I switched to Pike's build.

The Pros:

  • It can handle all sorts of apps and shortcuts.
  • You can use either shortcuts to apps, or, in the case of non Store apps, directly link to the executable files for apps.
  • The Pike version will auto generate a mini-collage of icons if you do not manually specific the icon to be used for the group.
  • You can have nested groups (groups within groups).
  • You can add Store apps to groups through a neat workaround (Not verified for every single app I have installed, yet, but the ones I've tried add and work without issue).

Cons:

  • It's not a simple, drag & drop interface like BINS - you have to spend time setting it up.
  • There is currently no way to remove a set icon for a group (You can change it, but not remove it so it makes the mini-collage).
  • Testing in Windows 11 has been limited, and bug fixes for Windows 11 are currently being treated as minor, and delegated lowest priority.

That being said, though, I've been playing around with it a lot (and have brought it to light in a couple of threads now because it accomplishes one of the major missing features of the Win11 taskbar - grouped items. This is a (admittedly, somewhat poor) substitition for folks who want to pin folders to the taskbar with icons to load apps, but it's also pretty to look at and use on a daily basis.

If you are interested in checking it out, be sure to grab Pike's latest from Release Alpha Release · PikeNote/taskbar-groups-pike-beta and also note the comments he has written on the release.

For Windows 11 specifics (including my posts on how to have nested groups as well as adding Store apps) see Windows 11 Issues · Issue #14 · PikeNote/taskbar-groups-pike-beta - and if you find a new bug specific to Windows 11, please report it there as well.
 
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