Taskbar overflow odd behavior

Marshall Brooks

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Local time
11:04 PM
This will be somewhat hard to explain.

I understand how Taskbar overflow is SUPPOSED to work - or how it did in previous versions.

I have only one shortcut pinned to the taskbar. I don't combine icons. Currently, I'm using a laptop with 1920x1080 at 125% scaling, so there isn't that much space for icons.

Sometimes, Win11 with throw the icons into overflow when it doesn't need to - i.e. there will be maybe 8-10 icons and then the overflow and the right half of the taskbar between the overflow and the systray will be empty.

I've been using WindHawk Taskbar Clock Customization and I disabled that and the overflow went away, but then it would show up again. I can't seem to tell what is causing it, but I don't think it is part of Taskbar Clock Customization.

Does anyone have any ideas what the issue might be?

2nd day with Win11, so I'm learning as I go ...
Windows Build/Version
23H2 OS Build 22631.3447

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I figured out a bit what is happening, but it seems like somewhat of a silly design move. (Not really).

I'm playing around with WindHawk Mods to get more space before things go to overflow.

Without changing Windhawk settings, I can get about 16 items (plus the one pinned icon) before going to overflow.

What is different is in Win10 (or I think 7, XP, etc.) if I hit 18 items, 16 of them would be shown and I would have to hit the up/down arrows in the taskbar to get the the other 2.

What I did was open Notepad a dozen times or so.

With Win11, what seems to be happening is when I get to 17 items, it keeps 3 of them in the main taskbar and moves 14 of them to overflow - which is easier to get to than in previous versions.

Seems odd to me, but I think what it is trying to do is maintain grouping of the icons - so since I had 12 Notepad icons, it kept all 12 of those in the overflow menu. Makes sense that I don't have to swap back and forth, but since I don't see a way to swap between the main and the overflow menu, I'm not sure it helps much.

But now that I see what is happening and (I think) why, it doesn't bother me as much.


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Are you not wanting combine taskbar icons? Right-clicking on the taskbar > Taskbar settings > Taskbar behaviours > Set the option "Combine taskbar buttons and hide labels" to Never
I don’t have a problem with overflow, it generally just shortens the length so I only see something like “Notep…” which is in itself a little annoying.

If it’s a taskbar 3rd party tweaker, it’s anyones guess.

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    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 Build: 22631.3880
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    Windows 11 Pro 22621.2215
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@antpants - I am using Windhawk, but the problem occurs with or without WH enabled.

I have that option set to never. I previously had it set to "when the taskbar is full", but never seems to work better for my tastes.

Here's a better explanation of the issue. Let's say I have room for 13 items on the taskbar. I would expect when I open a 14th item, that that item would go to the overflow area and I would have 13 items on the taskbar and 1 in the overflow. For unknown reasons (I don't think it works like I said in Reply #2. Win11 seems to leave maybe 9 items in the normal taskbar and shift 5 items to the overflow, leaving a large gap between the overflow button and the systray, where four of my overflow icons could normally go.

I'm thinking this is just how Win11 works, but I wanted to ensure it wasn't some setting that I was missing. (It does NOT work the way previous Windows version did).

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