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How to ungroup icons on the taskbar in Windows 11

You'll need a third-party app for this.
By
April 8, 2022

Windows has changed a lot over the years and has lost some old-school features along the way. Window grouping on the taskbar is a relatively new feature, but Windows used to give you the option to get the old ungroup icon style. But can you do that in Windows 11? Here’s how to ungroup icons on the taskbar in Windows 11.

Read more: How to downgrade from Windows 11 to Windows 10

QUICK ANSWER

To ungroup icons on the taskbar in Windows 11, install StartAllBack. Click Taskbar in the left navigation pane of the app, and locate the option to ungroup taskbar icons under Tweak behavior and superpowers.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

Does Windows 11 have a ‘Never combine taskbar buttons feature?

Windows 10 never combine taskbar buttons
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

Windows 11 made some significant changes to taskbar behavior. You can no longer resize the taskbar, and the taskbar now has icons centered by default. Windows 10 had a Never combine taskbar buttons option that let you move to the old style of taskbar icons.

Windows 11 taskbar behavior options
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

However, with Windows 11, the taskbar customization options are thin. You no longer get a Never combine taskbar buttons feature in Windows 11. There is no native way to enforce it either, so you’ll have to use a third-party app to ungroup icons in Windows 11.

Read more: Here’s how to stop the Windows 11 update

How to ungroup icons in Windows 11

A third-party app called StartAllBack is designed to fix most annoyances that Windows users may have with Windows 11. Thankfully, it also lets you ungroup taskbar icons.

Head over to the StartAllBack website and download the app. Click the downloaded file to open the installer. Click Install for me or Install for everyone, depending upon your preference.

StartAllBack installation Windows 11 ungroup taskbar icons
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

StartAllBack will install and automatically make some changes, like moving your taskbar to the left and bringing back the old-school start menu. The app will also launch automatically, but you can right-click the Start button and click Properties to launch it manually.

StartAllBack welcome screen Windows 11 ungroup taskbar icons
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

The launch screen will give you the option to pick your theme. You can select a theme if you like or leave it to the default 11 setting. To proceed, click Taskbar in the left navigation pane.

StartAllBack Windows 11 ungroup taskbar icons
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

Under Tweak behavior and superpowers, click the dropdown menu that says Always hide labels next to Combine taskbar buttons. Click Never from the dropdown menu.

StartAllBack Windows 11 taskbar icons ungrouped
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

If you want to use the new Windows 11 Start menu with the ungrouped icons, you can click Start Menu in the left navigation pane and click the toggle next to Use enhanced classic start menu.

StartAllBack revert start menu
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

That’s it. Enjoy your ungrouped taskbar icons in Windows 11. Here’s what they look like with the default start menu.

StartAllBack Windows 11 ungrouped taskbar default start
Palash Volvoikar / Android Authority

Note that StartAllBack will let you use all the features for free under the evaluation mode for only 100 days. To keep using it beyond that, you will have to buy a license, which costs $4.99.


Read more: What you should know before upgrading to Windows 11 (or not)