Controlling the Taskbar on Multiple Monitors

by Eric Wyatt
(last updated March 30, 2020)

1

Using multiple monitors on your computer has many benefits, such as increased desktop space, or being able to use multiple applications at once. When you initially connect a second monitor to your computer (if your computer allows it) Windows will detect the secondary screen and extend your desktop to that screen. When Windows extends your desktop to the second monitor, by default it also places the Taskbar at the bottom of your second screen as well as the first. You can control how Windows handles the Taskbar on a secondary monitor, all from the system preferences.

To adjust how the Taskbar is used on multiple monitors, press the Windows key and type (without quotes) "Taskbar Settings", then press Enter. This launches the Taskbar options of the Settings dialog box. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Taskbar tab of the Settings window.

In the Multiple Display section, you will find three options to configure the Taskbar on your multiple displays:

Show Taskbar on All Displays – This toggle controls whether the Taskbar is shown on both monitors or not. In the "On" position the Taskbar is shown in the same location on each monitor. In the "Off" position, the Taskbar only appears on the primary monitor.

Show Taskbar Buttons On - This drop-down allows for one of three options: All Taskbars, Main Taskbar and Taskbar Where Window is Open, and Taskbar Where Window is Open.

  • All Taskbars – All app/program buttons will be shown identically on both screens.
  • Main Taskbar and Taskbar Where Window is Open – Buttons will show on the Primary Monitor, as well as on the monitor on which the window is open. For example, If the window is only on the primary monitor the corresponding Taskbar button is not shown on the secondary monitor. However, if you move the window to the second monitor, the corresponding Taskbar button appears on the second monitor.
  • Taskbar Where Window is Open – The third option only displays the Taskbar buttons on the monitor on which the window is currently open.

Combine Buttons on Other Taskbars – This setting determines how Windows combines buttons and their corresponding labels on additional Taskbars.

  • Always, Hide Labels - This hides the corresponding label for each button in the Taskbar.
  • When Taskbar is Full - Windows displays the labels for each corresponding button as long as there is enough room on each Taskbar. If the Taskbar is too full the system automatically shifts to hiding the labels.
  • Never - Your computer will always show the button and label and will not hide or display the button even if there is not enough space.

Once you have configured your Taskbar settings you can close the Settings dialog box. Your changes take effect immediately. With the Taskbar settings set up the way you prefer you can have your desktop space configured to show the information that makes the most sense for your needs.

 This tip (13754) applies to Windows 10.

Author Bio

Eric Wyatt

Eric Wyatt is a swell guy (or so his friends tell him). He is a formally trained designer and branding expert, bringing a wide range of skills to his Tips.Net articles. ...

MORE FROM ERIC

Swipe Your Text

Whether you're using a tablet PC or a desktop, there is a new way to enter text. Using the swipe keyboard found in ...

Discover More

More Power to You

Needing more power options than "god mode" provides? Here are some additional "god modes" that give you more access control.

Discover More

Google Chrome Setting URLs

Shortcut URLs allow quick access to the settings within Google Chrome. Use these shortcut URLs to quickly access the ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Keeping the Scroll Bar

Scroll bars are helpful in showing that there is more information to be seen. By default, Windows 10 hides scroll bars, ...

Discover More

Turning Off Bothersome Windows Messages

Bothered by messages from Microsoft letting you know about their various apps and tools? Here's a way to configure ...

Discover More

Disabling the Windows 10 Blurred Sign-on Screen

The later updates to Windows 10 introduced blurred background images on the sign-in screen. If you prefer to have the ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 5 + 6?

2021-08-19 11:09:39

Martin

Thats a good explanation. But I have one problem which I cant fix:

I want to show the taskbar buttons only on the screen where they are opened. For most programs it works perfectly fine! However certain programs, are showing only on main screen, despite the setting and despite that they are opened in another screen. Does any one know a fix for that?


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.