Windows: What is a taskbar?

A taskbar is the piece of slab that runs across your screen (usually located in the bottom part of your screen) which holds the running applications and shortcuts. The taskbar is a Windows specific software. Though Linux also has a similar function like this, the term Taskbar is commonly associated with Windows machines.

What does it look like?

Almost all Windows version (Windows 95 to Windows 10) features a taskbar. Here’s how it looks like:

  • Windows 95

    Windows 95 taskbar
    Windows 95 taskbar (courtesy of
  • Windows XP

    Windows XP taskbar (courtesy by
  • Windows Vista

    Windows Vista taskbar
    Windows Vista taskbar (courtesy by
  • Windows 7

    Windows 7 taskbar (courtesy of
  • Windows 8

    Windows 8 taskbar (courtesy by
  • Windows 10

    Windows 10 taskbar
    Windows 10 taskbar (courtesy of

What are its parts?

Wheew! That is a lot of taskbars. Anyway, a taskbar commonly contains a (from left to right):

Windows taskbar elements
Windows taskbar elements
  • Start button – this is the Windows logo that you will see in the leftmost part of the bar.
  • Quick launch bar (or favorites applications tray) – these are pinned applications shortcuts which can help you quickly run applications using the taskbar.
  • Running applications bar – this is the area where all the running applications in your machine are showed. Minimized applications also goes in here.
  • System tray – these are background services / processes that run in your machine. It functions just like a quick launch bar except that it has application specific shortcuts if you perform a left or right click.

What is its importance?

Taskbars helps people (specially multi-taskers) to keep track of what is running and quickly jump from one application to another. Without it, we could get lost in the sea of running applications and we would not have any idea of what applications are running in our machine while we are using it (just like in mobile phones).

Does it help to know what is a taskbar?

Yes. Since this is a technical jargon that it becoming more and more familiar to all people, one should properly know what is a taskbar. This is helpful specially if someone is trying to help you fix you computer and blabbers out terms like system tray, start button, and the like.

I hope you guys learned something new from this Granny Tech post. See you soon!

PS: Here’s how to move the taskbar.


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