I’ve got too many icons on the taksbar: how do I make space?

too many icons on the taskbar
Iconic: the Windows 10 taskbar can soon fill with buttons

The Windows 10 taskbar is by far the easiest way to launch software – but once you’ve pinned a few commonly used programs to the taskbar, you can soon find you’re running out of space. So what to do if you’ve got too many icons on the taskbar? Here’s how to make a little room.

Get rid of the Cortana search bar

Windows 10 taskbar

I don’t know about you, but I use the Cortana search bar about as often I use a gynacologist. If you’re like me (and I’m truly sorry if you are), you can get rid of that space-hogging search bar and give your taskbar more space to breathe.

Right-click on an empty space in the taskbar and choose Cortana from the menu that pops up. Here you have two options. You can make Cortana disappear completely, by selecting Hidden, or you can choose to show the Cortana icon – which leaves the search bar only one click away if you use it occasionally.

Use small taskbar buttons

If you’re desperate to cram two dozen icons onto your taskbar, then you can make the buttons smaller, letting you squeeze in more programs.

Here’s what the normal size icons look like on my taskbar:

Windows 10 taskbar normal icons

And here’s what the small icons look like:

Windows 10 taksbar small icons

As you can see, small buttons lets you squeeze around 17 icons into the space normally afforded to 13.

To turn on small buttons, right-click on an empty space in the taskbar, select taskbar settings and check Use small taksbar buttons.

Remove the Task View button

Windows 10 Task View

Task View is another of those Microsoft inventions that barely anyone* uses (*based on an anecdotal survey of one Windows 10 user taken in March 2018).

You can stop that icon loitering on your taksbar and simply use the Alt-Tab keyboard shortcut instead.  Right-click on the Task View icon (three overlapping rectangles near the Start button) and untick the Show Task View button to reclaim another valuable inch of taskbar space.

Now click here: Loads more Windows tips!

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About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at

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