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How to ungroup Taskbar icons in Windows 11

Windows 11 brings has a number of exciting new features when compared to Windows 10. Yet it also lacks some of Windows 10's better features. One of those is the ability to ungroup the icons in the Taskbar. So, you might be wondering: Is it possible to bring it back?

Difficulty

Easy

Duration

5 minutes

What You Need

  • Access to the internet

  • Credit or debit card

The good news is that with Start11, a third-party program from the folks at Stardock, you can add this feature back to Windows 11. Just be warned, though, that you'll need to pay for it, but the benefit might outweigh that final cost for you. A 30-day free trial is also available.

A webpage featuring the Start11 purchase options.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Pay for Start11 or try the free trial

To get started with ungrouping the taskbar icons in Windows 11, you need to pay for Start11. Again, the feature isn't yet in Windows 11, so you'll have to add this third-party program to bring it back. Start 11 is a paid piece of software, available for $6. You also can try it out for 30-days if you prefer.

Step 1: Visit the Stardock website and click the Software link at the top of the page. Choose Start11 from the list. Click the icon in the top right (it looks like a person) and create a Stardock account. Make sure you're logged in.

Step 2: Go back to the Start11 product page, click the Green Get it now button and choose the edition you want. We suggest the basic $6 version, as it works with one Windows 11 installation. If you want multiple installs, try the $15 version, which works on five different devices.

Step 3: Enter your credit card information, and check out. You'll also be prompted to create a Stardock account if you didn't already

Step 4: Once you paid, continue to the next steps.

The Start 11 download page.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Install Start11

Once you paid for Start11 or have the free trial, you'll need to switch over and download the Beta version of the app. Currently, the ability to ungroup the Taskbar icons is included in the version 1.2 beta, but it will be rolling to to the standard version of Start11 as a free update soon.

Step 1: Go back to your Stardock account page and choose My downloads.

Step 2: Choose the Beta download option, and click the download link. Launch the downloaded file, and install the app to your PC.

Start11 menu shows grouping options for the Windows 11 taskbar.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Configure Start11 to ungroup Taskbar icons

Once you have Start11 installed, launch the app. Go to the Start Menu, scroll down to the Stardock folder, and then choose Start11.

Step 1: From the Start11 app, click in the sidebar where it says Taskbar. Make sure the toggle switch for Let Start11 enhance the taskbar is chosen.

Ungrouped icons on Windows 11.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 2: Choose Never under the option Taskbar buttons should be combined. You should then see that your Taskbar icons for any open apps are now bigger and no longer grouped!

Keep in mind, though, that when this feature is enabled, you can't have your Start Menu at the center of the screen. In these beta versions, you'll be forced to move it to the left by default.

Start11 is a truly powerful piece of software, so regrouping taskbar icons isn't the only thing it will let you do. You also can use Start 11 to bring back the Windows 10-style Start Menu, or make your Taskbar more transparent. The sky is the limit when it comes to the app, so be sure to play around and use it to tweak Windows to the way you want!

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Arif Bacchus
Arif Bacchus is a native New Yorker and a fan of all things technology. Arif works as a freelance writer at Digital Trends…
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