Skip to main content

Windows 11 is getting a major Mac feature soon

Microsoft is testing a task overflow bar in Windows 11 that works much like the stacks feature in MacOS.

The feature is now available in the Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25163, which rolled out to the Dev Channel on Thursday. The overflow makes it so that when you have more apps open than can fit in the taskbar, they are stored in their own section, which can be accessed via an ellipses icon (…) on the bottom-right section of the screen. You can click the icon to view, access, or close the still-running apps that no longer fit on the crowded taskbar.

Microsoft is testing a task overflow bar in Windows 11 that works much like the stacks feature in macOS.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The feature serves as an optimized version of an old Windows feature, which truncated overflow apps into a single icon and triggered the need to utilize keyboard shortcuts such as Alt-Tab to access the hidden apps, PCWorld noted.

While this updated version of the task overflow bar is a lot easier to understand and use, it’s not a guaranteed feature for a public build, as it is currently still at the developer’s testing level. Nevertheless, Microsoft has been looking for ways to improve the access and functionality of its system.

The only difference between the task overflow bar and Apple’s stacks feature in MacOS is the latter is a general folder for files that opens in a stylistic way to show content. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s feature opens to show the icons of currently running apps, the publication added.

The feature can also potentially be compared to the Recent apps add-on that is a part of the Your Phone feature on Windows 11, which allows you to view the apps recently accessed through your phone on your computer desktop. You can select the “Your Phone” icon through the Windows System Tray on the taskbar, which pops up in a small folder, similar to the apps from the ellipses icon (…). Then you can access the last three viewed apps from your phone, which you can then project onto your desktop.

This is one feature that was widely popular during its testing phase that made it onto the Windows 11 public update.

Editors' Recommendations

Fionna Agomuoh
Fionna Agomuoh is a technology journalist with over a decade of experience writing about various consumer electronics topics…
Windows is about to axe these three iconic apps
A top-down view of the Surface Laptop Go.

Microsoft's upcoming Windows 11 24H2 update will include many new features, including a controversial new app. But PCWorld reports that the following major Windows 11 24H2 updates will also remove three iconic apps you may currently use: WordPad, Cortana, and Tips.

Although each of these are being discontinued, there are some specific details for how Microsoft is rolling out the changes. This change affects Cortana in Windows as a standalone app, but it will remain within other applications, such as Microsoft Teams Display, Outlook Mobile, Teams Mobile, and Microsoft Teams Rooms. Of course, Microsoft's push into AI with a full-screen version of Copilot will take the place of Cortana. This update to Copilot treats it more as a proper app, not unlike the ChatGPT Mac app that was recently announced.

Read more
Microsoft is adding a controversial app to Windows 11
Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 sitting on a table.

A new Windows 11 build is rolling out in Microsoft's Beta channel, and it includes an app that's been caught up in some controversy. Build 22635.3646 includes the PC Manager app for devices in China by default. This app is already available through the Microsoft Store, but the update suggests the app might be part of Windows 11 more broadly soon.

PC Manager falls in the category of "system optimizers" along the lines of the  Razer Cortex Game Booster. It cleans out temporary files, frees memory that's not being used, and digs deep into your hard drive to clean out unused files. According to Microsoft, it can even "reduce ads and app pop-up interruptions." An system optimizer from Microsoft sounds great as an official release in Windows 11.

Read more
The MacBook monopoly just got overturned
The Surface Laptop shown in front of a Copilot+ sign.

MacBooks have had a good ride.

It's been four years of running circles around Intel, AMD, Microsoft, and every laptop manufacturer with their Apple Silicon ARM chips. Until very recently, PC sales had been tanking too, all while Macs were holding steady.

Read more