Windows 11 taskbar essential feature

The original version of Windows 11 is being used by millions of users around the world and while there are a number of new design features to try in the new OS, taskbar limitations and other missing features have drawn criticism from users and Microsoft critics.

At the moment, it is not possible to drag and drop files onto app icons on the taskbar, a feature available in previous versions of the desktop operating system. Taskbar’s drag and drop was a handy way of multitasking and opening up certain files in apps without navigating to the directory.

Microsoft has confirmed that it intends to restore the taskbar drag and drop functionality with Sun Valley 2 aka version 22H2. While the drag and drop capability is indeed coming back, it turns out Microsoft is now planning to remove another taskbar feature as part of its efforts to optimize the OS for tablets.

For those unaware, Microsoft recently started testing a tablet-optimized taskbar with two states: collapsed and expanded. The plan is to reduce the clutter (temporarily remove certain features from the taskbar) when the system detects your device as a ‘tablet’, so the taskbar can be easily used with touch.

However, there’s a catch – Microsoft is also removing features from the desktop version of the taskbar to optimize it for tablets. In Build 22563 or newer, it is no longer possible to reorder or drag and drop icons within the system tray.

Windows 11 system tray

The system tray is a popup on the taskbar with the “^” icon and it houses apps that run in the background, such as Teams and Slack. System tray reduces the taskbar clutter and helps users easily manage background Windows apps.

While the system tray itself isn’t going anywhere, Microsoft is no longer supporting dragging icons in the system tray or between the system tray.

In a statement, Microsoft confirmed tablet optimizations required the removal of drag and drop, presumably because the company wanted to reduce accidental drag and drops on tablets.

“We’ll be continuing to monitor this feedback, but with the updates we made for the new tablet-optimized taskbar in Build 22563, we’re no longer supporting dragging icons in the system tray or between the system tray and the show hidden icons flyout,” Microsoft officials said.

“Instead, you should use the Settings > Personalization > Taskbar > System tray section to manage these icons,” Microsoft added.

Users initially assumed that it was a bug and that the company would fix it in the future, but newer builds suggest that is a deliberate change to favour tablet optimizations.

In our tests, we observed that it is simply not possible to select and move icons within the system tray. The system tray is now static. Thankfully, we can still use the Settings > Personalization > Taskbar > System tray section to manage these icons.

This change is currently set to ship with Windows 11 version 22H2.

Update: Added Microsoft statement.

About The Author

Mayank Parmar

Mayank Parmar is an entrepreneur who founded Windows Latest. He is the Editor-in-Chief and has written on various topics in his seven years of career, but he is mostly known for his well-researched work on Microsoft's Windows. His articles and research works have been referred to by CNN, Business Insiders, Forbes, Fortune, CBS Interactive, Microsoft and many others over the years.