Windows 11 has a lot of legacy stuff hidden in the operating system, but this could change soon. Windows Latest understands Windows is set for another significant refresh in 2024, and we’ve previously discussed Windows 12 development. However, before this revamp, it seems the tech giant aims to eliminate some legacy components from the OS
As you’re probably aware, the old-style taskbar and system tray remain in the operating system alongside the legacy components of File Explorer. While Microsoft has added rounded corners almost everywhere on Windows, the company hasn’t removed legacy features like the old taskbar, which is now considered legacy.
Windows 11 Build 25921, the latest update available to testers in the Canary Channel, attempts to eliminate some legacy components from the OS. This includes the old taskbar and system tray, but it is important to understand that the company has just begun the removal, and most of you won’t notice the changes.
This transition could take several months to finish, and the old taskbar still exists in the OS, but the system tray’s legacy notification integration is now broken. That’s because Microsoft has removed several lines of code that may have supported the legacy system tray infrastructure.
Could this move mean the end of third-party customization like ExplorerPatcher? We don’t know yet, but there’s a chance apps like ExlorerPatcher won’t work in the near future unless they make significant changes to their integration.
For those unaware, ExplorerPatcher is a famous utility that returned the Windows 10 taskbar to Windows 11.
Windows 11’s legacy decluttering will take time.
Microsoft won’t be abandoning all its old components in one go. The “old” File Explorer remains available within the legacy Control Panel. You can access the legacy interface by manually entering the “C:” directory into the address bar of File Explorer, which automatically opens and switches the explore to legacy UI.
In the latest preview builds, Windows 11 has already undergone some decluttering, such as updated context menus and revamped popups with dark mode and accessibility improvements, which might go unnoticed by the average user and never get documented by Microsoft.
Windows 11 23H2 update, which arrives later this year, is expected to ship with these changes. It is worth noting that the old taskbar, system tray, File Explorer, and Control Panel are in the OS (alongside the new Settings), but Microsoft is taking steps to eliminate the old codes.