PSA: You Can't Disable Taskbar Button Grouping in Windows 11 😡
With every new iteration of Windows made available to users, there are tons of changes. If you remember upgrading from Windows 8 to Windows 10, the first couple of hours might have been spent just exploring the additions and identifying the features that were modified or were removed altogether. One of the changes that we identified in Windows 11 is the absence of the option to disable combining/grouping of Taskbar app icons.
Windows 11 Doesn’t Show All Open Windows of an App in Taskbar
If you have made the jump to Windows 11, you would have noticed that the various windows of an app are clubbed together. For those who preferred grouping the windows, it wouldn’t seem much of a trouble. But many preferred having all the windows displayed in a separate tile in the Taskbar for easy access.
With the setting to ungroup the app windows missing, you would have to hover the cursor over the main tile and then select the required window. With all the app windows clubbed together, it would be both confusing and time-consuming for a few.
All Known Methods to Disable Grouping Don’t Work in Windows 11
We tried the previously known methods (for Windows 10) to disable the grouping of app windows to verify their functionality in Windows 11. None of them worked.
Earlier, we could modify this setting through the ‘Taskbar Settings’, ‘Registry’, and the ‘Local Group Policy Editor’. We have demonstrated each in the following sections.
🙅♀️ There’s No ‘Combine Taskbar Buttons’ Option in Taskbar Settings
Earlier in Windows 10, when you launched the ‘Taskbar Settings’, there used to be a ‘Combine Taskbar Buttons’ drop-down menu with three options listed under it.
The very same option is missing in the latest iteration of Windows, as is evident in the image below. You’d hope there would be an option to disable grouping under the ‘Taskbar behaviors’ section, but that’s not the case.
We have now ticked one of the previous methods off the list, let’s check the next one.
😑 Registry Hack to Disable Taskbar Grouping Doesn’t Work
We tried making changes to the Registry to disable the grouping of app windows, as we did earlier but to no avail. It brought no visible change whatsoever to the ‘Taskbar’, let alone ungrouping the app windows.
The process to change the setting was to navigate to the following address, locate the
TaskbarGlomLevel key and change its value to ‘2’.
Even after we modified the value of the ‘TaskbarGlomLevel’, you can notice that the app windows continue to club together.
Note: If you intend to make any changes to the ‘Registry’, it’s recommended that you first create a backup for it, in case things go haywire. Also, always follow the steps as it is and not experiment with the different keys.
😠 ‘Prevent Grouping of Taskbar Items’ Policy Doesn’t Work in Windows 11
Another way to ungroup app windows was to either modify the ‘Local Group Policy Editor’. You can launch it either through the ‘Run’ command or the ‘Start Menu’. Just enter ‘gpedit.msc’ in the ‘Run’ command and press
In the ‘Local Group Policy Editor’, select ‘User Configurations’, then ‘Administrative Templates’, and finally ‘Start Menu and Taskbar’. Earlier, all we had to do was locate the ‘Prevent grouping of taskbar items’ policy and set it to ‘Enabled’. However, enabling the policy seems futile in Windows 11, as is evident in the picture below.
Even with the ‘Prevent grouping of taskbar items’ policy enabled, the various app windows continue to remain clubbed.
After trying all the known methods to ungroup the app windows, there was no promising change in the Taskbar. Let’s wait for future updates to Windows 11 and see if the option is made available to the users. Until then, it is what it is!