While there are dozens of official personalization settings in Microsoft Windows 11, there are still a few personalization tricks that remain elusive and hidden from the typical user. To mold and manipulate Windows 11 into the operating system you would like it to be, sometimes you must be willing to take some calculated risks.
Microsoft allows users to move the taskbar on the standard desktop from the default center position to the optional far left position—but that is it. However, with a very specific binary edit of a very specific key with the Windows 11 Registry File, a user can move the taskbar to the top of their display if they choose.
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Move the taskbar to the top of the display in Widows 11
First, a warning and a caveat. This personalization tip requires a binary edit which is much more complicated than our typical Registry File edit. In addition, moving the taskbar to the top of display is not part of Microsoft’s design or specification, so it is possible applications running under this scenario will react oddly and perhaps even crash. Therefore, be certain the taskbar displayed on top of your screen is going to be worth the effort.
Disclaimer: Editing the Windows Registry file is a serious undertaking. A corrupted Windows Registry file could render your computer inoperable, requiring a reinstallation of the Windows operating system and potential loss of data. Back up the Windows Registry file and create a valid restore point before you proceed.
To make our edits in the Windows 11 Registry File, we will type “regedit” into the Windows 11 search tool. From the results, choose the Regedit app and then use the left-hand window to navigate to this key, as shown in Figure A.
Click one on the StuckRects3 folder and looking at the right-hand windowpane, double-click the Settings key to reveal the binary contents as shown in Figure B.
We are going to make a very careful edit of this binary string to move the taskbar to the top of the display.
With the Edit Binary Value screen open, locate the second row of data, the first value should be 00000008. From there find the value in the fifth column which should be 03. Place the mouse cursor on or just to the right of the 03 and double click. That action should highlight the 03, as shown in Figure C.
With the 03 highlighted, press the backspace key once and once only, which will delete the 03 value. Type 01 to replace the missing binary value. The edit should look like Figure D.
With the value changed to 01, click the OK button and then close the Registry Editor.
To apply the change, you must restart the Windows Explorer process. Restarting the PC may not be enough to complete the process.
Press the keyboard combination Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open Task Manager. On the Processes tab look for Windows Explorer under the Apps section, as shown in Figure E.
Right-click the Windows Explorer item in the list and select Restart from the context menu.
As you can see in Figure F, the Windows 11 taskbar is now displayed at the top of the screen.
To change the taskbar back to its normal position at the bottom of the display, edit the same key in the Windows 11 Registry File and replace the 01 with the default 03 and restart Windows Explorer as before.
Addendum: Several readers were curious if it was possible to display the taskbar on the side of a display; apparently, this is preferred for many users of wide displays. Replacing the default 03 in the binary table with 02 will place the taskbar on the left side, replacing 03 with 04 will place it on the right side of the display.