Windows 11 22H2 will let you disable the overflow and all app icons in the notification area

A Windows 11 logo wallpaper

Microsoft publishes an extensive changelog detailing new features, changes, fixes, and known issues every time it releases a new Windows 11 build. Sometimes new updates contain undocumented features and experimental capabilities Windows Insiders discover on their own. The ability to disable the icon overflow in the notification area is one of such changes that went under the radar.

Windows 10 and 11 allow users to show or hide app icons in the bottom-right corner of the screen. You can remove apps from the notification area if you have less available space or keep all icons on the taskbar for more convenience. Alternatively, Windows Settings lets you select what apps always sit next to the clock and what apps hide in the "overflow" menu behind the button with an arrow-up icon.

A series of screenshots showing the notification area in Windows 11 with different taskbar overflow

Windows 11 22H2, the upcoming feature update for Microsoft's latest operating system, apparently has a third option: remove the overflow menu and disable all the icons inside it. You can find the new toggle in Settings > Personalization > Taskbar > Other system tray icons > "Hide icon menu." Disabling the icon menu leaves only default indicators: clock, volume, battery, network connection, and input language.

Some may rightfully argue that disabling icons in the notification area worsens the user experience by removing options, such as "Safe Eject Media" or the OneDrive status indicator. Also, you cannot, for example, close some apps if they do not appear in the bottom-right corner of the screen. Still, you can remove the overflow with all unnecessary icons and leave those you need the most. In a nutshell, the new feature lets you make the taskbar a little cleaner without additional expandable menus. Unfortunately, Windows 11 still lacks the "Show all icons" option from Windows 10.

It appears that Microsoft introduced the option to hide the icon menu somewhere during the Windows 11 22H2 development process. The initial release of Windows 11 has no such feature, and release notes for Dev builds do not mention it. What Microsoft has mentioned is that the company has no plans to restore the option to move the taskbar. According to Windows engineers, it is not an important feature, even though it is the most upvoted request in the Feedback Hub.

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