Microsoft has released a new development version of Windows 11 that adds a long-awaited feature allowing users to ensure that all windows are displayed as individual items in the taskbar.

The option, known as “never combined mode”, is rolling out with Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23466 on the dev channel restarted flight of the 23000 series versions.

“We’re excited to bring you an early release of one of our most requested features for Windows 11, never in combo mode,” Microsoft’s Amanda Langowski and Brandon LeBlanc. said.

“In never-combined mode, you’ll be able to see each of your apps’ windows on the taskbar individually, along with their corresponding labels.”

Redmond says the feature is still in its early stages, but it will allow users to configure the taskbar to show individually labeled app icons.

The new Never Combined mode is rolling out to Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel, so it may take some time to reach all enrolled devices.

Once available, you can enable the feature by going to Settings > Personalization > Taskbar > Taskbar behaviors and setting “Combine taskbar buttons and hide labels” to “Never”.

Microsoft also introduced a new setting named “Combine taskbar buttons and hide labels on other taskbars” which allows you to configure whether buttons should be combined on other screens.

Unlink taskbar settings
Taskbar Unlink Settings (BleepingComputer)
Grouped and ungrouped taskbar items
Grouped and ungrouped taskbar items (BleepingComputer)

According his entry in Microsoft’s Feedback Hub, the option to never combine application icons in the taskbar was one of the most requested features of Windows 11, with over 17,000 upvotes and over 2,100 comments .

One more reason not to upgrade

Many Windows 10 users, including some of us at BleepingComputer, refused to upgrade to Windows 11 because this feature was not available.

Other Windows users seem to have the same concerns based on Windows 11 Feedback Hub comments regarding this missing feature.

“I know my business won’t be moving to Windows 11 until this feature is reintroduced,” said one of the Windows customers before Microsoft announced the feature was being added back.

“OMG YAY! I’ve been looking forward to a Windows fix for a long time. But today is that day…FINALLY,” added another after this preview build was posted.

This week’s Dev Preview build also added the new development player shipping functionality with the Windows 11 22H2 ‘Moment 3’ Updatea ReFS storage volume designed to improve the performance of developer workloads.

Microsoft is also testing additional Windows 11 Backup and Restore features to make it easier to move your most important apps and files when switching PCs through a new Windows Backup app.

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