A bar located at the bottom of the screen first introduced with Microsoft Windows 95 and found in all the versions of Windows that followed. The Taskbar allows the user to locate and launch programs through the Start button, view any program that is currently open, check the date and time, items running in the background through the Systray, and with subsequent versions of the Windows operating system, the Quick Launch.

Microsoft Windows 7 Taskbar
Windows 7 Taskbar

Windows Taskbar
Windows 98 Taskbar

The two pictures above are examples of differences between Windows Taskbars. The first is the Windows 98 Taskbar, similar to many of the earlier versions of Microsoft Windows. The second is the latest evolution of the Windows Taskbar, originally introduced with Windows Vista. In this version of the Taskbar, the Start button is now an Orb with the Windows flag, Quick Launch icons are displayed beside the currently running programs, which are now are only shown by icon. The icons in the Systray are now hidden, and the date is below the time.

Tip: Users familiar with Apple Macintosh computers may think of the Taskbar as the Dock.

Related pages

Also see: Live Taskbar Previews, Operating system terms, Quick Launch, Task