A bar located at the bottom of the screen that was first introduced with Microsoft Windows 95 and found in all versions of Windows after that. The Taskbar allows the user to locate and launch programs through the Start button, see any program that is currently open, display the time or date, 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

In the above two pictures, are examples of differences between Windows Taskbars. First, the Windows 98 Taskbar is an example of what the Taskbar looks like in many of the earlier versions of Microsoft Windows. As can be seen by this picture, this Taskbar has the Start button, the Quick launch area, the currently running programs, Windows notification icons, and the system time.

The second image, is the latest evolution of the Windows Taskbar, first introduced with Windows Vista. In this version of the Taskbar, the Start button is now an Orb with the Windows flag, displays icons like the Quick Launch with the currently running programs, running programs are only shown by icon, running programs icons in the Systray are now hidden, and the date is below the time.

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

Related pages

Also see: Dock, Live Taskbar Previews, Notification area, Operating system terms, Quick Launch, Restore, Start, Status bar, Task