Updated: 04/26/2017 by Computer Hope

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 or view any program that is currently open. It also allows them to 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.

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

Windows Taskbars

The above picture shows the Windows Taskbar throughout Windows history. With the exception of the Quick Launch feature, the Taskbar in Windows 95, 98, ME, NT 4.0 resembled the Windows 98 Taskbar. With the release of Windows Vista and 7, Microsoft removed the Quick Launch, added the Start Orb, and allowed icons in the Windows Notification Area to be hidden. With Windows 8, Microsoft removed the Start button, but later added the Start button back into Windows 8.1. Below is an overview of the Microsoft Windows 10 Taskbar with each of its major elements listed.

Windows Taskbar

Live Taskbar Previews, Operating system terms, Quick Launch, Task