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Windows 10 trick: Smart new ways to customize your taskbar

The taskbar in Windows 10 is probably one of the most neglected features of the operating system. Tap or click here for 5 new Windows 10 tricks you’ll wish you knew before now.

When major updates are rolled out, the taskbar is usually left unchanged. Over the years, it has received minimal design updates or functionality additions.

That changed recently as Microsoft is releasing an update that adds a bit more functionality to the taskbar. Initially released for Windows Insider members in January, the new taskbar is being made available to all users. Keep reading to find out how to use the new tool.

Here’s the taskbar update

The previous version of the taskbar and Start menu had the ability to show news articles and weather updates through live tiles. This information has now been shifted to its own widget, located on the right-hand side of the taskbar next to the clock.

Microsoft

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You can personalize the widget to display articles from your favorite news sources and be filtered to include different topics. Hovering your mouse over the widget gives you a snapshot of what’s trending. To read anything of interest, click on a card.

“You can personalize your feed with relevant content tailored for you. Instead of switching between apps or your PC and phone to stay up to date with the news and interests you care about – seamlessly peek into your feed directly from the taskbar anytime you want throughout your day,” Microsoft explained.

The backbone for the news feed works through MSN and Microsoft News, which pulls in articles and updates from almost 5,000 sources worldwide. You can adjust your interests in news articles and topics in the Interests Manager.

When can you get it?

If you are eager to try the new widget, you might have to wait for it to come to you. Even though it is available now, it will roll out to all users over the next several weeks.

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“We are taking a phased and measured approach and broad availability will occur in the coming months,” the company explained in a blog post.

There is a bit of a caveat to using the new widget. To work properly and links to open correctly, you must have Microsoft’s Edge browser installed. Any articles or links that you click on will open in Edge, and there doesn’t seem to be a way around that for now. Here’s a quick video on how it works:

Here’s how to see if the update is available to you:

  • On your Windows computer, click the Start menu and then the gear icon for Settings.
  • Click Update & Security.
  • With Windows Update selected, click Check for updates.
  • If the new taskbar widget update is available, it will be listed there.
  • If it’s not visible, you might have to wait a couple of days before receiving it.

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