What Is a Computer Taskbar?

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In the Windows operating system, the computer taskbar is a narrow bar used to reach the Start menu, launch programs and monitor programs currently in use. The taskbar also shows notifications and update information. The taskbar is most commonly at the bottom of the desktop and is always visible.

When the user opens a program, the taskbar shows an icon for that program, allowing the user to quickly see which programs are open and switch from one to another by clicking the corresponding icon. The user can see each program by hovering over its icon. A small preview image appears above the icon.

Users have the option of customizing the taskbar to include shortcut links for favorite programs. These icons always appear on the taskbar. When clicked, they launch the program. The user can also customize the location of the taskbar on the computer screen.