What Is the Difference Between Toolbar and Taskbar?

A toolbar is part of the user interface of a specific program that allows the user access to certain program controls, while a taskbar allows for access to different programs. A taskbar is usually at the edge of the display for an operating system such as Windows and provides a way for the user to open, close or switch between programs.

The terms “toolbar” and “taskbar” are similar in spelling and pronunciation, and they both refer to parts of a graphical user interface. However, there are some key differences between a toolbar and a taskbar. A toolbar usually dwells within the interface of a program itself, such as the section of a word processor interface that has controls for quickly changing font size or zoom, or the section of a Web browser window with back and forward navigational arrows, according to TechTerms.com. On the other hand, a taskbar allows for navigation between different programs, or tasks, with added options of opening or closing programs. Microsoft introduced the taskbar with the release of Windows 95, and this feature has appeared in some form in subsequent versions of the Windows operating system. In some versions of Windows, such as Windows 7, the task bar also includes the current date and time.