Enable text labels for running apps in Windows 10 taskbar

If you want you can enable text labels for running apps in the Windows 10 taskbar. In previous versions of Windows, taskbar displays the running apps as rectangular items with captions which show the title of the corresponding window of the app. In Windows 10, text labels are disabled by default, so the user see a highlighted square button with the app icon.

This simple guide will show you how to revert to the previous behavior and enable text labels for open programs in the Windows 10 taskbar. This can be especially useful for those who use vertical layout of the taskbar.

Enable Taskbar Button Captions

In order for the taskbar button captions for running programs to start to appear again, you should follow these simple steps.

Enable text labels for running apps in Windows 10 taskbar

  1. Right-click the empty space on the taskbar and select Taskbar Options. You can also go to Settings – Personalization – Taskbar.Taskbar Button Captions
  2. Find the Combine taskbar buttons option. If this item is grayed out or missing, you can do the same in the registry (see below).Enable Text Labels For Running Apps
  3. You can set option can “Never”. This will disable grouping of window buttons of one program (for example, browser tabs) and enable text labels.  The “When the taskbar is full” option will also enable captions. However,  the taskbar will group its buttons if there is a large the number of open windows.
  4. Finally, you can see the result of applying the settings in the screenshot below.Enable Taskbar Button Captions

Please note that you should activate Windows 10 to access the personalization options in Windows 10. If you didn’t activate the operating system, you can use the registry editor instead.

Enable taskbar button captions in the Registry

  1. Press Win+R and type regedit in the Run box.
  2. Go to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer key.
  3. Create a DWORD parameter named NoTaskGrouping, set it to 1.
  4. Restart Explorer or restart your computer.
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Author: The MFTNEXT Team

The MSFTNEXT project is a small team of authors who love to engage with the latest technology and gadgets. Being passionate Windows bloggers, we are happy to help others fix their system issues.

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