On Windows 11 build 23451, you can enable an early preview of the new option to show labels for apps in the Taskbar, and in this guide, you will learn how. Microsoft is working on bringing back the “Combine taskbar buttons” settings to allow users to show labels in two ways, including “Never combine” and “Combine when taskbar is full.”
Although the ability to show labels without grouping them has been available as part of the Taskbar experience in a previous version of the operating system, the Windows 11 development introduced a new Taskbar that didn’t include many of the legacy features, including the ability never to combine buttons or show labels. However, the software giant has been working to bring back some of the legacy features, such as seconds for the clock in the System Tray, an interface optimized for touch, and quick access to Task Manager from the Taskbar context menu. And now, the company is making progress to allow users to show labels for apps again.
The feature is already part of the latest preview on Windows 11, but it’s still under development, and you have to enable it manually with a third-party tool known as “ShellFrosting” created by @thebookisclosed at GitHub. The tool is actually an extension that forces the system to enable the feature, but you will still need the tool to control the Taskbar buttons experience.
This guide will teach you the steps to turn on this new feature on Windows 11.
Important: This is a third-party tool that is not supported by Microsoft, and it’s available as-is without guarantees. Use it at your own risk.
Show Taskbar labels for apps on Windows 11 (preview)
To show Taskbar labels for apps on Windows 11, use these steps:
Open GitHub website.
Download the ShellFrosting-v2023.508.23451.1-x64.zip file to enable the “Combine taskbar buttons” settings on Windows 11.
Quick note: The browser may try to block the download. As such, you may have to force the download.
Double-click the zip folder to open it with File Explorer.
Click the Extract all button.
Click the Extract button.
Double-click to launch the FrostingCfg.exe app.
Quick note: If the system detects the files as malicious, you will have to use the “Run anyway” option.
Click the Install button.
Quick note: If the system or app freezes, you may need to force restart the computer and try again.
Click the Yes button to restart File Explorer.
Quick note: If File Explorer doesn’t restart automatically, you may need to force restart your computer.
Select the “Never combine” option to show labels in Taskbar or the “Combine when taskbar is full” to show labels but group apps when the Taskbar is at capacity.
(Optional) Check the “Show labels on taskbar pins” option.
Click the Apply button.
Once you complete the steps, the Taskbar will now show labels for apps on Windows 11, according to your setting selection. The tool also includes the settings to control labels in the Taskbar for multiple monitor setups.
Windows 11 Taskbar apps with labels
If you change your mind, you can revert the changes with the same instructions, launch the extension again, and click the “Uninstall” button. You may need to force restart the computer.