How to Change Windows 11 Taskbar Alignment Without Activation

If you haven't activated, you have to edit the registry

What to Know

  • Create and edit the TaskbarAl registry value if Windows isn't activated.
  • Otherwise, right-click taskbar > Taskbar settings > Left or Center.

This article describes how to change where the Windows 11 taskbar is positioned at the bottom of your screen. If Windows isn't activated, you have to use the Windows Registry, otherwise, there's a handy taskbar setting that makes the switch really easy.

How to Make Your Taskbar Centered (or Not) in Windows 11

Items on the Windows 11 taskbar can be aligned in the middle or left. Below are directions for changing that setting, whether Windows is or isn't activated.

Editing the registry by following the steps below will not cause any damage to your computer. However, it's remarkably easy to delete or edit something that shouldn't be changed. Be sure to back up the registry before starting. If you need to undo an edit later, you can always restore the registry from the backup.

Windows Is Activated

Changing the Windows 11 taskbar alignment when Windows is activated with a valid product key is simple.

  1. Right-click an empty space on the taskbar and choose Taskbar settings.

  2. Ensure that you're in the Taskbar area of the settings, and then locate the Taskbar alignment option at the top.

  3. Select the menu and choose either Left or Center. The taskbar will adjust accordingly immediately.

    Windows 11 taskbar alignment menu with Left/Center options highlighted

Windows Isn't Activated

Some personalization settings are inaccessible if Windows 11 isn't activated. The workaround is to edit the registry.

  1. Open Registry Editor by searching for it.

    Registry editor search in Windows 11
  2. Navigate to this location using the folders on the left side:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\ Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\
    
    Advanced registry key selected in Registry Editor for Windows 11
  3. Right-click the Advanced key and go to New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.

    New dword value menu in Windows 11 registry editor
  4. Name the value TaskbarAl (that's a lowercase L, not an uppercase i), and press Enter.

    Windows 11 taskbar alignment registry value
  5. The taskbar will immediately align to the left since a 0 value is for left-alignment. To center the taskbar, double-click the value and change it to 1.

    taskbaral registry value set to 1

How Do I Resize the Taskbar in Windows 11?

Related to the taskbar's alignment is its size. Changing the taskbar size is extremely easy to do in Windows 10, so you'd think it'd be an option in the taskbar settings in Windows 11. Instead, the only way to resize the taskbar in this version of Windows is through a Windows Registry tweak.

That said, there is a setting you can enable to auto-hide the taskbar, which essentially downsizes it automatically when your mouse isn't focused on the taskbar. This can provide you with a little extra screen space. To do so, search Settings for Automatically hide the taskbar, and enable the setting.

Automatically hide the taskbar in desktop mode option in taskbar settings
FAQ
  • How do I get the volume mixer back on the Windows 11 taskbar?

    Some Windows 10 users liked accessing the volume mixer via the taskbar to manage the sound for various apps. In Windows 11, there's no longer a flyout for the volume mixer amid the sound, battery, and Wi-Fi icons. There's still a way, however, to access the volume mixer. Right-click the audio icon on the bottom right of the taskbar, then select Volume Mixer. You'll see the volume mixer amid the sound settings.

  • How do I pin my email app to the taskbar in Windows 11?

    To pin your email application, or any application, to the taskbar in Windows 11, use the search function to find the program. Then, right-click on the application and select Pin to Taskbar.

  • When is Windows 11 coming out?

    The free Windows 11 upgrade began rolling out to eligible users in late 2021.

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