05 Feb 2022,
by Victoria Gelfenbeyn

Windows 11 and DU Meter taskbar band

Windows 11 added quite a few new and exciting features. Among the most visible changes in Windows 11 are the changes to the taskbar. Not only the Start button now in the middle (by default), the whole taskbar underwent quite a significant internal refactor, and some of the features present in Windows 10 were lost along the way. Many industry publications and blogs agree with this sentiment: PC World, for example, calls Windows 11 taskbar “an an annoying step backward”.

Unfortunately, an ability to embed third-party taskbar bands right into the taskbar itself is one such feature. This functionality allowed DU Meter to unobtrusively place its view right into the taskbar, close to the edge of the screen, where it’s visible when you need it, but won’t get in your way otherwise.

On Windows 11, this API is simply not available. There is no Microsoft-blessed way to embed a third-party taskbar band into the taskbar.

DU Meter 8 and the experimental Windows 11 taskbar band

During DU Meter 8 development, we looked hard for ways to make the taskbar band work on Windows 11. We found some workarounds and ways to embed DU Meter into Windows 11 taskbar window. However, we could not reach full parity with Windows 10 functionality: our Windows 11 band could not be resized, and could not accept mouse input like on Windows 10. What’s worse, during the beta testing phase we discovered that our approaches were not as robust as we hoped.

The dilemma

If was clear to us this feature does not meet our quality standards at this time. On the other hand, we did not want to completely remove it from the product: Taskbar Band mode is a feature that many DU Meter users love, and many beta testers reported success using it as-is on Windows 11.

So we decided to release this feature as-is, but mark it as experimental, while we continue to work on a more stable long-term solution. This new Windows 11 taskbar band mode can be activated from the DU Meter right-click menu (on Windows 11 only).