How to use the Windows 8 desktop taskbar

This guide wll walk you through the various elements of the desktop taskbars system tray in Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system.

Windows 8 desktop taskbar

For the most part Windows 8 desktop taskbar bears many similarities and operates in much the same way as the desktop taskbar in Windows 7. However, there will of course be a few differences if you are using a touch based device.


Liking Windows 7 if you want to bring up extra options simply right click on the program in question. If you’re using a touch based device however you would instead use our up and drag motion that will bring up the additional options.


On the right-hand side of the Windows desktop taskbar you will see the system tray. Like in previous iterations of Microsoft operating systems the system tray will show you the time and date along with quick access to various features. Here’s a run through of what each symbol means.

The Keyboard Icon


The keyboard icon will bring up the on-screen keyboard if selected. If you’re using a touch based device in Windows 8 it will detect that – and automatically show. Alternatively it can also be turned on in tablet PC settings accessed in the Control Panel.

White Arrow


The White arrow represents the system tray. This will contain all the system tray icons that are part of the desktop taskbar but are currently been hidden.We will show how to customise your system tray itself in a future guide.

White Flag


The white flag in your system tray represents the action centre. The action centre is a central location for all your Windows messages. Most commonly these will be about antivirus reminders, problems and errors.

The Battery Icon


In Windows 8 the battery icon will only show on a computer that Ashley contains a battery. This icon will give you a visual representation of your device’s current charge level and if it is connected to a mains electricity it will instead show a plug icon. Right clicking this will give you access to more options and information.

The Network Icon


The network icon will change depending on what you are using to connect to the Internet. This will vary from representing a physical ethernet cable,3G or 4G or a dongle of some sorts along with traditional Wi-Fi. If you have your computer switch to aeroplane mode it will instead show an aeroplane.

Twitter.png Facebook.png GooglePlus.png Pinterest.png LinkedIn.png Tumblr.png Email.png
5 of 5 0 (100%) 1 vote

- Cheers!