Windows 11 finally gets a “never combine taskbar buttons” mode.

Microsoft has released a new developer build for Windows 11 that adds a long-awaited feature that allows users to ensure that all windows appear as individual items on the taskbar.

The option known as “Never Combined Mode” is being introduced with Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23466 for the newly launched Dev Channel 23000 series flight builds.

“We’re excited to bring you an early release of one of our most requested features for Windows 11, Never Combined Mode,” said Microsoft’s Amanda Langowski and Brandon LeBlanc.

“In never-combined mode, you can see each window of your applications individually in the taskbar, along with their corresponding labels.”

Redmond says the feature is still in early development, but it will allow users to set the taskbar to show labeled app icons individually.

The new never paired mode is rolling out to Windows Insiders on the Dev Channel, so it may take some time to reach all enrolled devices.

Once the feature is available, you can enable it by going to Settings > Personalization > Taskbar > Taskbar Behavior and setting the Combine taskbar buttons and hide labels option to Never.

Microsoft also introduced a new setting called “Combine taskbar buttons and hide labels on other taskbars” that lets you configure whether to combine buttons on other displays.

Settings for ungrouping the taskbar (BleepingComputer) Grouped and ungrouped taskbar items (BleepingComputer)

According to its entry in Microsoft’s Feedback Hub, the option to never combine app icons in the taskbar was one of the most requested Windows 11 features, with more than 17,000 upvotes and over 2,100 comments.

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One more reason not to get out of the way

Many Windows 10 users, including some of us at BleepingComputer, refused to upgrade to Windows 11 because this feature was not available.

Other Windows users seem to have the same concerns based on the comments on the Windows 11 Feedback Hub about this missing feature.

“I know my company will not upgrade to Windows 11 until this feature is added back,” said one of the Windows customers, before Microsoft announced the feature would be added again.

“OMG YAY! It’s been a long time since I’ve eagerly awaited a Windows patch. But today is that day…FINALLY,” added another after this preview build was released.

This week’s Dev Preview build also added the new Dev Drive feature shipping with the Windows 11 22H2 “Moment 3” update, a ReFS storage volume designed to improve performance for developer workloads.

Microsoft is also testing additional Windows 11 backup and restore features to make it easier to move your apps and most important files when switching PCs via a new Windows backup app.