Windows 11 is giving Task Manager a slick new design

Windows 11 Task Manager
(Image credit: @XenoPanther/Microsoft)

Task Manager is one of Windows’ most useful applications that functions as it always has in Windows 11. But the Task Manager's design up until now has been a holdover from Windows 10, so it clashes with the new operating system’s modern look. 

Fortunately, Task Manager will soon have a brand-new appearance that brings it in line with the overall sleek aesthetic of Windows 11. And you can get a glimpse of what's coming in the latest Windows Insider build.

The new Task Manager is hidden within Windows 11 preview build 22538, which was made available to Windows Insider Program members yesterday (Jan 19). The new Task Manager moves the tabs that normally rest at the top of the window over to the left side. The window also has a Mica blur and is in dark mode. However, the list of processes looks the same as before.

Twitter user Xeno shared these pictures of the new Task Master (via XDA Developers).

As mentioned above, the new Task Manager is currently hidden. XDA Developers notes that you can enable the new Task Manager via a program called ViveTool that allows you to run hidden Windows features. Be aware that running this program may impact your system’s stability.

The new Task Manager is in a very early stage of development and will no doubt receive upgrades and updates in the coming months. We aren’t sure when it will become readily available to Insider members or to the public at large. But so far, we like the new Task Manager’s appearance since it conforms to Windows 11’s streamlined look. 

In recent weeks, we’ve seen the Insider Program release updates to Windows’ volume bar and the Alt+Tab command. We expect this to continue until all of Windows’ legacy programs have a unified appearance. 

As we said in previous reports, there are still several Windows 11 programs that retain outdated designs left over from Windows 10. Yes, the programs function as they should but they feel like relics compared to things like the newly redesigned taskbar. But Microsoft seems intent on continuing to update Windows 11 so it’s only a matter of time until the operating system has a uniform look for all its programs and features.

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Tony Polanco
Computing Writer

Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on X/Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.