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In Windows 7 I can only have my taskbar on my main display. Can I extend the taskbar across multiple monitors in Windows 8?

  • Fun Fact: in W10 1709, extending a vertical taskbar gets a horizontal TB in the other monitor(s). – Laurie Stearn Feb 4 '18 at 5:49
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Yes. Windows 8 allows taskbars to be shown on all displays. To do this:

  1. Right-click the taskbar and select Properties.
  2. Under Multiple displays, select Show taskbar on all displays.

You can also choose where to display pinned and open applications. This allows you to show taskbar buttons only on the display where the window is open, on all taskbars, or on the main taskbar and the display where the window is open.

Note that, as per this question, it is not possible to pin shortcuts on secondary displays without third-party software.

  • On my windows 8 (windows 8 64 bit), I don't have the "Multiple displays" section. What gives? I have 3 displays, and no matter what combination i connect or disconnect, it never gives me that option. – B T Jul 9 '14 at 2:35
  • Looks like the thing I'm seeing is a bug in an update to windows 8.1. The options show up again if i set the Display settings to larger than default item size ("Change the size of all items"). Man what a stupid bug, more info: social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windows/en-US/… . I went back to using Actual Multiple Monitor, but its having weird issues too : / – B T Jul 9 '14 at 6:07
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Yes, just choose the "Extend these displays" option in the Screen resolution context menu (right click anywhere on desktop).

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Windows 8 includes support for taskbars on multiple monitors.

If it does not show, right-click on the taskbar, and select Properties. Here, you can select Show taskbar on all displays. You can also configure where buttons are displayed. For example, if you have Notepad open, whether, it is displayed on all taskbars, only on the monitor the window is on, or optionally, also on the main taskbar:

Taskbar Properties

Be aware that you can only pin to the main taskbar. See Is it possible to pin an application to the taskbar on a secondary display? for details.

Sources:

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Yes. Windows 8 has improved multi-monitor support compared to Windows 7.

The taskbar can span all display. Additionally, you can configure the taskbar menu to open on the monitor that has the active window, on all monitors, or on the main taskbar and the taskbar on the active window's monitor.

Scott Hanselman's blog has screenshots and delves into it along with other productivity improvements for Windows 8.

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