How to see the name of open programs on the taskbar

In our Windows computer we find important elements that remain intact over time as a hallmark of the Microsoft operating system. One of these elements is the task bar where the icons of the different programs that we keep anchored or that are running at a certain moment appear. In case you don’t know which program each icon belongs to, Windows has the ability to display the name of each one.

The taskbar in Windows 10 has quite a few customization options. One of those options will allow us to show or hide the texts next to the icons in the open windows that are in it.

see the name of open programs on the taskbar

With its default configuration, Windows 10 does not show the name of the programs or applications that are displayed on the taskbar, since only its icon appears. However, for those users who wish to do so, it allows activating a function so that we can see the names of all the applications along with their corresponding icons.

Why show the name of the icons?

The taskbar is one of the most useful elements of Windows that has accompanied the Microsoft operating system since its inception. Thanks to it we can quickly access applications and programs. In this bar it also shows us other details such as the date and time, the battery status (in case of using a laptop), the status of the Internet connection or the volume settings.

In the case that we are users who have to work with the computer on a regular basis, we may know all the programs that we have running on the taskbar just by looking at their corresponding icons. However, for more occasional users who are not familiar with computers, seeing the icons may not be enough and they may not be able to identify which program corresponds to.

For these more inexperienced users, Windows offers the possibility of activating a function through which all the names of the programs that appear on the taskbar are displayed. This option will make those people with little computer knowledge have better accessibility when it comes to handling the Microsoft operating system, so keeping this function activated can be highly recommended.

Show the name of the programs

To get Windows to show us the name of the programs and applications that appear on the taskbar, we must make a small adjustment in its Settings section. We can also view it by clicking on the application with the right button.

From Windows Settings

To do this, the first thing to do is press the keyboard shortcut “Windows + I” which will immediately launch the Windows “Settings” window. Here we must click on the “Personalization” button. In the left column we will click on the “Taskbar” option.

Configuración y Personalización

Next, on the right side we will scroll to the bottom of the page we will find the section “Combine taskbar buttons” together with a drop-down menu. By default, the option to “Always hide labels” is displayed. If we want to see the name of the programs, we must click on the tab to display it and select the “Never” option. On the negative side, it should be noted that displaying the texts with icons on the taskbar reduces a large amount of space in it. Therefore, it will be better to hide the texts next to the icons of the open windows in the bar.

Nunca combinar los botones de la barra de tareas

If we prefer that the icons of the programs are shown and not the names when the taskbar is full (without free space to show the names of the programs) we will select the option “When the taskbar is full”.

Combinar botones de la barra de tareas cuando esté llena

In the event that we see that the taskbar fills up too quickly when displaying icons next to the names, we have the option of using smaller buttons, in order to have more space. To do this, at the top of this page we find the option “Use small taskbar buttons”, which is disabled. If we click on the button it will be marked in blue and it will be enabled.

Usar botones de barra de tareas pequeños

Clicking on the application icon with the right button

It may be the case that if we have a large number of program icons on the taskbar it is a bit annoying for us to see their names. In this case we can make use of a second much simpler option that will allow us to know at any time the name of any application that appears in the bar. And it is that it will only be necessary to click with the right button of the mouse on the desired icon so that a drop-down menu will appear where it will show us the name of the program.

Mostrar nombre programa de la barra de tareas

Lock taskbar settings

Once we have changed the configuration of the taskbar to show us the name of the applications, we can block it so that no other computer user can change it. In case we use Windows 10 Pro we can do this from the Local Group Policy Editor.

To do this, we are going to press the keyboard shortcut “Windows + R” and the Run command will be launched. Here we will write gpedit.msc and press Enter or the OK button to open the Editor.

Once open, on the left side we display the “User Settings” menu and double click on the “Start Menu and Taskbar” section. Next, in the list on the right side we must look for the action of “Block all the configuration of the taskbar”. Once located, click on it with the right mouse button and select “Edit”.

Bloquear toda la configuración de la barra de tareas

This will cause us to have a new window where we must mark the “Enabled” option. Finally, click on “Apply” and “OK” so that the changes are saved. Once enabled, no user will be able to access the taskbar control panel. You also won’t be able to resize, move, or rearrange the taskbar. We can always revoke this option, repeating the previous steps and checking the “Not configured” option again.

Habilitar toda la configuración de la barra de tareas