Although the taskbar in Windows 11 has received a lot of backlash from the public for various reasons, Microsoft is constantly experimenting with it. Recent examples include overflow controls and a search widget. Now it seems like the company may be secretly working on a rounded taskbar as well.
As seen above, the rounded taskbar appeared to Reddit user u/caipira113 on the latest Windows 11 Dev Channel build 25174. The user claims the same thing happened to him on the earlier build 25131. However, the person now has video and photographic proof of this , unlike last time. The taskbar also floats a bit, as seen in the image below:
According to the OP, the rounded taskbar appeared randomly and persisted even after updating the display driver. However, it disappeared after the user restarted explorer.exe via command line.
Of course, there are some speculations that this could be falsified evidence. Neowin co-founder Steven Parker raised concerns on a Reddit thread , stating that the setup may have been done with a third-party app such as RoundedTB, which was then removed. Thus, when explorer.exe was restarted, all changes made by the application were undone. However, the Reddit user denied that this was the case and emphasized that they have no reason to deceive people.
Experimental features appearing unexpectedly for select users are not uncommon. Earlier this year, banner ads started showing up for some people in File Explorer. Microsoft later explained that they weren’t meant to be published externally (…yet?). The same may be true now.
Microsoft may be experimenting with the idea of a rounded taskbar to match the Windows 11 design aesthetic, but it may not be ready for public use just yet. But then again, there’s also a small chance that this is a fabricated testimony, especially since no one else seems to have reported it. We will probably find out the veracity of this report soon, one way or another.