Windows Copilot turns off Show Desktop

Microsoft has invested billions of dollars in AI, and it wants everyone to use Copilot on Windows. In its latest attempt to push more people towards AI, Microsoft has turned off the “Show desktop” feature to make room for Copilot in the system tray. This change is shipping with Windows 11’s mandatory February 2024 update.

After installing KB5034765, we noticed that the Windows Copilot icon, next to the search bar, has now moved to the right side of the system tray. Windows Latest understands that Microsoft finds the right side of the system tray a more engaging and appropriate place for the Copilot button.

Regardless of whether you like the idea, Microsoft will automatically turn off the “Show desktop” button in the system tray and put the Windows Copilot button there. But that’s only if you live in the United States, the United Kingdom, and other parts except the European Union.

Show Desktop button missing
Show Desktop button missing | Image Courtesy:

As you can see in the above screenshot, the “Show Desktop” button in Windows has now been turned off by default after the mandatory security update.

This feature has been a part of the OS for decades, and it lets you quickly minimize all open windows and show the desktop. When you click this button, it hides all your currently open programs, folders, or files.

Microsoft is not killing off the feature, but it’s now turned off by default after the update.

How to restore the Show Desktop button on the taskbar

Thankfully, if you want the Show desktop back at the rightmost corner of the taskbar, you can try switching back to the old settings:

  1. Open Windows Settings > Personalization > Taskbar page.
    Select the far corner of the taskbar to show the desktop
  2. In Taskbar settings, expand the “Taskbar behaviours” section and enable “Select the far corner of the taskbar to show desktop”.

This will re-enable the Show Desktop button on the taskbar next to the Copilot button. You can also reopen the taskbar settings and hide the “Copilot” icon to restore the classic behaviour.

Microsoft says it’s only turning off the Show Desktop icon for some people as part of its “controlled feature rollout” in KB5034765 or newer. In other words, some of you may continue to have the feature turned on by default, but this will change in the coming days.

More Copilot changes are being tested in preview builds

That’s not all, though. Microsoft also has plans to open Windows Copilot when the system starts, but only on widescreen devices (27-inch).

This is being tested in Windows 11 preview builds and may come to production at some point. However, Microsoft has promised to allow users to turn off all Copilot-related functions via Settings > Personalization > Copilot. Similarly, Microsoft is also integrating Copilot into Notepad and other places in the operating system.

With Windows 11 Build 26052, Microsoft also added a feature that lets you hover the mouse over the Copilot icon to summarize selected texts or review the content using AI.

As a reminder, Microsoft will not stop here and will regularly try out different experiments in Copilot.

About The Author

Mayank Parmar

Mayank Parmar is an entrepreneur who founded Windows Latest. He is the Editor-in-Chief and has written on various topics in his seven years of career, but he is mostly known for his well-researched work on Microsoft's Windows. His articles and research works have been referred to by CNN, Business Insiders, Forbes, Fortune, CBS Interactive, Microsoft and many others over the years.