Your Windows 10 taskbar is not working properly? Microsoft introduced new features to the taskbar in Windows 10, but it also caused additional frustration.
Let’s take a look at the most common problems that the taskbar has in Windows 10. These solutions will allow you to have a functional taskbar again.
1. Too Much clutter on the Taskbar
Before we get to the specific issues, it is important to mention that the default Windows 10 taskbar contains a lot more junk than necessary, which takes up valuable space. You can hide these icons to free up space for the icons you really care about.
The long search bar is one of them. You can search by clicking on the Start button or the Win keys anytime. Right-click the search box in Windows 10 and an empty area to hide it. Select Search > Show Search Icon to make this a magnifying glass or Hidden for a complete search.
Windows 10’s latest version has removed Cortana from the main menu. To hide this feature, uncheck Show Cortana. You can also uncheck the Show Task View button, and use the keyboard shortcut Win+ Tab instead to access the function.
You will also find some unnecessary elements on the right sidebar. To hide this neglected shortcut, disable Show people on the taskbar. You can disable any of the options in Toolbars without losing anything unless you use them. If you don’t wish the weather to appear on your taskbar, you can disable News and Interests. Show Windows Ink Workspace button or Show touch keyboard buttons can be used if you don’t have a touchscreen.
You’ll now have more space for the icons that you use most often. We’re focusing on specific taskbar issues. If you want to see more customization options, our complete guide for Taskbar customization is a good place to start.
2. Restart the Explorer Process for the First Fix
If you experience a taskbar problem in Windows, the first thing to do is restart the Explorer.exe process. This is the Windows shell. It includes File Explorer, the Taskbar, and the Start menu. It can also be restarted to fix minor issues, such as the taskbar not working.
To launch Task Manager, press Ctrl+ Shift + Esc. If you see only the basic window, click Additional details. Next, click the Processes Tab to locate Windows Explorer. Right-click the icon and select Restart.
Your taskbar will disappear for a moment, then it returns. This is normal and it should return to its normal function when it does.
If that fails, you can sign out and log back into your account. If you haven’t restarted your computer in a while, it is always a good idea to do so again.
3. Make sure you have the latest Windows and Driver Updates installed
Although this is general advice, it can be applied to any PC issues. However, it may solve some taskbar problems. Display drivers and other drivers that are out of date can lead to all kinds of problems. It’s worth checking them out if your taskbar isn’t responding to commands or acting strangely.
While you are at it, ensure you have all Windows updates installed at Settings>>> Update & Security> Windows Update. Sometimes, the latest Windows patches are able to resolve strange problems like these.
4. Windows 10 Taskbar Does Not Hide
It’s frustrating if the auto-hide function of the taskbar doesn’t work correctly after you have enabled it. You can try other solutions if the Explorer process isn’t working or it happens often.
Make sure that auto-hide is enabled. Go to Settings>> and check that Taskbar is disabled. This toggle can be disabled and re-enabled while you are here. Sometimes, an option may become stuck. Toggling it can help restore its functionality.
An app that requires your attention is one of the main reasons the taskbar doesn’t hide automatically. This is often accompanied by a glowing icon on the taskbar. However, it is not always obvious that this is the case.
Check your taskbar if it is not closed. Cycle through all the open apps and ensure that you aren’t receiving any error messages. If a notification is displayed on a website, or a chat client has received a new message, your browser will switch to the “attention” state.
Checking your open apps won’t fix it. Take a look at your System Tray. One of the apps running in the background might need your attention.
If you are experiencing this issue on a regular basis, adjust Windows notifications to fix the app that is stuck. You can disable notifications by going to Settings > System>.
For more control, you can also look in the settings of the app. Telegram allows you to mute notifications in noisy group chats, but not for other conversations. If that fails, you can reinstall any app that keeps your taskbar open to fix the problem.
5. Windows 10 Taskbar Icons Are Missing
You might need to go to the command line and use the classic Windows troubleshooting commands if your taskbar icons are missing. This is not as daunting as it sounds.
To open the Power User menu, first, use the Win + X shortcut or right-click on the Start button. You can then launch a Command prompt (Admin), Windows PowerShell(Admin), or Windows Terminal window (Admin). You can also access some tools to fix the taskbar from any one of these windows.
The prompt will prompt you to first run the SFC command. This runs the System File Checker utility that fixes Windows problems. To do this, use the following command. After it is complete, reboot.
You can also try another utility if this does not resolve the problem. To invoke Disk Image Servicing & Management (DISM), enter the following command. After a reboot, your Taskbar should return to its original state.
6. Windows 10 Taskbar not responding or frozen
You can try PowerShell to fix your problem of not being able to click on any item in your taskbar. It’s quite simple to fix your nonresponsive taskbar by using a non-invasive command.
These can be used by typing PowerShell in the Start menu. Next, right-click on its entry and select Run administrator. To re-register all applications, enter the following command:
After this, navigate to C:\Users\[Your Username]\AppData\Local. Locate the TileDataLayer folder, and then delete it. After a while, your taskbar will be fixed and you can click on items again properly.
If your taskbar remains frozen, there is another, more difficult fix. This one is more expensive, however, because it will also delete all Windows 10 apps including the Microsoft Store from your system. This is the only way to fix your problem.
It is possible to do this by opening PowerShell with administrator rights, as shown above. Next, enter this command:
After that, restart your system. Hopefully, everything will be fixed. If you wish to get the Microsoft Store app back, follow Winaero’s guide.
7. Windows 10 Taskbar moves around
You may have your Windows 10 taskbar locked if it moves when you click on it. The shortcut can be used to quickly move your taskbar to another area of the screen. However, if you prefer to keep it there, this shortcut will not work.
Go to Settings > Personalization>> and check that Lock the Taskbar is enabled. This will prevent you from clicking and dragging on empty spaces in the taskbar to move them around.
8. Last resort: System Restore or create a new user account
Have you tried everything and failed to get your taskbar to behave the way it should? To go back to the time before the problem started, you can use a System Restore point.
If this fails, you can create a Windows user account to fix the problem. Although it is quite inconvenient, this may be the only solution if other solutions have failed.
Open the Settings app ( Windows + I), and navigate to Accounts > Family, & Other Users. Select Add another user to this computer.
The account creation process can be completed by you. To avoid confusion with the original login, choose the I don’t have this person’s sign-in information.
The Windows 10 Taskbar will live on forever
You’ll be able to fix any issues you have with the Windows 10 taskbar. These tips can help you resolve annoying issues such as not being able to click on anything in the taskbar.