Steps To Fix Your Windows 10 Taskbar Not Working

Steps To Fix Your Windows 10 Taskbar Not Working

/ James Masterson

The Taskbar, which was initially just one of the minor features of the Windows operating system, has gained new functionality with Windows 10. The new components turned it into a feature-rich application that is pleasing aesthetically and useful. However, with the added feature, users had some vexing errors this that guide is designed to fix.

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The Search function turned out to be the biggest attraction in this new makeover attempt. It serves a dual purpose of searching for the programs and of interacting with the Windows built-in personal assistant– Cortana.

windows 10 taskbar

Another exciting new addition to the taskbar is the Windows 10 Task View feature. When you click on this icon, you can see all the windows you currently have open. It quickly creates virtual desktops. You can build a desktop for your work, one for web browsing, another for listening to music, and so on.

windows 10 taskbar2 1

All in all, the Taskbar gives you greater control over your system. You can customize the features and change them to suit your specific needs.

When there is a problem with the taskbar, it prevents you from enjoying all the benefits it has to offer until that problem is resolved. Here is a guide to fixing the various issues that you could face with the Windows 10 Taskbar.

Check out our Guide on: Windows 10 Kernel Security Check Failure Error

What Kind of Issues Can You Experience With the Taskbar?

Given the multitude of functions that the Windows 10 Taskbar has, it can be quite crippling when you are unable to use it. Some of the problems that you might experience with your Windows 10 Taskbar include:

  • An unclickable taskbar: Icons on the taskbar can no longer be clicked, rendering the taskbar unusable.
  • Frozen taskbar: The taskbar stops responding to your commands.
  • Right-click does not work: This will prevent you from accessing some programs and other features on the taskbar.
  • The thumbnails stop working.
  • Pin stops working: The taskbar’s pin feature does not work making it difficult to access the programs you want quickly.
  • Search feature stops working: You are no longer able to use the text and audio elements of the search bar.
  • The Taskbar fails to initiate: The Taskbar does not work from the moment you boot up the system.
  • Jumplist failure: The Jump List feature does not work.
  • Cortana failure: Cortana does not work.
  • Missing icons: Icons you have pinned to the taskbar are no longer there.
  • Unresponsive icons: The icons do not respond to your commands.
  • Auto-hide/lock feature failure: The auto-hide or auto-lock does not work.

Fixing the Taskbar by Restarting Windows Explorer

This is a simple solution for restoring the taskbar to its original condition. Restarting Windows Explorer will help restore the taskbar functionality. Here are the steps needed:

task manager

Step 1:

Press [Ctrl], [Shift] and [Esc] together.

Choose the ‘Task Manager‘ option from the menu that appears.

windows explorer end task

Step 2:

In the ‘Processes’feature, find the ‘Windows Explorer‘ option and use right-click. Now choose ‘End Task.’

Step 3:

You will find the task re-launch itself in a few moments. Check your taskbar to see whether it is back to its full functionality after Windows Explorer is restarted.

The above steps are a stopgap measure only. If you find the issue returning, try our next solution.

Look for faulty explorer add-ons that may be causing the Taskbar issues

This is another simple way to deal with taskbar issues.  Here are the steps for this solution:

Step 1:

Boot your computer in its Clean Boot State. Try to identify the add-on that is triggering the issue.

Step 2:

When you find the add-on that interferes with explorer.exe, remove it or disable it. Find if your taskbar problem is resolved by this step.

Re-register the Taskbar

If the above two solutions provided just a temporary relief to your taskbar issue and you find it returning or if the solutions did not solve the problem, you have to use Windows Powershell.

The Powershell feature is identical to the commonly used command prompt. It can be launched by using Command Prompt. It helps to configure the system settings. This step is a bit complex and requires careful execution of steps:

Step 1:

In the Search window, enter, ‘Windows Powershell.’ Open the application.

run powershell as administrator

You can also open Powershell using Command Prompt by typing Powershell command and pressing the enter button. Both methods can be used as they do not cause any difficulty in executing the other steps in this method.

powershell command prompt

Step 2:

Now copy the command given below and paste it in Command Prompt and press Enter.

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)AppXManifest.xml”}

appxpackage allusers

Step 3:

After the above command is executed, visit the directory below, which is part of Windows Explorer.


Use the username in your Account for the Name part.

delete username

Step 4:

In the list, find the folder named TileDataLayer. Delete the folder.

Now check whether your taskbar is functioning normally.

Repopulate the Taskbar Using the Command Prompt

If the icons in your taskbar are missing and the taskbar tray present on the right bottom of the taskbar does not function, you have to use the command prompt feature for resolving the issue. Here are the steps to reproduce or repopulate taskbar using command prompt:

If the icons in your taskbar are missing and the taskbar tray on the right bottom of the taskbar does not function, you have to use the command prompt to resolve the issue. Here are the steps to repopulate the taskbar using the command prompt:

Step 1:

Open the ‘Quick Link’ menu using [X] and [Windows] keys together.

Step 2:

Launch the Command Prompt option that has (Admin) next to it. You must open the Command Prompt as an Administrator to use the DISM (Disk Image Servicing and Management) feature you need for this method.

command prompt admin 1

Step 3:

When the Command Prompt appears, enter the command below:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

After hitting [enter], the icons should be back on your taskbar, and its functionality should be fully restored.

Check Your Drivers

The taskbar problem you have may be related to out-of-date drivers. This process can be used to solve taskbar issues and many other issues you have with your computer. Here are the steps:

Step 1:

Many drivers could cause taskbar issues if they need to be updated. In general, you should look at standard drivers, such as those for audio and graphics. Even if you cannot find the cause, you can download software like ‘Driver Talent’ to automatically update the driver.

Automatic driver update tools will properly identify your system and choose the right driver based on the Windows 10 variant and specific hardware you have. The software will then install the driver on your PC for you.

update drivers

Making a New User Account

If you did not have any success with the above methods and find that the taskbar is still not functioning properly, you could use one way that is bound to work regardless of the reason for it.

You can create a new account to get rid of any taskbar issues. A local user Windows account can solve your problem. Here is how you do it:

Step 1:

Open the Settings window by pressing [I] and the [Windows] key.

Step 2:

Open ‘Accounts’ and choose ‘Family and Other Users’ option from the menu in the left panel.

family and other users

Step 3:

In the ‘Other Users’ option, choose  ‘Add Someone Else to this PC,’ and follow the on-screen instructions.

If you are replacing your user account, it is best to choose options such as, ‘Add a user without a Microsoft account’ or ‘I do not have this person’s sign in information.’ This will help prevent confusion with the original account.

Fixing the Taskbar’s Auto-Hide Feature

To repair the Taskbar’s auto-hiding feature, you can use a couple of methods. Both are below:

Method 1:

The typical reason for the taskbar to fail to retract on its own is due to the presence of an application in need of the user’s attention. This is not usually completely obvious when this problem occurs. Here is what you need to do:

Step 1:

Browse through the apps you have open by using the up arrow icon on right side of the taskbar. Determine whether there are any error messages present, any other pop-ups or notifications that might be causing the issue.

fix auto hide

Step 2:

If the auto-hide issue occurs frequently, you have to conduct a complete check to prevent the problem from reoccurring.

Method 2:

This method is similar to the restarting the Windows Explorer method explained in the initial part of this guide.  Open Task Manager with Ctrl+Shift+ESC →Processes tab → Windows Explorer. Once Windows Explorer is highlighted,  click on the ‘Restart’ button at the bottom right side of the window.

Repair an Unclickable Taskbar

If you find that you cannot click on any of the taskbar features, you have to follow the steps below to resolve the issue. Note: While this process is an easy one, it has a significant drawback. All the apps in your Windows 10 system will be erased entirely:

Step 1

Open the ‘Quick Link’ menu using [X] and [Windows] keys together, and launch the Command Prompt option that has (Admin) next to it. You must open the Command Prompt as an Administrator.

Step 2:

Type the following command on the Command Prompt page:

Get-AppxPackage | Remove-AppxPackage Get-AppxProvisionedPackage -Online | Remove-AppxProvisionedPackage–online

Step 3

Hit [Enter] to execute the command. When it is finished, restart the computer.


With the above troubleshooting tips, we hope your taskbar issues are permanently solved. Your taskbar should now be restored to a pristine working condition. The above methods should be sufficient to take care of the majority of issues you face with the Windows 10 Taskbar.

There is one final method you can try if your Windows 10 is relatively fresh and you do not have too many programs in it: You can reinstall the system to get rid of your taskbar issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my taskbar not working on Windows 10?

Your taskbar may stop working if Windows Explorer or File Explorer encountered an error and closes while Windows is still running. Your taskbar may become unresponsive or disappear from your screen.

How to fix Windows 10 taskbar not working?

You can fix your taskbar by restarting the File Explorer using the Task Manager.

Step 1: Open the Task Manager on your computer.

Step 2: Now, click on Processes and select Windows Explorer.

Step 3: Lastly, click on Restart.