windows 10 taskbar

Steps to Fix the Windows 10 Taskbar

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 functionality, users had some vexing errors this that guide is designed to fix.

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.

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 easily creates virtual desktops. You can create a desktop for your work, one for web browsing, another for listening to music, and so on.

windows taskbar

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.

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 features of the search bar.
  • The Taskbar fails to initiate: The Taskbar does not work from the moment you boot up the system.
  • Jump list 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:

Step 1

Press [Ctrl], [Shift] and [Esc] together and select ‘Task Manager’ to open the Task Manager.

task manager

Step 2

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

windows explorer end task

Step 3

Windows Explorer will re-launch itself in a few moments. Once it does, check the taskbar to see whether its full functionality has returned.

If the issue is not fixed or returns, try our next solution.

Check for Faulty Explorer Add-ons

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

Step 1

First, you must boot your computer in its Clean Boot State. Log in as an administrator, and enter ‘msconfig’ in the search box.

msconfig on search box

Step 2

Select System Configuration and go to the Services tab. Click the box to ‘Hide all Microsoft services.’ Once the Microsoft services have been hidden, click the ‘Disable all’ button.

click disabled all button

Step 3

Once those services are disabled, click the Startup tab, and click to open the task manager, leaving the System Configuration window open.

open task manager on startup tab

Step 4

Click the ‘Startup’ tab in the Task Manager, and then select each item and disable it if it isn’t already disabled.  You can do this by either right-clicking on the task and selecting ’Disable’ from the drop-down menu or by left-clicking on the task and clicking the button at the bottom of the window.

disable selected item

Step 5

Now, you can close the Task Manager, open the Startup tab on System Configuration window and click ‘OK.’

open task manager on startup tab

Step 6

Restart your computer. Now restart each task one at a time to attempt to figure out which one is interfering with the taskbar. When you find the add-on that interferes with explorer.exe, remove it or disable it. Check to see if this resolves your taskbar problem by restarting your computer again. If not continue to the next method.

Steps to Re-register the Taskbar

If the above two solutions only resolved your Taskbar issues temporarily, or if the solutions did not solve the issue at all, you have to use the Windows PowerShell.

The PowerShell feature looks identical to the command prompt. It can be launched through the Command Prompt. It configures the system settings. This method is a bit complex and requires you to execute the following steps carefully:

Step 1

In the Search box, enter, ‘Windows PowersShell’. Right-click on the ‘Windows PowerShell’ option and click ‘Run as administrator’ to open it.

windows powershell run as administrator

You can also open Powershell using the Command Prompt by typing ‘Powershell’ at the prompt and pressing the [Enter] key. Both methods can be used and are compatible with the other steps in this method.

powershell in cmd

Step 2

Now copy the command given below and paste it in the PowerShell prompt and press [Enter]:

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

copy command get appxpackage

Step 3

After the above command is executed, go to Windows Explorer and find the following folder: C:/Users/<name>/AppData/Local/

Your account username goes in the <name> spot.

go to windows explorer local folder

Step 4

Search the list of folders in the ‘Local’ folder for the folder named ‘TileDataLayer.’ Delete that folder.

delete tiledatalayer

Step 5

Close the open windows and check to see if your taskbar is functioning normally.

Repopulate the Taskbar Using the Command Prompt

If the icons in your taskbar are missing and the taskbar tray on the right bottom of the task bar 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.

quick link

Step 2

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

windows powershell admin

Step 3

When the Command Prompt appears enter the command below:

Repair-WindowsImage –RestoreHealth

enter repair windowsimage

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

There are many drivers that 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 tool will then install the driver on your system for you.

driver talent

Step 2

If Windows 10 is the reason for the driver issue, you have to disable its automatic update functionality completely. The automatic updates include driver updates, but the way these updates are implemented can cause problems. Disabling it will help.

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 method 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.

accounts in window settings

Step 2

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

family and other users accounts

Step 3

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

other users options

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

Method 1:

The common 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 task bar. Determine whether there are any error messages present, any other pop-ups or notifications that might be causing the issue.

exit causing issue apps

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.

Step 1

Open Task Manager with [Ctrl] + [Shift]+ [Esc] →Processes tab.

processes tab in task manager

Step 2

Click on Windows Explorer. Once Windows Explorer is highlighted, click on the ‘Restart’ button at the bottom right side of the window.

restart windows explorer

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 big drawback. All the apps in your Windows 10 system will be completely erased:

Step 1

Enter ‘cmd’ into the Search box.

cmd on search box

Step 2

Right-click the Command Prompt option and select ‘Run as Administrator.’

command prompt option run as administrator

Select ‘Yes’ if the box titled ‘User Account Control’ appears on your computer screen.

Step 3

Type the following command on the Command Prompt page:

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

get appxpackage in cmd

Step 4

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 the 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.