5 Steps to Fix Your Windows 10 Taskbar Issues
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The humble Taskbar was given plenty of attention while Microsoft was working on Windows 10 — but along with some useful new functionality The 4 Neat Tricks You Can Do With The Windows 7 Taskbar The 4 Neat Tricks You Can Do With The Windows 7 Taskbar The Windows 7 taskbar is quite swanky looking, but it also packs a wallop in terms of functionality. Sure, anyone can activate an application by clicking its icon. But do you know what happens when... Read More , some frustrating new errors were brought into the fold.

The following guide will clue you in to what’s changed along with the advent of Windows 10, as well as offering up some straightforward fixes for the most common issues plaguing the Taskbar.

With these tips in tow, you should be well on your way to having a fully functional Taskbar once more.

What’s New in Windows 10?

Like much of the operating system (OS), the Taskbar was given an aesthetic and functional makeover when Windows 10 launched in 2015. The biggest change is the addition of a search bar, which doubles as a method of interacting with Microsoft’s handy personal assistant Cortana How to Make Cortana Organize Your Life How to Make Cortana Organize Your Life Your life is so complex, you deserve a personal assistant. Meet Cortana, your virtual assistant ready to serve at the tip of your tongue. We'll show you how to effectively delegate tasks to Cortana. Read More .

windows search

To the immediate right of the search bar is the Task View icon. This powerful new piece of functionality allows you to see all the windows you currently have open at a glance, as well as offering an easy way of creating virtual desktops.

Virtual desktops allow you to separate different windows and applications off into individual instances — for instance, you might want to create a work desktop that’s separate to the one you use to browse the web and listen to music on your lunch break.

virtual desktops

One of the best things about the new Taskbar is the level of control users have over it. There are plenty of ways to customize it 7 Tips for Customizing the Windows 10 Taskbar 7 Tips for Customizing the Windows 10 Taskbar The taskbar remains a staple feature in Windows 10. It's been given a fresh look and new features, including Cortana. We show you all the tweaks to make the taskbar your own. Read More  to suit your needs, so it’s well worth tinkering around until you’re completely happy with the results.

How to Fix the Windows 10 Taskbar

1. Repopulate the Taskbar via Command Prompt

If your Taskbar is missing its icons and the tray at the bottom right is missing functionality like the clock, you might have to dip into the command interface 7 Quick Tips to Improve the Windows Command Prompt 7 Quick Tips to Improve the Windows Command Prompt You should learn more about the Command Prompt. It's a more valuable resource than most people realize. These tips will improve your command line experience, even if you're a seasoned user. Read More to remedy your issue. Fortunately, this isn’t as intimidating as it might sound.

First, use Windows key + X to open the Quick Link menu. From here, you can launch a Command Prompt with administrator credentials, which is required to open the Disk Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool that we’ll be putting into action to make this fix.

quick link menu

Use the following code in the resulting prompt, and you should find that your Taskbar returns to its normal state:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

2. Fix an Unclickable Taskbar

If your Taskbar is present, but you can’t click on any of the icons, you may well have to resort to some desperate measures to fix the issue.

unclickable taskbar

There is a relatively easy process that should clear up this predicament, but unfortunately it comes at a cost. This method will also remove all Windows 10 apps How to Ban App Suggestions From Windows 10's Start Menu How to Ban App Suggestions From Windows 10's Start Menu Tired of seeing app suggestions in your Windows 10 Start Menu? Here's how to get rid of them easily. Read More , including the Store, from your system.

To get underway, open up a Command Prompt with administrator credentials as demonstrated above. Then, input this string into the window that you’re presented with:

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

Afterwards, restart your system and you should see things put back to normal. If you decide that you want the Windows Store back, you can use this guide to replace it.

3. Remedy Auto-Hide Issues

Some users have reported that the auto-hide functionality of the Windows 10 Taskbar 6 Advanced Taskbar Tweaks for Windows 10 6 Advanced Taskbar Tweaks for Windows 10 Windows 10 has brought many changes and the taskbar wasn't spared. Still, many small tweaks can enhance your experience. We'll show you how you can customize it to perfection. Read More can sometimes stop working, with very little indication given as to what the problem is. Apparently, a fix is in the works as we speak, but until then there’s a couple of ways that you can solve the problem for yourself.

The first method hinges around restarting Windows Explorer. First, open up the Task Manager using CTRL + SHIFT + ESC and head to the Processes tab. Select the app labelled Windows Explorer and click Restart.

task manager

However, it may well be that there is a simpler solution to your auto-hide woes. One of the most common causes for the Taskbar failing to retract automatically is an app being placed in a state that requires the attention of the user — and it’s not always completely obvious when this is the case.

Cycle through the apps that you have open and make sure that there are no error messages 10 Silly Windows User Errors That Actually Happened 10 Silly Windows User Errors That Actually Happened Working in tech support is hard. Troubleshooting skills and patience are the corner stones of this craft. But even the most seasoned tech support pros would struggle with these unusual, and occasionally unbelievable, errors. Read More or other similar pop-ups that might be causing complications. If you’re seeing this problem on a regular basis, a thorough check might be all you need to prevent future headaches.

4. Check Your Drivers

This is relatively broad advice that’s applicable to many PC problems, but it’s been proven to solve Taskbar strife for some users. Outdated drivers can cause all manner of issues, so updating standard drivers, like the graphics and audio drivers, is a good place to start if you’re at a loss as to what’s affecting your system.

First things first; there’s a chance that Windows 10 might be the cause of your driver dispute. Its rollout of automatic updates carries over to drivers, but the implementation of this feature isn’t quite perfect. It might be worth disabling the functionality altogether Take Back Control Over Driver Updates in Windows 10 Take Back Control Over Driver Updates in Windows 10 A bad Windows driver can ruin your day. In Windows 10, Windows Update automatically updates hardware drivers. If you suffer the consequences, let us show you how to roll back your driver and block future... Read More .

Of course, this puts the impetus on you to make sure that your drivers are up to date. Fortunately, the MakeUseOf guide to the subject How to Find & Replace Outdated Windows Drivers How to Find & Replace Outdated Windows Drivers Your drivers might be outdated and need updating, but how are you to know? Here's what you need to know and how to go about it. Read More should give you all the necessary know-how to keep things ticking over.

5. The Last Resort: Create a New User Account

If you’ve tried everything else and still can’t manage to make your Taskbar behave as it should, there’s one method that’s something of a silver bullet, even if it comes with a caveat. Creating a new local user account Fix Windows Issues by Creating a New User Account Fix Windows Issues by Creating a New User Account Have you been troubleshooting a Windows issue to no avail? Creating a new user account could be your last resort. It's tricky, but we'll show you how to do it right. Read More seems to remedy these issues in most cases, but it’s obviously a little inconvenient.

To create a new user account, open up the Settings app (Windows key + I) and navigate to Accounts > Family & Other Users. Under the Other Users section, select the option that reads Add someone else to this PC.

other users

You can then work your way through the account creation process — although if you’re replacing your own user account, you might want to choose the I don’t have this person’s sign-in information and Add a user without a Microsoft account options to avoid any confusion with your original login.

Long Live the Taskbar

Hopefully, you will never run into issues with your Windows 10 Taskbar (again). And if you already have and were looking for a fix, we hope you found it here.

Are you having Taskbar trouble? Do you have information on a fix that might help other users? Share your knowledge or ask for some help in the comments section below.

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  1. Jav
    August 13, 2018 at 11:34 am

    To open taskbar when taskbar is not working use:Windows + I shortcut

  2. Oli Gerber
    July 10, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    1. This is a bad website. You really shouldn't serve more than one article per page, I nearly entered the comment under a wrong topic! It's just a mess
    2. Get-AppxPackage is not available in Commandline editor!! You'll have to use Powershell for that...
    3. Thanks for the rest, hope i will find a solution to this some time. I think a windows update wasn't able to install and now nothing seems to be working regarding the taskbar and besides that I have a lot of little bugs like copy&paste not working etc...

  3. Grant Loehndorf
    March 17, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    i have what i will call a ghost icon in my task bar. i can hover over it its a light grey.
    i can hit the icon and my mail will open up. it seems to be just missing its icon symbol.
    Any solutions
    Thanks Grant

  4. Northwere
    February 26, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    thanks!!! worked for me!!!

  5. Tugiono
    February 8, 2018 at 8:42 am

    thks,, Get-AppxPackage | Remove-AppxPackage
    Get-AppxProvisionedPackage -Online | Remove-AppxProvisionedPackage -online

    its help me

  6. April Lucero
    February 1, 2018 at 11:36 pm

    i need help i don't know anything about computers i barely know how to use the internet. my windows 10 on the bottom i guess the task bar wouldn't click and now after a while the apps doun there are gone also there's a popup notification on the right hand bottom corner that i cant exit out of because the exit corner don't click. dose anybody know what i can do to fix it? i'm going crazy here aaaaaaa SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME!

  7. Sal
    November 27, 2017 at 6:41 am

    I shouldn't have to do all this stuff (far too technical for my small brain) just to use my bloody computer when it decides not to work... Can't click on my taskbar ad all the things I had pinned to it are gone since the new update. Thanks a lot Windows 10!!!

    • Jeffrey
      January 1, 2018 at 6:51 pm

      Windows 10 has been around quite a while now. It's ridiculous that Windows has not come out with an update to fix this very common and time-consuming problem after so much time. It leads me to believe that the company does not care about user experience. I use it because I have to. Given the choice, I'd switch to a less obtrusive operating system with more responsive customer service.

  8. Sav
    November 20, 2017 at 3:48 am

    My taskbar was unclickable at first and then the icons completely disappeared. I used #2 but I typed the command in powershell instead of command prompt. All icons are back and taskbar working perfectly. Thanks!!
    To access powershell, you can open task manager, select 'File' and 'Run new task'. type in 'powershell' and select the admin privilege. then just copy and paste the command given in #2

  9. Bill Steinmetz
    October 31, 2017 at 2:14 am

    My Windows 10 task bar only shows ghost images that are hardly recognizable...this after a total reset (reinstall) of the OS. Help!

  10. Mike
    June 13, 2017 at 11:22 pm

    i found the best way to fix the issues with windows 10 is to install windows 7
    there is nothing good about windows 10 in any way shape or form
    it is just windows 8 with all its issues with a start menu that is terrible
    if you must use windows 10 disable the multiple monitor taskbar
    install classic shell and ultramon or displayfusion for the taskbar

    The best option is to not use windows 10 so Microsoft gets the point and stops trying to push a bad phone OS on us.

  11. Paul Smith
    May 31, 2017 at 3:00 am

    Thanks for this. Option 1 worked perfectly. The taskbar re-populated at around 12% of the way through the process and I let the tool carry on to completion. About an hour overall, I'd say.

  12. Serene
    May 17, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    whenever I click on any icon on the task bar, my laptop shuts down. What do I do?

  13. Joshua Graham
    May 9, 2017 at 9:36 am

    I tried a couple of these solutions 2nd nothing seemed to work. I guess I will have to bring it to best buy and have geeksquad look at at.

  14. Joshua Graham
    May 9, 2017 at 9:35 am

    I cannot open anything on my taskbar. Nothing will respond and it acts s if it were locked or something.

  15. samuel aranez
    April 11, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    the app on the task bar cannot be open because you have something read only in your C: folder
    try to uncheck the Read Only option

  16. Marni
    April 7, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Thank you so much! #3 Restarting worked within seconds.

  17. D. Smith
    April 3, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    Thanks a lot! #1 worked for me!

  18. Andrew Somerville
    March 3, 2017 at 3:16 am

    I tried step 3 and it worked for a few seconds but then explorer stopped working altogether. Does anybody know what to do in this situation?

  19. Faizi
    February 20, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    What is meant by "All Windowws 10 apps", so which apps are these? Stated in this article by typing this command into cmd:

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

    Will the programs and software be deleted by doing this?
    And if all the Windows 10 apps could be deleted, then how can we restore them all without deleting private data?

  20. Leigh Ann Smith
    February 8, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Step #3 (Restart Windows Explorer) worked for me. Thanks so much!

    My problem was that if I had my Internet browser (Chrome) open, then clicked on an icon in the taskbar, it would open that program, but Chrome did not minimize. I had to manually minimize it to see the program I had just opened.

  21. Eddie
    January 24, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    When jumping between different apps, clicking on the app in the taskbar does not open the app. The problem is that it is not consistent, one day I can jump around by clicking on the app in the taskbar and the next day I have to minimize everything to get the required app to open the window that I was working on. The same goes for different windows of the same app. Sometimes I can click on the particular file when it pops up when hovering over the app icon and it will open, the next day I have to minimize everything to get it to open the file I want, including having to minimize another file of the same app.
    This is EXTREMELY frustrating and there is no apparent reason for this working on one day and not on the next day. If I did not buy this laptop with Win10 pre-loaded, and it wasn't such a lot of trouble to get all my apps and programs to run again, I would have dumped Win10 a long time ago!!!!!

    • Heather
      June 28, 2017 at 3:38 am

      Did you find a fix for this? When I hover over an app in the taskbar and it opens, I always have to minimize everything else to open the file I want.

      • Eddie
        June 28, 2017 at 7:32 am

        I unistalled Win10, went back to Win7 and have no more problems. I miss the quick start up and shut down of Win10, but would rather live with slow start up than having to minimize all other applications before I am able to work.

  22. William
    January 16, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    All tray icons had disappeared, restarted multiple times, tried this and that , the dism, etc ... Creating a new user switching to it and then switching back resolved all the tray icons missing.

  23. NotBuyingIt!
    January 4, 2017 at 9:48 am

    THANK YOU! Number 3 (Remedy Auto-Hide Solutions) fixed my problem :) My Windows Start icon, Cortana, Microsoft Edge (Internet Explorer) icon and Action Center icon were not working on my taskbar. Now everything works again! Great advice!

  24. Josh
    December 30, 2016 at 5:58 am

    Thank you so much, I had the auto hide not working glitch and it was super annoying, I'm very thankful that the trick recommended worked for the glitch, thanks again. XD

  25. Matthew Schwartz
    December 29, 2016 at 3:03 am

    Regarding #2
    'Get-AppxProvisionedPackage' is not recognized as an internal or external command,
    operable program or batch file.

    • Lol
      January 3, 2017 at 12:28 am

      The author forgot a sort of important detail: type in "powershell" (without quotes), then press enter. Then type that in.

      • Bytossen
        February 2, 2017 at 1:54 pm

        Even with "powershell" added at the front of the line, this does not help me..
        The command did do a lot of stuff, but nothing was recognized and it didn't fix the unclickable taskbar issue after reboot

        • Daniel
          May 29, 2017 at 3:39 am

          "powershell" is a line of its own. Type "powershell" hit enter than type the lines (or copy and paste).

  26. JBH
    November 23, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    I tried to fix my frozen taskbar with the DISM fix you suggested but it wasn't recognised. Any advice?

  27. Joel
    November 10, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    I have an unusual problem with the system tray on my HP Windows 10 laptop, that I can't seem to find an answer for. The tray is sliding from left to right over and over again, just to the right of the time display, everything works as it should, its just a little annoying seeing this movement outta the corner of your eye down there. It doesn't matter if the task bar is locked or not. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • specialk
      December 12, 2016 at 11:35 pm

      I am having the same problem. Did you find a fix for this?

      • Joel
        December 13, 2016 at 3:34 am

        It actually stopped doing it shortly after I posted this. I wish I could tell you why it stopped but it just did, I don't know if it came through a MS update or not but everything works fine now. Good luck with yours.

  28. Prof59
    October 23, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    So the taskbar that won't appear when using auto hide issue... This article says MS is working on it. This article is 6 months old. How's that coming along?

    • Josh
      December 30, 2016 at 6:00 am

      If it's not appearing I don't know, but if you meant it's not disappearing just do what is says, but the Windows Explorer may not be under apps.

  29. TMH
    October 6, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    I have a microsoft surface book hooked up to a second monitor. When I go to change programs the preview screen shows up and disappears faster than I am able to click a new program. Any thoughts on how to deal with this?

  30. Jesse Harpe
    October 5, 2016 at 7:17 am

    Regarding step 3: Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! I've tried all sorts of crazy things suggested by random sites to fix this problem, and finally this one actually works!

  31. Richard Down
    September 29, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    My problem at times is getting it out the way . I thought one could reduce the width of it by dragging from the border. This though does not seem to work. At times it is seriously irritating in that depending on where you put it you lose things from whatever page you are on, Bells and whistle top or bottom on certain apps, the scroll bar on the right if I place it there . I hate the way it comes back into sight if you place the cursor where it is meant to be hidden. How do I just reduce it to where it was on windows 7

  32. Thentlyq
    September 27, 2016 at 11:39 pm

    I am using nvidia suround and lost toolbar. I had to turn suround off and on again to make it come back.

  33. ola
    September 27, 2016 at 10:37 am

    Step 3 worked for me! Thanks!

  34. Michael Orr
    August 10, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    None of these was relevant, but I did find a fix
    1. press START button, and click "Settings" button
    2. Type 'taskbar' in search box
    3. Select "Taskbar and Navigation" item
    4. Change any settings in the resulting popup and press Apply or OK

    you're welcome

    • Tayvl
      September 23, 2016 at 9:45 pm

      Glad it fixed yours; mine hasn't responded to that yet. So far, the only fix is reboot. Win 10 is a pile of excrement in some areas.

  35. Fiza
    July 24, 2016 at 4:31 am

    I can't even launch the command prompt .. Nothing happens when I press windows key + X so I can't proceed with any of the solutions . I'm having the first and second problem (taskbar icons missing even the clock and unclickable taskbar)

    • George Martinez
      October 7, 2016 at 12:28 am

      Same thing is happening with me... I tried the steps and had no success...

      • VergilTheHuragok
        October 9, 2016 at 2:26 am

        Was having the same problem (still am to a lesser degree). If you press ctrl + shift + esc it should bring up the task manager. Press alt + f and enter to open a run dialogue. Type "cmd" and check the box saying "create this task with administrator privileges." Then press enter.
        Admin CMD without any broken windows/menus (hopefully).

  36. bipneet singh
    July 18, 2016 at 6:31 am

    step no 2 .....it says that windows does not recognise get app as internal or external command........help!

    • Eric L
      November 10, 2016 at 11:16 pm

      step needs to run from a powershell prompt, if you in a command window just type 'powershell' and hit enter.

  37. Mark Wilkins
    June 13, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    I'm using dual monitors and have the show task bar on all monitor checked. The problem is on my left hand monitor, the task bar is see-through. Invisible. No icons, no color. I've been having problems with the task bar not auto-hiding all day.

  38. hocine haddalene
    June 13, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Thanks the god all what i try didn't work but but now it's work 100%

  39. Andre
    May 9, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    OK Everyone here is your Fix to the cortana and search box not working issue:

    Im 100% sure this will help you.

    reply and let me know was it good for you.

    O.K. Everyone ive found the fix for cortana and search box not working.

    Try THIS troubleshooter

    For guided support, try the http://aka.ms/diag_StartMenu. After you’ve completed the troubleshooter, restart your device.

    • Kere
      June 12, 2016 at 7:25 am

      u know something ? i tried all the ways to fix it but didn't work .... it is the only one that really worked !! really thanks dude :)

    • Marty
      February 27, 2017 at 4:46 pm

      The troubleshooter ran a long time, then said "Required programs not installed correctly - Problem not fixed". When I clicked the link to provide feedback on the troubleshooter it closed.

  40. Anonymous
    April 26, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    If anybody is having issues where they have more than one monitor and the taskbar won't auto-hide on one or more of them, then ensure you have the search icon visible. I repeatedly had this problem when I set the icon to not be present in my taskbar.

    I have no idea what the connection is, but it's the only solution that worked for me.

    • Tina Sieber
      May 2, 2016 at 7:53 am

      That sounds odd. One for the list of funny Windows issues. :) Thank you for the tip, Tom!