Windows 10 taskbar not hiding? 4 quick solutions to fix it

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Former Managing Editor
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  • It seems like many of us are unaware of how to hide the taskbar in order to enjoy a distraction-free desktop. Yes, some of the users do prefer a neat looking desktop, and the Taskbar can stick out even when it is not required.
  • The taskbar hiding feature can be accessed by heading over to Settings>Personalization>Taskbar. As a subset of the first feature will be able to Automatically hide the taskbar in desktop mode and in Tablet mode.
  • The Windows Taskbar is as important as the Start button because it's full of features. 
  • If you have a problem with your Windows 10, go straight to our Troubleshooting Windows 10 Hub and you will find your solution.
fix windows 10 taskbar not hiding

4 quick solutions to fix taskbar not hiding

  1. Restart the Windows File Explorer
  2. Check Taskbar Preferences
  3. Check Group Policy Settings
  4. Check third-party apps and software

The Windows Taskbar is a quintessential part of the whole Windows experience. Launched first with the Windows 95 the feature has evolved and become indispensable.

However, it seems like many of us are unaware of how to hide the taskbar in order to enjoy a distraction-free desktop.

Yes, some of the users do prefer a neat looking desktop , and the Taskbar kind of sticks out like a sore thumb even when it is not required.

Thankfully Microsoft has baked in a feature that lets Windows users hide the taskbar. The feature has been carried over to the Windows 10 from the previous versions.

However recently some of the users have been complaining that the taskbar hiding option is not working on Windows 10.

Let us walk you through a step-by-step guide on how to hide the taskbar in Windows 10.

Taskbar

The feature can be accessed by heading over to Settings>Personalization>Taskbar. As a subset of the feature one will be able to Automatically hide the taskbar in desktop mode and in Tablet mode.

The desktop mode is useful for desktops and laptop PCs. However, if you happen to own a convertible then the second option makes more sense.

Why is my taskbar not auto-hiding?

The feature to hide Windows 10 Taskbar is pretty reliable but it does have its fair share of troubles.

The most common complaint is when the Windows 10 Taskbar is not hiding. In this segment, we will troubleshoot the issue and resolve the same.

Before starting with the actual troubleshooting steps it is important for us to understand why the Windows 10 Taskbar is not hiding.

In all likelihood, it is an active program icon that is stopping the Windows Taskbar from disappearing.

This usually happens if one of the apps in the taskbar is trying to inform the users of a completed task or a new notification. In this, such a case attending to the notification will resolve the problem.

On a related note, the Windows also runs a slew of apps in the background and these apps may be your culprit as well.

That being said sometimes the Taskbar fails to hide even after attending to all the notifications.

What can I do if my taskbar won’t hide automatically?

1. Restart the Windows File Explorer

Task Manager

One of the best and the easiest way to fix this problem is by restarting the Windows File Explorer. Follow the steps detailed below in order to restart the Windows File Explorer,

  • Open the Windows Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc
  • Click on more details
  • Right-click on the Windows Explorer process and select Restart

Once the Windows File Explorer is restarted try clicking anywhere on the Desktop, the Taskbar should now hide automatically. Please ensure that the mouse is not on the taskbar while clicking.

2. Check Taskbar Preferences

Taskbar settings

If the above steps don’t solve your issue its time we employ some advanced tactics.

In rare cases, the Taskbar not hiding issue is also caused by programs that are not displayed directly on the Taskbar but are within the arrow icon.

In order to set this straight, we need to head over to the Taskbar preferences by following the steps detailed below:

  • Head over to Personalisation>Taskbar in the Settings
  • Under the Notification Area header Choose Select which icons appear on the taskbar

Notifications & actions

Now you can figure out which application is causing the issue by toggling Always show all icons in the notification area to off position.

In the meanwhile, you can disable apps that you think beam notifications unnecessary.

The Notification can be disabled in entirety by heading over to Notifications & Options and toggling Get Notifications from apps and other senders to an off position.


You might also be interested in our article about how to show or hide Windows Store Apps on the Taskbar


3. Check Group Policy Settings

Incorrect Group Policy settings may also cause the taskbar to remain visible on the screen.

There are a series of taskbar-related features that you can set up in the Group Policy Editor to make sure that the taskbar behaves the way to want it to.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Go to Start > enter gpedit.msc > hit Enter
  2. Navigate to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbarstart menu taskbar
  3. Now, tweak the settings of the following features according to your needs:
    • Lock all taskbar settings — this options allows you to set a series of permanent taskbar settings that won’t change once you’ve applied them.taskbar notifications group policy
    • Turn off all balloon notifications
    • Turn off the automatic promotion of notification icons to the taskbar.
    • Turn off feature advertisement balloon notifications.
    • Notifications — this options lets you turn off calls during Quiet Hours

4. Check third-party apps and software

Sometimes, third-party apps and software solutions may interfere with your computer settings.

If this issue occurred shortly after you installed particular apps and programs, uninstall them and check if the problem persists.

There you go, one of these 4 solutions should help you fix your problem. If you come across additional fixes, feel free to list the steps to follow in the comments below.

FAQ: Read more about the Taskbar hiding problems

  • Why is my taskbar not hiding in fullscreen?
Make sure that the Automatically hide the taskbar in desktop mode option is enabled. If the Taskbar is not responding, here’s how you can fix that.
  • How do I fix my taskbar not hiding?

First, check the settings of your taskbar to see if you changed it to automatically hide. If it still doesn’t hide, check out our full solution to solve this problem.

  • Why does my taskbar not hide in fullscreen YouTube?
This might be a problem with the File Explorer. Try to restart it. If the problem persists, read our guide on how to solve problems with File Explorer.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in November 2017 and was revamped and updated in June 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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