Windows 10 taskbar not working / responding

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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Affiliate Disclosure

  • Your Taskbar is a launch point for many of the apps on your PC.
  • However, some users have reported that sometimes their Taskbar doesn't work at all.
  • To learn more about these WIndows 10 features, go to our Windows 10 Hub.
  • For more tech-related fixes, seek out help from our Troubleshooting section instead.

Problems with the user interface are common not just in Windows 10, but in all previous Windows operating systems. This time, we’re going to talk about fixing the problem with the taskbar in Windows 10.

So, let’s dive right in and see what you can do in order to fix your Windows Taskbar.


There are many issues with Taskbar that can occur, and in this article we’re going to cover the following problems:

  • Unclickable Taskbar Windows 10 – Many users reported that their Taskbar is unclickable. This can be a big problem since you won’t be able to use your Taskbar at all.
  • Windows 10 Taskbar frozen – Sometimes your Taskbar might stop responding. In fact, several users reported that their Taskbar is completely frozen.
  • Right click Taskbar not working – Several users reported that right click on their Taskbar isn’t working. However, you should be able to fix this problem by using one of our solutions.
  • Taskbar thumbnails not working – According to users, it seems that Taskbar thumbnails aren’t working. If you have this problem, the Taskbar preview won’t work for you at all.
  • Pin to Taskbar not working – Users tend to pin their favourite applications to the Taskbar in order to access them faster. However, many users reported that this feature isn’t working for them.
  • Lock the Taskbar, autohide Taskbar not working – Another problem with Taskbar is the inability to lock or automatically hide the Taskbar. This is a minor problem, but you should be able to fix it using our solutions.
  • Taskbar search not working in Windows 10 – Users reported that the search feature isn’t working for them. This can be a big problem, especially if you use the search feature frequently to access applications.
  • Taskbar not working on startup – Several users reported that issues with Taskbar occur right on startup. This means that you won’t be able to use your Taskbar at all on Windows 10.
  • Taskbar jump list not working – Several users reported that Jump lists aren’t working on their PC. This can be a problem if you use Jump lists frequently to open recently used files.
  • Cortana Taskbar not working – According to some users, it seems that Cortana isn’t working on their Taskbar. Cortana is an integral part of Windows 10, and not being able to use it can be a big problem.
  • Taskbar buttons not working – Another relatively common problem with Taskbar. Few users reported that Taskbar buttons aren’t working, but you should be able to fix this problem using one of our solutions.

How can I fix my Taskbar in Windows 10?

1. Check drivers

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Although it seems unlikely, there’s a chance a bad driver is causing the problem. It is known that incompatible drivers can make quite a mess in Windows 10, and a disrupt taskbar is one of the possible issues.

So, make sure all your drivers are up to date and update any outdated driver. This is a simple procedure, and you can perform it manually or automatically.

We also strongly recommend  DriverFix, a program that may seem lightweight and not capable of much, but it can update all of your drivers, fix the ones that you have but are broken, and even provide you with drivers for the devices you didn’t even know that you had.

DriverFix automatically update drivers

All you need to do is download it, install it and launch it, and everything afterward is pretty much automated.

The only thing to remember is that this program doesn’t come with the driver libraries already built-in, so you need an Internet connection for it to download them.

Other than that, using DriverFix is pretty much a walk in the park.

DriverFix

DriverFix

Updated drivers can save you a world of troubles, including Taskbar-related issues, so get them fixed now!
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2. Restart Windows Explorer

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc and choose to open Task Manager.
  2. Under Processes, find Windows Explorer, right-click on it and select End task.Unclickable Taskbar Windows 10
  3. The task will re-launch itself after a couple of moments, so check if everything is okay with your taskbar now, after you restarted the Windows Explorer

Before we get to some ‘system-messing’ solutions that include Command Prompt and PowerShell, let’s try one simpler. A simple restart of the Windows Explorer will restore the functionality of the taskbar, and other users interface features.

So if your taskbar problem is not that serious, this solution should work just fine.

This solution might solve the problem, but only temporarily, so if the problem returns, try the solution below. Can’t open Task Manager? Don’t worry, we’ve got the right solution for you.


Windows won’t end a task in Task Manager? Count on us to solve the problem.


3. Perform a PowerShell fix

  1. Right-click on the Start Menu button and choose Command Prompt (Admin) from Win + X menu.
    Windows 10 Taskbar frozen
  2. In the Command Prompt enter the following command and press Enter:
    • PowerShell.
      Right click Taskbar not working
  3. Now paste the following command in the Administrator: Windows PowerShell window and press Enter key:
    • Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)AppXManifest.xml"}
      Taskbar thumbnails not working
  4. Now, close PowerShell, and go to the following folder:
    • C:/Users/your_username/AppData/Local/.
  5. Locate and delete TileDataLayer folder.
    Pin to Taskbar not working
  6. Now check if your taskbar is working, you don’t even have to restart your computer.

Okay, so if restarting Windows Explorer didn’t get the job done, or it just temporarily solved the issue, you can try with some more advanced solution.

This solution will require you to use Windows PowerShell, so if you’re not familiar with working in this environment, you should ask someone better informed for help.


Windows PowerShell stops working? Follow the easy steps in this useful guide.


4. Reinstall apps or ShellExperienceHost and Cortana

  1. Right-click the Start Menu, and choose Windows PowerShell (Admin).
    • If you don’t have this option available, repeat steps 1 and 2 from the previous solution.
  2. Enter the following commands (each command resets one feature) into PowerShell, and press Enter:
    • Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.Windows.ShellExperienceHost | foreach {Add-AppxPackage -register "$($_.InstallLocation)appxmanifest.xml" -DisableDevelopmentMode}
      Lock the Taskbar not working
    • Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.Windows.Cortana | foreach {Add-AppxPackage -register "$($_.InstallLocation)appxmanifest.xml" -DisableDevelopmentMode}
      Taskbar search not working in Windows 10
  3. Wait for the process to finish.

If you don’t want to reinstall all of your apps, your best bet is to just re-register Cortana, and ShellExperienceHost.


5. Update your system

  1. Press Windows Key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Now go to Update & security section.
    Taskbar not working on startup
  3. Now click on Check for updates button.
    Taskbar jump list not working

If you’re running an older version of Windows 10, there’s a chance some of the system components might get corrupt.

That’s exactly why Microsoft advises its users to always have the latest version of Windows 10 installed on their computers.


Having trouble updating your Windows? Check out this guide that will help you solve them in no time.


6. Perform System Restore

  1. Type Recovery in the Search bar and select Recovery from the list.
    Taskbar jump list not working
  2. Select Open System Restore.
    Cortana Taskbar not working
  3. System Restore window will now open.
  4. Click on Next to proceed.
    Taskbar buttons not working
  5. If available, check to Show more restore points.
  6. Select the desired restore point, and click on Next.
    Unclickable Taskbar Windows 10
  7. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the restoration process.

If some of the system files on your computer got corrupted, sometimes the most suitable solution is to perform System Restore. This feature will bring your system back to the previous working state, without affecting your files and data.

Therefore it’s a much safer option than performing the clean install.

Keep in mind that you’ll need a valid Restore Point in order to perform System Restore. If you don’t have any, there’s no point in performing System Restore at all.

Of course, don’t create a Restore Point while your taskbar is not working, because you certainly don’t want to get back to that.

However, you can create a Restore Point once you’ve dealt with the problem (hopefully, you’ll find a proper solution here).

If you’re interested in more info on how to create a restore point and how would that help you, take a look at this simple article to find out everything you need to know.


If System Restore isn’t working, don’t panic. Check this useful guide and set things right once again.


7. Use Troubleshooter

  1. Go to the Settings app and go to Update & security section.
  2. Select Troubleshoot from the menu on the left. In the right pane, select Windows Store Apps.
  3. Now click on Run the troubleshooter.
    Windows 10 Taskbar frozen

Windows 10 Creators Update brought a useful feature called Troubleshooter. This feature will help you solve various system-related problems in Windows 10.

Using Troubleshooter is much easier than entering code in PowerShell or Command Prompt.

Now, we’re back to our possible problems with Windows apps, that might interfere with the taskbar. You can use Troubleshooter to deal with potential issues with Windows apps, and you’ll see that it’s easier than the solution 3.

If there are any problems with Windows apps, Troubleshooter will detect and solve them. However, if the taskbar is still unresponsive after performing the troubleshoot, move on to the next solution.

Does the troubleshooter fail to load with an error? Follow this useful guide and fix it in just a couple of simple steps.


If the Troubleshooter stops before completing the process, fix it with the help of this complete guide.


8. Start Application Identity Service

  1. Go to Search, type services.msc, and open Services.
    Right click Taskbar not working
  2. Find Application Identity serviceTaskbar thumbnails not working
  3. Right-click on it, and choose Start.
  4. (There’s no need to restart your computer).

There are some reports that suggest starting the Application Identity service will fix the taskbar issue.


9. Use DISM

    1. Press Windows Key + X and start Command Prompt (Admin).
    2. In the command line type following command: 
      • DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

In case the DISM can’t obtain files online, try using your installation USB or DVD.

  1. Insert media and type the following command:
    • DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
      Pin to Taskbar not working
  2. Be sure to replace this path of your DVD or USB.:
    • C:\Repair\Source\Windows\
  3. The operation should last no more than 5 minutes.

DISM is an acronym for the Deployment Image Servicing and Management. The main purpose of the DISM is to scan and fix corrupted files on your computer, including the taskbar.

If you’re having trouble accessing Command Prompt as an admin, then you better take a closer look at this guide.


It seems that everything is lost when DISM fails on Windows? Check out this quick guide and get rid of the worries.


10. Perform a clean install

And finally, if nothing worked out and you’re trapped in cycles trying to figure out what’s the reason for the taskbar to stay unresponsive, your final solution is the clean reinstall.

Yes, it may seem like a time-consuming action when we have in mind that you’ll need to backup your data and setup again all those settings. However, this is your last resort and we advise you to take it into consideration.autohide Taskbar not working

If you don’t know how to backup your data on Windows 10, check out this detailed guide that will you do it with ease.


Epic guide alert! Reinstall Windows 10 with a few quick steps. Everything you need to know is right here.


11. Create a new user account

Now, if you don’t want to resort to complex solutions that require a lot of time (such as using system restore), you can simply create a new user account.

Sometimes, certain system files may get corrupted or you may have deleted them by mistake and this may trigger taskbar problems. Or, this problem may have occurred due to incorrect account settings.

Either way, a quick way to fix it is by creating a new user account on your computer.


That’s all for this article, I hope at least one of these solutions helped you to restore the functionality of your taskbar.

If you have any comments, questions, or maybe some other solution for this problem that I didn’t manage to find, please write that down in the comments section below. We and our readers would love to read it.


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

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  • I tried the first solution and the Windows Explorer never started back up. Now I have access to NOTHING except this Internet window and the Task Manager window. My entire task bar is gone. My entire wallpaper is gone. There is nothing on the screen except for these two windows I have open. Nothing to click on. Can’t follow the other steps because I can’t access anything they require me to access. I knew I shouldn’t have clicked “End Task” like the “solution” said. Should have clicked “Restart” like my brain was telling me. Now everything’s gone. Someone please help ASAP?

    • I looked up the solution to this elsewhere. If this same thing happens to you, where Windows Explorer doesn’t start back up on its own, keep the Task Manager open. Click “File” in the top left part of the window. Click “Run new task.” Type in explorer.exe and then click OK. Everything started back up for me, and my task bar, system tray, and Start menu/Cortana search bar are back in working order. For now. We’ll see if the problem comes back up again.

  • neither solution worked. I was able to delete the tiledatalayer folder only after I stopped the service in services and deleted its content first. but still can right click on the taskbar

    • Press windows key + R, write services.msc, then search for TileLayer and stop the services. wait a few seconds and then try delete the folder.

  • Thank you. Worked like a charm. I feel grateful that this is the only issue ive had with Win10. Great OS so far. Nowhere to go but up.