Without a taskbar, the life of a windows user can be daunting. You can access almost everything you do on Windows via the taskbar. It hosts some of the most useful tools and programs, like the Start menu, Cortana, Date & Time, Notifications, pinned apps, opened apps, and activities.
But sometimes, when you update Windows or encounter some error in the System, it might cause the taskbar to disappear.
And when the taskbar disappears, it can be a nightmare.
Reasons – Taskbar Missing In Windows
- Auto-hide taskbar feature is turned on
- File Explorer is not working
- Outdated display drivers
- Unknown apps installed in the System
- Virus or malware attack
- The display resolution is higher than supported
Fixes – Taskbar Missing In Windows
Here it comes, everyone’s favorite fix to solve any issues related to electronic devices – a good old reboot.
Nothing hurts more than trying out all the fixes before realizing that all it needed was a simple restart. So, before moving on, make sure you reboot your PC and check if the issue still exists. Also, make sure there are no pending Windows updates.
If the problem is not resolved after the reboot, move on to the fixes discussed below.
Check if the Taskbar Is Hidden.
Let’s start by checking if the issue was caused due to a mistake from the user.
At some point, you might have accidentally turned on the “auto-hide taskbar” setting without knowing. Or someone else who uses your PC might have done it by mistake.
If your taskbar appears every time you hover your mouse at the bottom of your screen, the auto-hide feature is turned on.
To disable this feature, follow the steps below:
- Right-click on an empty part of the taskbar when it appears
- Select Taskbar settings
- Select Taskbar behaviors to extend it
- Uncheck the “Automatically hide the taskbar” setting
Now check if it disappears after you move the cursor away from it.
Scan for Viruses & Malware
Viruses and Malwares entered through various mediums can cause issues in the system. Such anomalies can also cause the taskbar disappearing issue.
To scan for such viruses and malware, follow the steps below:
- Go to Settings (Windows key + I)
- Select Privacy & Security and choose Windows Security
- Click on Virus & threat protection
- On the new window, click on the Quick scan button
The defender will now run a quick scan of the PC and will notify you of the results. If found, take appropriate action to remove the virus or malware.
Update Display Drivers
Sometimes hardware driver incompatibility can cause issues within the System, including the missing taskbar problem.
It is always recommended to stay up to date with the latest drivers. Here’s how you can update your drivers:
- Open the Start menu context by pressing the Windows key + X
- Choose Device Manager
- Double-click on Display adapters to extend it
- Right-click on your display and select Update
- Choose “Search automatically for drivers.”
After the scan, install any available updates and reboot your system.
Sometimes, new updates can bring new bugs that can create an issue with the System. So, if your driver was recently updated, you can return to the older version and check if the problem still exists. Click on Roll Back Driver instead of Update driver to return to the older version.
Delete Temporary Files
Temporary files can sometimes interfere with the system files, resulting in issues like missing taskbar. These files are not important, and you can delete them to clear the interference.
Here’s how you can delete temporary files:
- On the Start menu, search for “%temp%” and open the relevant result
- Press Ctrl + A to select all the files
- Now press Shift + Delete and confirm to delete them permanently.
Deleting temporary files will also clear up the hard disk space it was using. So even if this doesn’t solve the issue, you still got some hard disk space cleared.
Restart Windows Explorer
Sometimes, the unexpected crashing of Windows explorer can also cause the taskbar disappearance issue.
In this case, you need to restart the process to solve the problem.
To restart the File Explorer:
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc simultaneously to open the Task Manager
- Scroll down and locate Windows Explorer and select it
- Now hit the Restart button at the bottom right corner
Check if the taskbar appeared or not. If not, move on to the next fix.
Check Windows Projection Settings
If you frequently use an external display to project your screen, then this might have caused the taskbar to disappear. To solve this:
- Press Windows key + P to open the project settings
- Choose the PC screen only option
Now check if the issue is resolved.
Turn Off the Tablet Mode.
Tablet mode can be very useful for PCs with touchscreen features. But this might also cause the taskbar to disappear. So, if you have a touchscreen PC, make sure that the tablet mode is turned off.
To turn off the tablet mode:
- Go to Settings (Windows key + I)
- Select System and choose Tablet Mode
- Now turn it off
If you want to keep using the tablet mode, then turn off the “auto-hide taskbar in tablet mode” option to unhide the taskbar.
Check the Display Resolution
The difference between monitor size and screen resolution can cause the taskbar to hide. You can change the resolution to fix this issue.
To change the display resolution, follow these steps:
- Right-click anywhere on the desktop
- Select Display settings
- Click on Display Resolution and choose the recommended resolution
Save the changes
Run sfc Scan for Corrupted Files
Corrupted files in the System can also cause the taskbar to disappear. You can use the command prompt to scan for such files and repair them automatically.
To run sfc scan, follow the steps mentioned below:
- On the start menu and search for Command Prompt
- Right-click and choose Run as Administrator.
- Now enter the following command:
Your System will run a scan for corrupted files. And it will automatically fix them if found. Now check if the issue still exists or not.
Run Disk Image Check
Error on the System’s image file can also cause the missing taskbar issue. You can use the DISM tool to scan the system image file for errors and fix them.
To run the disk image check, follow these steps:
- Run Command Prompt as Administrator
- Enter the following command:
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
After the process is complete, reboot your pc and check if the taskbar is visible.
Boot Windows in Safe Mode
Running the Windows in Safe mode allows you to identify if the culprit causing the issue is a third-party application or not.
During Safe mode, only a selected few system files and drivers are used to remove any intervention of a third-party application.
If the issue exists in the Safe mode, the problem is with the System; otherwise, a third-party app is causing the issue.
To boot the WIndows in safe mode, go through the steps mentioned below:
- Press the Windows key + R to open Run
- Type msconfig in the box and hit Ok
- Switch to the Boot tab
- Below the Boot options, check the Safe boot box and click OK
Now reboot your PC to enter the boot mode. If the taskbar is still not showing, the fault is within the System. You can now move on to th next fix.
But if the taskbar appeared after the reboot, the problem is caused due to a third-party app installed on your device. In this case, remove recently installed applications to solve the problem.
Remove the Problematic Apps
Identify the recently installed apps that might have caused the taskbar to disappear. You may need to uninstall them to solve the taskbar disappearance issue.
To uninstall an app
- Press Windows key + I to open settings
- Click on Apps and then Apps & features
- Locate the app you want to uninstall
- Click on the three dots to bring a drop-down menu
- Choose Uninstall and confirm
After each application is uninstalled, check if the issue is resolved.