How to Get Rid of a Wide Taskbar

by James Highland

The Windows taskbar is the centerpiece of the operating system. Launching most programs, switching between applications, viewing the time and monitoring system activity are all centrally located on different parts of the taskbar. While it is a necessary component of the Windows interface, it can create a nuisance. Most Windows users experience the frustration of finding their taskbar suddenly too wide. In extreme cases, it can take up half the computer screen due to an erroneous mouse gesture.

Confirm that the taskbar is not locked. No changes can be made to a taskbar's position or size if the setting is locked. Right-click on the taskbar and make sure there is no check mark next to the "Lock the Taskbar" menu item.

Position the mouse cursor on the top edge of the taskbar closest to the center of the computer screen. In most cases, the taskbar sits at the bottom of the screen, so the top border of the taskbar will be used to control its width. The mouse cursor changes to a double arrow to indicate it is in the correct location.

Click and hold down the left mouse button and drag this taskbar border in either direction to adjust its width. It is possible to overcompensate and reduce the taskbar's width so much that it disappears. In such a case, a thin line will still appear that can be dragged again to restore the taskbar.


  • check The taskbar may also be moved to another side of the computer screen. Simply click on an empty area inside the taskbar and drag it to another edge of the screen.


  • close Some computers may have the task bar set wide deliberately to accommodate heavy application use. Wider task bars more easily display open programs if the user is multitasking among many applications.

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About the Author

James Highland started writing professionally in 1998. He has written for the New York Institute of Finance and He has an extensive background in financial investing and has taught computer programming courses for two New York companies. He has a Bachelor of Arts in film production from Indiana University.