Windows Taskbar Problems

by Tanya Watkins

The Windows Taskbar is an element that gives user easy, efficient access to Windows settings, installed programs, and system tools. By default the taskbar is located at the bottom section of the Windows desktop. Depending on your version of Windows operating system, the taskbar is identified with a horizontal bar with a "Start" button. In Windows Vista or Windows 7, the taskbar contains just the Windows logo.

Show the taskbar

If you cannot locate your taskbar, it may be set to be hidden. Simply use your mouse to navigate around the edges of your desktop until the taskbar appears. If it is set to "auto-hide" the taskbar will disappear when you move your mouse away from the bar. You may decide that you do not like to have your taskbar hidden. To keep the taskbar visible at all times, move the mouse over it so that it is displayed, then right-click on the taskbar and choose "Properties." From the "Taskbar" tab, uncheck the "Auto-hide the taskbar" option.

Resize the taskbar

You can resize your taskbar to suit your needs. If your taskbar is hard to use because it is too crowded with open windows, increase its height so it can display multiple rows. If the taskbar takes up too much space on your desktop, it is because the taskbar is too tall. To resize the taskbar, place your mouse on the edge of the taskbar where the taskbar meets your desktop. Your cursor will change to a double-sided arrow. Click and hold your left mouse button, dragging the taskbar's top margin upward until you have corrected the taskbar's size. You can continue to make adjustments up or down until your taskbar is the perfect size for your desktop. Note that if the double-arrow cursor does not appear, your taskbar may be locked. If that is the case, right-click on the taskbar and uncheck the option "Lock the Taskbar."

Move the taskbar

If you have problems with your taskbar moving from one edge of your desktop to another edge of your desktop you may want to lock the taskbar. With the lock option enabled the taskbar will always remain in one spot, and the same size. To lock your taskbar, right-click on the taskbar and select the "Lock the Taskbar" option.

View the Quick Launch toolbar

By default Windows displays the "Quick Launch" toolbar toward the left of the taskbar, to the right of the "Start" button. This useful bar includes shortcuts to frequently invoked applications or folders. Users can drag new shortcuts to the bar; to delete shortcuts, right-click and choose "Delete." To show or hide the Quick Launch bar, right click on the taskbar, choose "Toolbars," and check or uncheck "Quick Launch." You can change the size of the icons in the Quick Launch bar. Ensure the taskbar is unlocked, then right-click on an inactive area of the Quick Launch bar. Select "View," then choose either "Small icons" or "Large icons."

About the Author

Tanya Watkins is a software support technician, software trainer, documentation specialist, fundraising consultant, and first-time mom. She has written several articles geared around technology, home improvement projects, and lessons learned by a new mother. Her 12 years of experience in computer software and support, mold the content of her articles.