Click on the program on the Windows taskbar and realize that it is missing? Sometimes the taskbar disappears and you can’t see anything at the bottom of the screen, while other times only the Start button remains and everything else disappears.
So how do you get the taskbar back? Well, there are several ways to restore the taskbar, but it’s also good to know what can cause the taskbar to disappear.
In my experience, there are four main reasons why your taskbar might disappear:
1. The taskbar is set to auto-hide and not visible 2. The explorer.exe process crashed and the taskbar disappeared completely 3 The screen resolution or main screen has changed, causing the taskbar to disappear from the screen
Let’s look at each of the possible solutions, starting with simple questions.
First method – show the taskbar
If your taskbar is hidden, it should automatically appear when you move your mouse to the very bottom of the screen. However, if something went wrong and it no longer works, you can turn off auto-hide.
To do this, you usually need to right click on the taskbar, but since it is missing, we have to go through the control panel and click on the taskbar and navigation.
This will open the taskbar properties dialog box where you will want to proceed and uncheck the “Automatically hide taskbar” checkbox.
Just in case, you should also make sure that the taskbar is located at the bottom of the screen. If it automatically hides to the left or right of the screen, you may not have noticed it.
The second way – change the display
If you regularly connect your computer to external displays or docking stations, your problem may be related to this. On Windows, you can simply press Windows Key + P or go to Control Panel, click Display, and then click Adjust Resolution or Change Display Settings.
In Windows 7, a pop-up dialog box appears with several choices such as “Computer only”, “Duplicate”, “Extend”, etc. You need to make sure it is set to “Computer only”.
In Windows 8 and Windows 10, you get pretty much the same options in the sidebar that appears on the right side of the screen.
For Windows 10, you only want to select the PC screen from the list. Hopefully if the problem with the taskbar was displaying the presentation, this should fix it.
Method 3 – restart Explorer.exe
This is probably the only method that will solve the problem for most people. Explorer.exe is the process that manages the desktop and taskbar. You may also notice that sometimes, in addition to missing the taskbar, your desktop is also missing icons!
Since they are both running explorer.exe, they both disappear at the same time. To fix this problem, you need to open Task Manager in Windows.
Check out my previous post on 8 Tips for Using Task Manager for all the different ways to open Task Manager in Windows. Once you open it, click on “File” and then “Start New Task” or “New Task (Run)”.
Enter explorer.exe in the field and press Enter. This will restart the explorer process and hopefully get you back the taskbar. If you see a new Windows Explorer popup instead, it means that the explorer.exe process is already running fine.
If none of these options worked for you, there are a few more rare issues that can cause the taskbar to disappear. Hopefully one of them works if nothing else works.
Sometimes this problem occurs when you wake up from hibernation. This may be due to hardware drivers that are incompatible with Windows 7. It is best to update as many drivers for your computer as possible, especially video drivers.
While I don’t recommend updating your BIOS on a regular basis, this could be one of the times it might fix the problem. If none of this works, you may be dealing with something like a virus or malware. I recommend running your antivirus or antimalware program immediately.
You can also try running Windows System File Checker in case any system files have been damaged, corrupted, or deleted. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to comment. Enjoy!