As with Windows 8, Windows 10 provides a little personalization in the form of a transparency setting for the desktop taskbar. This will allow you to see the desktop wallpaper through the semi-transparent taskbar.
Notice I said semi-transparent and opaque. This is because the visual effect is transparent in name only. “Translucent” would have been a more accurate term, but Windows and also Apple have found it appropriate to call this option transparent, and so have we.
Not only will you be able to add transparency personalization to the taskbar, but also to the Start menu and Action Center. It’s a quick and easy process that doesn’t require much knowledge of the inner workings of Windows.
In addition to the transparency setting, we will also show you how you can increase (or decrease) the transparency in the taskbar. This can be useful for those who prefer a little background on the taskbar for clarity.
How to enable or disable transparency effects in Windows 10
The following steps will guide you to enable or disable personalization of the transparency of the taskbar, Start menu, and Action Center in Windows 10.
- Go to the Start menu and select Settings. To do this, you can left-click the Windows icon in the lower-right side of your desktop and click the gear-shaped icon.
- You can also right-click the Windows icon and choose Settings from the menu.
- Select Personalization in the Windows Settings window.
- From the menu on the left, choose Colors.
- Scroll down the main window until you see transparency effects.
- Turn it on or off.
The effects provided will be similar to the Aero visuals introduced to us in Windows Vista, but much less intense.
If set to OFF, the background for the taskbar, Start menu, and Action Center will use colors selected from the same menu. To find them, just scroll down the page.
Effects, whether enabled or disabled, take effect immediately without having to save any changes.
Increase taskbar transparency via Registry Editor
The transparency option above provides very little transparency to the taskbar. To achieve a more transparent visual effect, you need to delve a little deeper into the Windows 10 Registry Editor.
There may be other programs to help you with this, but the registry is the simplest approach.
Moving forward, you will need to take extra care when it comes to making changes to the Windows Registry. Never make changes to the registry suggested by websites that you don’t trust.
Even for those you really trust, set a restore point on Windows 10 so that if something gets messed up by changes, your system backup remains intact.
- After creating a restore point, type regedit in the search bar on the taskbar and select Registry Editor when the option appears.
- You can also use the Run function by typing the same thing – regedit – and pressing Enter. Doing this first way will allow you to work as an administrator by right clicking the list result and selecting it in the window.
- From the Windows Registry Editor, you can view the hierarchical list on the left side of the window OR click the index line at the top, highlight and delete what is already there, and replace it with the following:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SOFTWARE Microsoft Windows CurrentVersion Explorer Advanced pre>
- Press Enter.
- In the right side window, right-click an empty space and select New, then DWORD (32-bit) Value.
- Change “New Value # 1” to UseOLEDTaskbarTransparency. It must be typed exactly as shown, including capital letters.
- Double-click an entry to open the values ??window and set the value to 1.
- Click OK and exit Registry Editor.
For the changes to take effect, go back to the Personalization window in the settings and turn on the transparency options. If the setting was already enabled, disable and then enable it again for the changes to take effect.
To remove the result, if you might not like the change, you can return to the Registry Editor, navigate to the UseOLEDTaskbarTransparency entry and change the value from “1” back to 0.
The changes should be very small. To create a fully translucent taskbar, you may need the help of third-party tools. Tools like TranslucentTB and TaskbarTools will adjust you to whatever translucency value you want the taskbar to display visually.
However, we prefer to use the Classic Shell
Use Classic Shell to enable full taskbar transparency
Classic Shell is a free third-party tool that can get the job done to better control the transparency of the taskbar. It has hundreds of useful customization options for the Windows operating system.
You can not only switch between transparency and opacity for the taskbar, but also define their exact percentage.
- Download the tool, run the Classic Start Menu module included in the package, and click Windows 10 Settings. You will have several options to enable or disable taskbar transparency, the ability to set your own color value and percentage for taskbar transparency.
- Before configuring the value, you must first select the Customize Taskbar check box and select Transparent.
- Now you can adjust the percentage as you see fit.