The taskbar on Windows 10 can be used to open the apps that are pinned to it, switch between the apps and files that are currently open, open the Start Menu, and interact with the system tray.
The Taskbar is important but when you can hide it until it’s needed. If you need to focus on something, you can switch an app to full screen and the taskbar will be hidden by default.
Windows 10 taskbar not hiding
The taskbar can be set to hide automatically when it isn’t being used i.e., when you’re actively working in an app. To hide it;
- Right-click the taskbar and select Taskbar settings.
- Turn the ‘Automatically hide the taskbar in desktop mode’ switch on.
- Turn the ‘Automatically hide the taskbar in tablet mode’ switch on if you use a tablet or 2-in-1 laptop.
Taskbar Won’t Hide – How to Hide Taskbar
If the above doesn’t get the Taskbar to automatically hide or it doesn’t hide when you switch an app to full-screen mode, try the following fixes.
1. Restart Explorer.exe
Taskbar seems like a stand-alone component in terms of GUI but functionally, it is tied to File Explorer, or more precisely, the explorer.exe process. Restarting explorer.exe will restart Taskbar which can solve the problem.
- Right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager from the context menu.
- Go to the Processes tab.
- Look for Windows Explorer and select it.
- Click the Restart button at the bottom right.
2. Disable UI modifying apps
Windows 10 allows users to modify the UI with themes, icons, skins, and overlays. Users will normally install one or more UI modifying apps (Rainmeter, UXThemePatcher) to get the job done and add themes on top of it. They may sometimes interfere with how Windows 10 works.
- Disable all apps that modify the UI.
- Switch to full-screen mode in an app or wait for the taskbar to auto-hide.
- If the Taskbar hides, take a look at the apps that you’re using to modify the UI and remove the ones that interfere with the Taskbar.
3. Restart app
It’s possible that the taskbar isn’t at fault. The app that you’re trying to use in full-screen mode is having trouble switching to it.
- Close/exit the app e.g., Netflix.
- Open the app again.
- Switch to full-screen mode.
- The taskbar should hide.
4. Media apps: click inside the media player
Media players sometimes struggle to enter full-screen mode and allow the taskbar to hide.
- Open the media player and play something.
- Tap the F11 key to switch to full-screen mode.
- Click inside the media player once.
- Click the Taskbar.
- Click inside the media player once again.
- Toggle full-screen with the F11 key.
- The taskbar will be hidden in full-screen.
5. Remove third-party toolbars
The taskbar can house third-party toolbars. These are basically apps that can display on top of the taskbar (For example: Xmeters). A good taskbar toolbar won’t cause problems but a poorly written one can keep the taskbar from hiding.
- Right-click the taskbar and go to Toolbars.
- Disable third-party toolbars.
- Restart explorer.exe (see solution 1 above).
- The taskbar will hide in full-screen mode or when it’s idle.
6. Check pending alerts
Apps that need to send alerts e.g., unsaved work, will flash on the taskbar. Normally, this activity remains in the background/hidden if you’re in full-screen mode but not always.
Check each app that you have open for notifications. If you have a browser open, check the tabs. Some websites are not only persistent with notifications, they’re intrusive as well.
The taskbar normally has problems with media players or apps like Chrome that can play media. A simple toggle in and out of full-screen will fix the problem. In cases of obscure apps, the app itself might be to blame. If the problem is specific to one app, check its settings to see if there is a way to customize its full-screen view.