The Windows operating system (OS) boasts several impressive features, including multiple screens, Cortana, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet connections. With the Windows Taskbar, users can view and arrange these essential features at the bottom of the screen. You can use the Taskbar to locate almost anything within your device. Without it, your whole work process may descend into chaos. But what can you do if your Taskbar has disappeared or is missing?
This guide will help you relocate a missing or disappeared Taskbar, restoring the efficiency of your digital ventures.
What causes the Taskbar to disappear or go missing?
Several factors may cause a Windows Taskbar to disappear, though it can be challenging to locate a single point of error. You can change Windows system settings from multiple locations, like the Control panel, Settings app, and Command Prompt, so finding the responsible issue is critical to solving it.
Let’s explore some methods to restore your missing Taskbar.
How to fix the Taskbar disappeared or missing issue on Windows
1. Resize the Taskbar
Users may accidentally reduce the size of the taskbar, sometimes to the extent that it becomes almost invisible. Since the Taskbar follows the theme’s accent, it is difficult to locate when reduced.
To restore the taskbar to its normal size, follow the steps below.
- First, move the cursor to the bottom of the screen.
- If you see the cursor change into a two-headed arrow, it means that the taskbar is hiding somewhere. If the mouse doesn’t change its appearance, the Taskbar isn’t there at all.
- Drag the cursor upwards without releasing it.
- This way, you’ll be able to resize the taskbar anytime you want to.
2. Unhide the Taskbar
Often, the reason your taskbar disappeared is that it never existed in the first place. Newly acquired systems may disable the Taskbar by default, and though rare, other changes in the system can cause the Taskbar to disappear.
Follow the steps below to reveal the Taskbar.
- First, type “control panel” in your Windows Search Bar.
- In the Control Panel, click on Taskbar and Navigation.
- In this window, uncheck the “Automatically hide the taskbar in desktop mode” option.
Your missing Taskbar should now be visible again.
You can also customize several other aspects of the Taskbar in the same settings window. For example, you can lock the Taskbar to ensure it remains in place, adjust notifications, and tweak button sizes.
3. Change the display settings
The reason your Taskbar disappeared is sometimes related to frequent connection with an external monitor. This can cause your computer to default to a different display.
Press the Windows + P keys to change the display type. Ensure the display is set to the PC screen only mode when not connected to an external display device.
If the shortcut buttons fail, try the following method.
- Open the Settings app in your system. You can find this in the Start Menu or by typing “settings” into the Windows Search bar.
- Click on the System option.
- Then select Display in the left menu.
- Now set the display mode to “Computer only” or “PC screen only” depending on your Windows version.
This method should fix the Taskbar missing issue when you frequently use external display devices like a projector.
4. Disable the tablet mode
One of the Windows OS advantages is its tablet mode, which allows users to handle touchscreen laptops more flexibly. However, this can become an issue if the tablet mode is active and you’re not using the touchscreen features.
The reason your taskbar disappeared or went missing in these circumstances is likely because you have the auto-hide feature enabled. This will prevent you from seeing the normal display while in tablet mode, so you must turn it off before the problem can be resolved.
To disable the tablet mode, follow these steps.
- First, open the Settings app from the Start Menu and type “tablet mode” in the Settings search.
- Click on “Choose whether to enter tablet mode when you sign in,” and a new Settings window will open with the available tablet mode options.
- In this window, you’ll have the option to disable the tablet mode by selecting “Never use tablet mode.”
If your taskbar is still missing, try the next method.
5. Check resource usage in the Task Manager
Memory issues can sometimes cause your taskbar to disappear, as the Windows system lacks enough resources to load it. Such an issue can be severe, indicating the presence of malware or a highly resource-consuming app within the system.
You must either terminate the app consuming too many resources, or restart your system using the steps below.
- Type “Task Manager” in the search bar or press the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys.
- After opening the Task Manager, sort the list by the apps consuming the most memory.
- Right-click on the app that’s consuming too many resources.
- Now, click on End Task to terminate the app’s process.
- If multiple apps are consuming a significant amount of memory, you may have to restart your system.
Though the Taskbar can reappear once an app is closed and memory is freed, this is merely a temporary solution. You must obtain more memory or optimize that which remains to avoid the taskbar going missing in the future.
If the CPU usage is high, rather than RAM, check for a process named System Interrupts. A reading over 90% suggests an issue with the hardware, so you will likely have to take your computer to a repair shop and potentially replace a component.
6. Restart the Explorer process
Explorer.exe is a process that controls the Windows desktop and Taskbar. If compromised, the Taskbar may disappear. Though you may be apprehensive about performing a restart process as vital as this one, it is highly unlikely to cause any issues.
Follow the steps below to restart the Explorer process.
- Open the Task Manager as instructed in the previous solution. If none of those methods work, you can also use Ctrl + Alt + Delete.
- In the menu that is displayed, select the Task Manager.
- Once you are in the task manager, click on the Processes tab.
- Locate the Windows Explorer process in the list.
- Right-click it, and select Restart.
If this method is unsuccessful, malware is often to blame for your missing taskbar. You have to run a malware scan in such a scenario.
7. Run a malware scan using Windows Defender
Since malware is a common issue in the Windows OS, Microsoft provides a free anti-malware solution called Windows Defender. It will scan your system for any virus, though it is less advanced than most paid alternatives.
Follow the below steps to scan your system for any malware.
- Type “Windows Security” in the Windows search bar.
- The Windows Defender homepage will open.
- You can see all the features that Windows Defender offers on this screen. If some icons are displayed with a caution symbol beneath them, this suggests your system is vulnerable to threats. You have to scan your system as often as possible to avoid unnecessary risks to your privacy and digital well-being.
- Click on the Virus & threat protection option.
- In the new window that opens, click on Scan options.
- Click on the Full Scan radio button and hit Scan Now.
- Sometimes, the software will be unable to contain all malware and recommend an online scan. The online scan will take more time and neutralize most known threats to your system.
We hope that after following the above methods, you have been able to solve the taskbar disappeared or missing Windows issue quickly and easily. Please leave us a comment highlighting the solution that worked for you.