Although Windows 11 is supposed to be the most powerful operating system from Microsoft, the new taskbar is different from its predecessors. It comes permanently attached to the bottom of the screen, and you can’t change its position. However, there are ways to hide the taskbar and create additional space on the desktop.
Keep reading to learn more.
The Windows 11 taskbar covers the lower end of the desktop, houses the Start menu and application shortcuts, and allows you to view different open applications. Some users may feel that it is taking up too much interface space and want to remove it. Fortunately, clearing it from the desktop is relatively easy.
To hide the taskbar in Windows 11, do the following:
- Place the cursor over the taskbar and right-click.
- Click on the “Taskbar Settings” option.
- Select “Taskbar Behaviors”.
- Click the box next to the “Automatically hide the taskbar” tab.
The taskbar should now disappear from the desktop.
Another way to get more desktop real estate is to use the Windows 11 “Setting” app.
- Press the “Start” button and type “settings” in the search field. Once the app appears in the search results, tap on it to launch it. Alternatively, you can go to “Settings” by pressing “Windows + I.”
- Click on the “Personalization” option.
- Select “Taskbar”.
- Click on the “Taskbar Behaviors” section.
- Click the box next to “Automatically hide the taskbar” to enable the feature.
If you want to open a specific program quickly, you may want quick access to the shortcut in the taskbar. In this case, you can withdraw it temporarily.
- Scroll to the bottom of the interface to display the taskbar.
- When you move the cursor away from the lower end of the desktop, the taskbar will disappear again.
Hiding the taskbar is useful for gaming, online meetings, searching, and other situations where you want to de-clutter your desktop and remove unnecessary distractions. However, the taskbar is one of the core Windows features that gives you more control over your PC. Once you have finished your game or completed your tasks, you can restore the taskbar and restore the appearance of the default Windows 11 desktop.
Here’s how to recover the Windows 11 taskbar:
- Press the “Start” button and search for the “Settings” application using the search bar. You can also launch the application by pressing and holding “Windows + I.”
- Select “Personalization”.
- Click the “Taskbar” section in the right part of the screen.
- Choose “Taskbar Behaviour”.
- Uncheck the box next to the “Automatically hide the taskbar” option to disable the feature.
The taskbar will reappear in its default position.
It is also possible to disable the auto-hide feature directly from the taskbar. Heres how to do it:
- Hover over the taskbar and right-click.
- Click on “Taskbar Settings”.
- Choose the “Taskbar Behavior” option.
- Uncheck the “Automatically hide the taskbar” tab to get the taskbar back.
Some users have reported that the auto-hide feature does not always remove the taskbar. In this case, there are several ways to solve the problem.
When your computer fails to remove the taskbar after you try to hide it automatically, restarting File Explorer should fix the problem.
- Press and hold “Ctrl + Shift + Esc” to launch the Task Manager.
- If a new window pops up, click “More details”.
- Choose the “Processes” option.
- Go to the Applications tab, place the cursor over Windows Explorer, and right-click.
- Select the “Restart” card from the drop-down list.
The procedure will refresh Windows Explorer and the taskbar. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and check if the taskbar is gone.
Sometimes the auto-hide feature doesn’t work because the taskbar is cluttered with unopened notifications from different programs. To prevent problems with the taskbar, it is best to open the notifications and clear them as soon as they appear. When you open all notifications, the taskbar will automatically disappear and reappear when a new app notification comes.
Here’s how to determine if unread notifications are preventing the taskbar from disappearing:
- Go to the Windows 11 taskbar.
- Scan the app icons to see if there are any programs that display notification alerts.
Unread messages are another hurdle that keeps the taskbar in its default position. Once you disable the message counter from appearing, you will optimize the taskbar, enabling it to remain hidden. Let’s do this:
- Press “Windows + I” to open the Settings app.
- Click “Customize” in the left pane of the new window.
- Scroll to the bottom of the window and select the “Taskbar” card.
- Choose “Taskbar Behaviour”.
- On the Task Behavior page, uncheck the “Show badges (unread message counter) on taskbar apps” box to disable message alerts from installed apps.
- Make sure the “Automatically hide the taskbar” box is checked. If not, tap it to enable it.
- Exit the Settings app.
The system should now have no difficulty removing the taskbar.
Windows 11 is Microsoft’s most advanced software, which means that the operating system runs many complex processes in the background that allow you to use your computer. These processes can sometimes interfere with each other and prevent your device from completing certain actions such as hiding the taskbar.
Minor software glitches do not cause any long-term damage to your PC, so restarting your PC should fix the problems. Once you turn on the PC again, check if the taskbar is still at the bottom of the desktop.
When entering full screen mode in Windows 11, the system automatically removes the taskbar. If it is still visible, you may have forgotten to select the auto-hide option. In addition, unopened notifications and messages may clog the taskbar and prevent it from disappearing. Before enabling the auto-hide option, make sure to browse all the programs pinned to the taskbar and open all alerts.
Windows 11 allows users to enlarge the screen to cover two screens. When you set up a second monitor, it is possible to adjust how the taskbar will appear. You may want it to remain visible only on the first screen, or you can enable it to appear on both desktops. Moreover, you can select the auto-hide feature and remove the taskbar from both screens. When it disappears, moving the cursor along the lower edges of the two screens will launch the taskbar and it will appear again.
However, Windows 11 sometimes struggles to retrieve the second monitor’s taskbar after it’s hidden, and shaking the cursor doesn’t work. In such cases, installed apps are the culprit. To unpin an app from the taskbar, do the following:
- Go to the taskbar and move the mouse over a pinned icon.
- Right-click and choose the “Unpin from taskbar” option.
Repeat the process until you have uninstalled all applications. When the task is completed, the taskbar should function properly.
Additional questions and answers
How do I remove taskbar icons?
If you are satisfied with the default position of the taskbar but feel that it contains too many icons, you can unorder it by removing unwanted icons.
1. Go to the taskbar and right-click on an empty space.
2. Choose “Taskbar Settings”.
3. Go to Taskbar Items, find the items you wish to remove, and turn them off.
4. Scroll to Taskbar Corner Override and choose the icons you want to hide from the taskbar.
The taskbar will now contain fewer buttons and application shortcuts.
Keep the Windows 11 taskbar out of sight
Although the Windows 11 taskbar does not have a very user-friendly design, there are several ways to hide it and de-clutter your desktop. When you want to access your installed apps, restoring the original desktop layout only takes a few simple steps, and the taskbar will appear again.
Have you removed the Windows 11 taskbar from the desktop? Have you had trouble keeping it hidden? Which of the above methods solve the problem? Let us know in the comments section below.