Update: it is possible to auto-hide the taskbar in Windows 7 and 8. To do so, right-click on the taskbar and select properties. Here you need to check the auto-hide the taskbar box. This hides the taskbar unless you move the mouse into its area.
In previous versions of Windows, it was possible to minimize the Windows taskbar to free up some additional space on the desktop for Windows. If you try that in Windows 7, you will notice that it is not working.
There does not seem to be a way to minimize the taskbar in the operating system, which some users may miss, especially if they have used the feature in previous operating systems.
Enter ShellWin, a third party software that can be used to hide and show the Windows 7 taskbar. The portable software displays a basic menu with two buttons and a pulldown selection menu.
The Hide and Show button do exactly what they are supposed to do; Hide or show the taskbar. A click on the hide button hides all of the taskbar, with the exception of the the start menu button, which remains on the screen.
The Shellwin window stays on top, to give the user options to Show the taskbar again, if it is needed. The pulldown menu can be used to display an active window on the screen, something that users would probably use the taskbar for otherwise.
It is a shame that the developer has not implemented hotkeys to hide or show the taskbar more easily. As of now, the program window stays on top all the time, as this is the only way of showing the taskbar again which can interfere with any fullscreen window on the screen.
The developer has however announced to add more improvements to the program. While hotkeys have not been mentioned, the next version will include a feature to disable specific parts of the Windows 7 taskbar.
Users interested in downloading the ShellWin application to hide the taskbar in Windows 7, can download the application from the Seven Forums thread where it was announced by its developer.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.