ShellWin, Hide The Windows 7 Taskbar

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 1, 2010
Updated • Jun 11, 2014
Software, Windows software

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.

hide windows 7 taskbar
hide windows 7 taskbar

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.

windows 7 without taskbar
windows 7 without taskbar

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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  1. Marc Magi said on July 18, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    People here are getting confused. Yes, in Windows 7, you can auto-hide the taskbar but what you CANNOT do is prevent the taskbar from always being on top.

    That is, when you have any application open (full screen), moving the mouse down to the bottom of that application’s status bar will trigger Windows taskbar to appear thus making it difficult to click on various objects of that application. This was not the case in Windows XP which not only allowed you to hide the taskbar but also to prevent it from popping up via “mouseover “.

  2. Adam Skinner said on October 1, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Duur, what? Not only does Windows 7 allow auto-hiding of the taskbar (wherein you mouseover the bottom of the screen to view it) but it has a “slide to the side” functionality button on the right hand side.

    This is with Windows 7 Home Premium. Perhaps you’re using some lesser version.

    1. Martin said on October 1, 2010 at 2:57 pm

      Adam, you are right. Major faux pax. It is possible to auto-hide the taskbar in the properties, so that it only becomes visible on mouseover.

  3. Gemini said on October 1, 2010 at 2:03 am

    I may be missing the point here, but the taskbar in windows 7 has both an option to be minimized (“use small icons” in properties) and to be auto-hidden (also in properties)

  4. in.cog.nito said on October 1, 2010 at 1:48 am

    if this was a command for AutoHotKey would be better, I don’t want to have a program running the entire time just to minimize it.

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