Windows 11 Taskbar not hiding? Here is a fix!

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 1, 2021
Windows 11 Help

Microsoft changed the functionality of the taskbar of the company's Windows 11 operating system, but some issues that users experienced in previous versions of Windows remain an issue, still.

The Windows 11 taskbar is displayed all the time by default on all editions of Windows 11. The taskbar items are centered, and one of the core differences to Windows 10 is that some appearance options have been removed.

The only available taskbar position is at the bottom of the screen, and icons may be displayed centered or at the left side.

windows 11 automatically hide taskbar

Taskbar options have changed when compared to Windows 10, but some options are still available, including the ability to set the taskbar to hide automatically.

  1. Right-click on a blank space on the Windows 11 taskbar and select Taskbar settings from the context menu.
  2. Scroll down on the Taskbar Settings page that opens and activate the Taskbar behaviors group on the page.
  3. There you find listed "Automatically hide the taskbar", which, when checked, hides the taskbar whenever the mouse cursor is not hovering over the area of the taskbar.

The option to automatically hide the taskbar in tablet mode is no longer available.

Windows 11 Taskbar not hiding?

The hiding feature of the Windows 11 taskbar works fine for most users. There are cases, similarly to those on Windows 10, where the taskbar is not hiding itself automatically.

The bug is easy to spot, as you will see the taskbar on the screen even if you have moved the mouse cursor away from its position.

Sometimes, it is relatively easy to fix. One common cause for the issue is that programs may block the functionality because it requires user interaction. This may happen when an UAC prompt is displayed during installation, but it may also happen when you receive calls, new emails, chat messages, or when program operations complete. The program icon flashes, usually, when that is the case.

All it takes to resolve this is to interact with the program. Click on the program icon and interact with the prompt that is displayed. Once done, the taskbar should hide again automatically.

There may be other scenarios in which the taskbar does not hide itself automatically anymore.

Quick Windows 11 taskbar not hiding fix

kill explorer process

Many issues that you run into may be resolved by restarting the Explorer process on the Windows 11 machine. It is a quick fix that should resolve the issue. Note that it is recommended to find the cause for recurring issues, as you may not want to restart Explorer regularly to correct the issue.

  1. Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-Shift-Esc to bring up the Windows Task Manager.
  2. Select "more details" if the basic version is displayed.
  3. Switch to the Details tab.
  4. Locate the process explorer.exe.
  5. Right-click on the process and select "End task" from the context menu.
  6. Select File > Run new task.
  7. Type explorer.exe.
  8. Select OK.

The process restarts the Explorer process, which is responsible for the taskbar (and many other things).

Tip: you may restart the explorer process from the command line as well:

  1. Use the keyboard shortcut Windows + R to open the runbox.
  2. Type cmd.
  3. Type taskkill /im explorer.exe /f
  4. Type explorer
  5. Type exit

Troubleshoot Windows 11 taskbar issues

windows 11 system tray area icons

The very first thing you may want to do is check if the preference to automatically hide it is still enabled. If that is the case, try clicking anywhere on the desktop to see if this hides the taskbar again.

Another cause for the taskbar to not hide itself automatically anymore on Windows 11 are notifications, and here especially those of programs that you don't see on the taskbar or the visible part of the system tray area.

One of the options that you have is to display all icons all the time, at least for the troubleshooting session, to make sure that these icons are not blocking the taskbar from hiding itself.

  1. Select Start and open the Settings application.
  2. Navigate to Personalization > Taskbar.
  3. Open the Taskbar corner overflow group on the page.
  4. All icons that are not displayed all the time are displayed here. You may want to toggle each to the On setting to display all icons in the system tray area.

Note that the process is quite different on Windows 11 when compared to Windows 10. On Windows 10, you had to select the "Select which icons appear on the taskbar" in the taskbar settings to get the same option, and a handy "show all icons" toggle.

When you display all icons on the taskbar, you will see the culprit immediately. Click on it, interact with the prompt, if one is displayed, and the taskbar should hide itself automatically again on Windows 11.

windows 11 notifications turn off

Some programs may display notifications regularly, and this may prevent the hiding of the Windows 11 taskbar. If that is the case, you may block it from sending notifications to avoid this.

  1. Select Start and open the Settings application again.
  2. Go to System > Notifications.
  3. If you don't need any notifications, toggle the main Notifications option to Off on the page.
  4. If you need notifications, locate programs in the list that is displayed on the page and toggle their notifications to off.

Group Policy options

Administrators may configure several options in the Group Policy to handle notifications on Windows 11 systems. Note that the Group Policy Editor is only available on professional and Enterprise editions of Windows 11.

  1. User Configuration > Start Menu and Taskbar > Lock all taskbar settings -- This can be useful if you don't want the taskbar settings to change once you have configured them.
  2. User Configuration > Start Menu and Taskbar > Turn off all balloon notifications - Notifications balloons are not shown if you enable the policy.
  3. User Configuration > Start Menu and Taskbar > Turn of automatic promotion of notification icons to the taskbar.
  4. User Configuration > Start Menu and Taskbar > Turn off feature advertisement balloon notifications.
  5. User Configuration > Start Menu and Taskbar > Notifications > turn off calls during Quiet Hours
  6. User Configuration > Start Menu and Taskbar > Notifications > Turn off toast notifications

Now You: do you display the taskbar all the time, or have set it to hide automatically?

Windows 11 Taskbar not hiding? Here is a fix!
Article Name
Windows 11 Taskbar not hiding? Here is a fix!
Here is how you troubleshoot issues related to the Windows 11 taskbar not hiding automatically anymore, or at times.
Ghacks Technology News

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  1. John G. said on August 21, 2023 at 2:38 pm

    There is not still W11 23H2 and these instructions are nonsense by now. :[

    1. James said on August 21, 2023 at 8:48 pm

      It worked for me just fine. You’re probably not following the instructions clearly.

      1. Katrina Thompson said on August 30, 2023 at 3:25 am

        Just tried the password option and the OOBE option and didnt work.

    2. Anonymous said on September 7, 2023 at 10:33 am

      Worked perfectly. Thank OP.

    3. Anonymous said on September 15, 2023 at 11:26 am

      Worked perfectly for me just now. Specifically, the regedit option.

  2. 45 RPM said on August 22, 2023 at 9:02 am

    Is this cut and paste from a Microsoft PR paper, because it 1000% BS:

    “By listening to user insights, Microsoft has demonstrated its commitment to refining the Windows experience based on real-world needs.”

    Windows 11 is proof they don’t give a s*it.

    1. elong45 said on August 23, 2023 at 12:25 am

      Worked for me just now

    2. Robert N said on August 28, 2023 at 10:55 pm

      I agree! Windows 11 was a downgrade to me and I kept all 8 computers in our family on Windows 10 as a result. They didn’t listen to any customers. The taskbar was THE main reason I stayed away from Windows 11. With 6 monitors, it is impossible to navigate so many browser tabs, without the feature. I will try the new version in the virtual box to see if it is worth it yet.

  3. Anonymous said on August 23, 2023 at 11:33 pm

    Microsoft did a terrible job with this implementation.

    They simply need to employ the creator of StartAllBack to fix Windows. He is smarter and more talented than the entire campus of Microsoft employees.

    1. Anonymous said on September 4, 2023 at 11:36 pm


  4. Joe Mama said on August 24, 2023 at 12:10 am

    Thank you so much! I work in IT and this is extremely useful information!

  5. Anonymous said on August 27, 2023 at 9:34 pm

    Thanks man. The second method worked great!

  6. Anonymous said on August 28, 2023 at 1:16 pm

    I used the second method, and i got exactly what i expected.

  7. adrian said on September 1, 2023 at 12:52 am

    Using the Bypass 2: Use a banned email address email worked fantastically as I had gone to far to use the bypass 1.
    I will be back when I next have a problem.
    Keep you the great work

  8. John G. said on September 4, 2023 at 6:15 pm

    W11 File Explorer is the worst crap ever done. W11 is the biggest shame ever.

  9. MarineRecon said on September 4, 2023 at 9:14 pm

    Just one more reason for me to go to Linux when Windows 10 ages out.

    1. TelV said on September 19, 2023 at 11:46 am

      @ MarineRecon,

      Be careful which Linux distro you choose. Some of them don’t include the Wayland protocol which is a security issue i.e. apps can copy, paste and inject data without user interaction.

      It’s included in Fedora:

  10. Dustyn said on September 4, 2023 at 9:28 pm

    How about a DARK MODE for your website? That would be oh so nice.

    1. Tom Hawack said on September 5, 2023 at 12:55 am

      Something like this : [] maybe?
      Done with ‘Dark Reader Extension for ? Firefox’ []

      This comment was written on [}

    2. TelV said on September 19, 2023 at 11:49 am

      Definitely NOT! Once you get older and your eyesight starts to fail you’ll positively loathe dark mode.

      1. Mycroft1325 said on September 25, 2023 at 11:48 pm

        Not sure what eye problems *you’re* having, but for me the exact opposite is true. Dark Mode is MUCH easier on my Eyes.

        BTW- I’m 52, and have worked in IT all my life. Been staring at monitors for hours each day, most days of the week since the late 1980’s.

  11. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 2:05 am

    Microsoft completely ruined File Explorer by converting to XAML/WinUI/whatever new bloated modern garbage. Its worse than it ever was.

  12. Invoker said on September 5, 2023 at 3:32 pm

    i tested it on win10 current edition. speeds up explorer like a charm

  13. LOEL LARZELERE said on September 13, 2023 at 8:07 am

    SO what is the priority numbers to give preference to ethernet over wireless?

  14. christop_bader said on September 14, 2023 at 1:50 am

    Worked very well happy to have Windows Photo Viewer back in action in Windows-11

  15. Anonymous said on September 16, 2023 at 4:29 am

    Worked for me (registry option) thank god, I can use the search option to find things on my computer again. Thank you so much!

    1. TelV said on September 19, 2023 at 11:54 am

      Install Everything Search and dispense with Microsoft’s crappy search tool.

      Martin wrote an article on it:

  16. said on September 17, 2023 at 6:39 pm

    I presume the text “WindowsCopilot,,” is a typographical error (2023/09/17/how-to-disable-windows-copilot-in-windows/). The broken comment system unfortunately looks like it is populating itself via AI autopilot.

  17. Anonymous said on September 17, 2023 at 10:37 pm

    Hopefully, this Windows Copilot nonsense fails even more spectacularly than Cortana. Who requested this? We want all of the UX features removed back in 11, not this copilot nonsense.

  18. Anonymous said on September 17, 2023 at 10:51 pm

    I really don’t mind all of these Windows enhancement but Microsoft get one thing very wrong. ‘Opt in’, is far better than seek information and work to disable.

  19. ilev said on September 18, 2023 at 7:13 am

    Turn off Windows Copilot entirely is not good enough.

    How to uninstall Copilot entirely ?

    1. TelV said on September 19, 2023 at 11:57 am

      @ ilev,

      Use Gpedit or the registry. Explained in this article:

  20. WilliamGatesTheight said on September 21, 2023 at 2:13 pm

    With that snake oil salesman Panos gone, hopefully Windows can return to a normal desktop operating system without all the insanity it has right now in Windows 11.

  21. Tachy said on September 21, 2023 at 3:19 pm

    Can we please stop being ‘politically correct’ (lying) and call them ads again instead of ‘suggestions’?

  22. TelV said on September 25, 2023 at 4:05 pm

    @ Martin,

    Does your gpedit hack also turn off all the other “subscribed content” shown in the registry screenshot? Do you happen to know what all those are?

  23. Christopher Reisinger said on September 30, 2023 at 12:45 pm

    Thank you, I used the fake email option, it worked great.

  24. Tom Gray said on September 30, 2023 at 8:26 pm

    I wish I had read this article a few months ago, as I purchased two refurbished Windows 10 Pro PCs to replace two older ones. The 1st one I entered an existing Microsoft account I had and it imediately setup OneDrive, adding it to the path names for the common folders such as Documents, Music, video, etc. I tried to just disable OneDrive but then had odd problems finding my data copied from another older PC. long story short I was able to remove all the entries from the registry after un-installing OneDrive.
    The second refurbished PC I didn’t connect the WiFi adapter so during installation I was able to click on the no Internet option. Basically I did as you suggested above; set up a local login, disabled OneDrive from running on bootup, and eventually unInstalled it. No problems with folder paths, etc.

  25. Flotsam Jones said on September 30, 2023 at 10:43 pm

    The registry option worked for me, but only me, not any other users. How do I make this apply to all users? Yes, I have admin rights.

  26. TelV said on October 3, 2023 at 2:32 pm

    Just decided to create a Windows 11 system image (went OK) and then went to look for this Co-Pilot crap, but it’s nowhere to be found on my system even though I’ve got the Pro version.

    What I did find though in User Configuration –> Administrative Templates –> Windows Components –> Cloud Content was the option to turn off all that Spotlight stuff. Glad to see the back of that anyway.

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