The taskbar is the thin strip of applications, composing the Start/Windows button, and a quick access tray on your PC. It’s a very helpful feature that’s been a part of the Windows interface forever. You can instantly access different apps and add/remove the apps of your choice to/from the taskbar.

The taskbar is supposed to hide when you move the cursor away from it (if you have enabled auto-hide). However, it is not always very obedient. It can sometimes refuse to obey this programming and stay put even when you open web pages or browse through different applications. It can get pretty irritating — and if you’re facing this irritation, we bring you some fixes to help solve the situation.

But, first, let’s talk about hiding the Taskbar in Windows 11.

How does Automatically Hiding the Taskbar Works?

‘Automatically hide the Taskbar’ is a Taskbar behavior setting in Windows 11 that allows you to hide your taskbar — automatically. All you need to do is move the cursor away from the taskbar, and it gets hidden. Hiding the taskbar makes your desktop look cleaner and creates more space.

If you want to automatically hide your taskbar, you must enable it in the Taskbar settings on your PC. Here’s how you do it.

How to Automatically Hide the Taskbar in Windows 11

To hide the Taskbar in Windows 11, you need to enable the ‘Automatically hide the taskbar’ option in Windows Settings > Taskbar > Taskbar behavior settings on your PC.

First, open the Windows Settings app by searching for it in the Start menu.

Select ‘Personalization’ from the left pane on the Settings page, then scroll down a bit and select ‘Taskbar’ from the available options.

Alternatively, you can also access Taskbar settings quickly by doing a right-click on any empty space on the Taskbar itself and selecting the ‘Taskbar settings’ option.

On the Taskbar settings screen, scroll down to the bottom and select the ‘Taskbar behaviors’ option.

From the expanded options, select the ‘Automatically hide the taskbar’ option by ticking the checkbox beside it.

The Taskbar on your PC should now automatically hide right after you move the cursor away from the Taskbar area. And you can always bring it back by hovering the cursor anywhere at the bottom of the screen.

Note: Sometimes, these settings may revert after a Windows update. So it’s important to ensure the ‘Automatically hide the taskbar’ option is selected at all times.

How to Fix Taskbar Not Hiding Issue

If the Taskbar on your PC isn’t automatically hiding even after enabling the feature in Taskbar settings, then it’s likely an issue with the Windows Explorer or interference from the Notification settings on your system. Let’s see how we can fix both the issues and let Windows hide the taskbar as intended. The following solutions can not only solve the ‘Taskbar not hiding issue’, but they can also solve taskbar problems like the frozen taskbar, unresponsive taskbar, or crashing.

1. Restart Windows Explorer to Fix Taskbar Auto Hiding Behavior

If the taskbar is still unhidden even after enabling auto-hide, restarting Windows Explorer may do the trick. You can restart Windows Explorer easily using the Task Manager on your PC.

To open the Task Manager, first, click on the ‘Search’ icon in the taskbar to launch the Windows Search interface.

Type ‘Task Manager’ in the search bar and select the relevant search result to open the app. You can alternatively use the Ctrl+Shift+Esc keyboard shortcut as well to launch the Task Manager.

On the Task Manager window, click on the ‘More details’ option at the bottom left corner to launch the full interface of the app.

Next, select the ‘Processes’ tab. Then, right-click on Windows Explorer and select ‘Restart’ from the expanded options. This will restart Windows Explorer.

The taskbar should ideally hide after restarting Windows Explorer. If it doesn’t, move to the next fix below.

If restarting the Windows Explorer doesn’t fix, try restarting your PC instead and see if that fixes it.

2. Pay Attention to App Notifications

One reason the Taskbar may not hide automatically is that an application (or many) on the taskbar has un-attended notification(s). Once you click on the app(s) and attend to its notification(s), the taskbar might hide.

Check for hidden app notifications in the quick access tray to the left of the taskbar as well.

3. Disable Notifications for Apps Causing Taskbar to Not Hide

Badges are message counters that appear on an app’s icon whenever there’s a notification from an app. Taskbar and taskbar corner apps can exhibit notification badges. For example, Google chat displays a notification badge whenever there’s a new message. You can disable these badges to stop apps from interacting with the Taskbar when there’s a new notification.

So you can disable the notifications for whichever app is stopping the taskbar to hide. To do that you will have to disable badges (unread messages counter) on taskbar apps.

Right-click on the Start button and select ‘Settings’ to launch Windows Settings, or you can also press the Win key+i keyboard shortcut to launch the Settings app.

In the Settings window, click on the ‘Personalization’ option from the left pane and then click select ‘Taskbar behaviors’ on the right side of the screen.

Under Taskbar behaviors options, disable the ‘Show badges (unread messages counter) on taskbar apps’ option by unchecking the checkbox to the left of the option.

4. Scan Computer with System File Checker (SFC)

Scanning your computer with System File Checker (SFC) can fix a lot of issues in your computer. System File Checker is a command-line utility built into Windows that will inspect all of the important Windows files and replaces incorrect, corrupted or damaged files with a cached copy. If the taskbar issue is caused by some bad or corrupted file in the system files, SFC will fix it. Follow these steps to perform an SFC scan:

Open Windows search, type ‘cmd’, and click ‘Run as administrator’ to open it. Click ‘Yes’ on User account control when prompted.

Once the command prompt opens, type the command sfc /scannow and press Enter.

It will take a while to finish it and wait till the verification is 100% complete. Then, see if the issue is fixed. If not, try the next file checker method.

5. Repair System Files with DISM Command

Another command-line utility that might fix the ‘taskbar not hiding the issue’ is DISM health restore. DISM stands for Deployment Image Servicing and Management is a command-line tool that can scan and restore potential issues within the windows image.

Launch Command prompt as administrator as you did before. Then, type the below command:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth

This scanning process could take 5-10 minutes. Once the scan is complete, it will report the problems if there are any.

Then, run the below command to perform the repairs automatically:

Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

This process could take another 5-10 minutes or more depending on the level of corruption. After that, restart your system and see if the problem is fixed.

6. Update or Reinstall the Graphics Drivers

Another common cause for frozen or not working taskbar on Windows 11 is incompatible graphics or video drivers. Reinstalling or updating graphics drivers may solve some of these issues. You can uninstall, reinstall, and update drivers in the Device Manager control panel applet.

Updating Graphics Drivers

First, let’s try updating the graphics driver before uninstalling it. To do this, first, search for ‘”Device Manager” in the Windows search box and open it. You can also open Device Manager by launching the Run dialog box (Win+R) and typing “devmgmt.msc” in the box and hitting Enter.

In the list of devices, expand the ‘Display adapters’ menu by double-clicking it. Under the Display adapters, you will see your Graphics card adapter(s). Some computers come with only integrated graphics cards or others dedicated graphics cards or both. Most of the inbuilt graphics are either Intel HD Graphics or AMD.

To update a driver, right-click the graphics drivers you want to update and select the ‘Update driver’ option.

In the next window, choose the ‘Search automatically for drivers’ option or ‘Browser my computer for drivers’ option (if you already downloaded the update file from the manufacturer’s website and saved it on your computer).

It will automatically install the updates for your driver. You can also visit your computer manufacturer’s website and download and install updates from there.

If you have a dedicated graphics card (like NVIDIA), you can install driver updates from the graphics card companion app. If you are using an AMD video card, you would have the ‘Catalyst Control Center’ or ‘Radeon settings’ app and if you’re using an NVIDIA card, you would have the ‘Geforce Experience’ app.

You can find the graphics companion running in the Windows notification area. If you’re using an NVIDIA card, right-click the app icon from the Notification area and select the ‘NVIDIA GeForce Experience’ option.

In the GeForce Experience app, go to the ‘Drivers’ tab and click the ‘CHECK FOR UPDATES’ option. Then, download and install the updates if there are any.

Uninstalling and Reinstalling Graphics Drivers

If updating your graphics didn’t fix it, try uninstalling and reinstalling your graphics driver. If you have both inbuilt (AMD) and dedicated (NVIDIA) graphics cards, try reinstalling the inbuilt driver first. If it doesn’t work, reinstall the dedicated graphics card driver as well.

To uninstall your graphics driver, go to the ‘Device Manager’, right the graphics driver, and select the ‘Uninstall device’ option.

But before uninstalling the driver note down your graphics driver model name, so you can use it to search for drivers online.

In the Uninstall Device box, click the ‘Uninstall’ button. Once the driver is uninstalled, reboot your system. When you restart your system Windows will automatically reinstall the driver from the Windows update. If not, you need to manually download the driver then reinstall it.

You can find your graphics drivers on your computer’s manufacturer’s website or the graphics card manufacturer’s website. Go to your manufacturer’s website and look for the graphics driver or video driver or display driver for your PC model and download it.

To download the correct driver for your computer, you need to know your PC model (or the graphics card model), and the OS version. You can also type your PC model and OS version in the search engine (Google) to find the correct website where you can download it.

7. Install/Uninstall Latest Windows Updates

If you haven’t updated your Windows 11 system for a while and installing some overdue Windows updates may fix Taskbar not hiding in Windows 11 problem. However, you only started to experience this problem after the recent security or feature updates, then you need to uninstall those updates to fix the problem.

To install the latest Windows update, click the Start button and select the ‘Settings’ option or press Win+I.

On the Settings app, click the ‘Windows update’ option at the bottom of the left pane. Then, on the right pane and click on the ‘Check for updates’ button. And make sure you’re connected to the internet before you check for updates.

Windows will check for updates online and download them automatically if it finds any. Once the update is downloaded and installed, restart your PC and check if the taskbar problems have been solved.

To uninstall the latest updates, open the Windows settings app and click the ‘Windows Update’. Go to the Windows Update settings page and select the ‘Update history’ option.

On the next page, scroll down to the bottom of the page and select ‘Uninstall updates’ under the Related settings section.

This will open up the Installed Updates control panel applet. Here, you will see the list of updates you can uninstall. Check the dates on which the updates were installed under the ‘Installed On’ section. If you find an update with the date is when you started to experience the taskbar problem, select that update and click the ‘Uninstall’ option above, or right-click the update and select ‘Uninstall’.

8. Deleting Registry Keys to Fix Windows 11 Taskbar

Sometimes Windows would have corrupted registries that cause the taskbar to freeze, unresponsive, or crash. To fix this you need to delete these corrupted registry files. Here’s how you do this:

First, you need to open Task Manager by right-clicking the Start button and selecting ‘Task Manager’ or pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL.

Go to the ‘File’ menu and select ‘Run new task’.

Then, type “cmd” in the ‘Open’ field and click ‘OK’ or hit Enter.

After that, copy and paste the following command in the command prompt and press Enter:

reg delete HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\IrisService /f && shutdown -r -t 0

Your PC will delete the registry keys and restart automatically. After rebooting, any taskbar freezing or crashing issues should be fixed.

9. Re-register Taskbar Package on Windows 11

Another possible solution is to reinstall/re-register pre-built apps and services of Windows 11 and this includes the taskbar. Follow these steps to do that:

Open Windows search and type ‘Powershell’. Then, select ‘Run as Administrator’ for the Best match.

Once the Powershell opens, copy and paste the following command in the window and hit Enter:

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register"$($_.InstallLocation)AppXManifest.xml"}

10. Disable User Interface (UI) Customization Apps

Windows 11 allows users to customize and tweak Windows desktop and user interface (UI) using customization tools (like Winaero Tweaker, Rainmeter). These tools can tweak visual aspects of the OS including themes, skins, buttons, fonts, icons, and many others. These software can sometimes conflict with Windows Taskbar.

Try disabling or uninstalling UI modifying apps and see if the taskbar auto-hides. If it does, then the UI customization tool is the problem. Disable or remove those apps to fix the taskbar issues. 

11. Restart or Reinstall App to Fix Task bar

If the Taskbar is not hiding for only certain apps like Video players, browsers, etc, it means the app is the problem, not the taskbar. For example, when you trying to watch a YouTube video on a Chrome browser or watch a movie on the VLC media player, the app may have trouble switching to full screen.

In that case, you can try restarting, updating, or reinstalling the app to solve it. You can also press/tap the F11 key to switch to full-screen mode.

12. Uninstall Third-party Toolbars

There are various third-party taskbar customization tools (such as 7+ Taskbar Tweaker, RocketDock) that allows you to control and customize your taskbar. But sometimes, these software may very well end up being the problem.

To fix this, disable the taskbar or toolbar customization tool and restart the Windows Explorer (as we showed you in the first solution).

That’s it.