How to Hide the Taskbar in Windows 11
Although Windows 11 is supposed to be Microsoft’s most powerful operating system, the new taskbar differs from its predecessors. It comes permanently attached to the lower part of the screen, and you can’t reposition it. However, there are ways to hide the taskbar and create extra desktop space.
Keep reading to learn more.
The Windows 11 taskbar covers the lower end of the desktop, houses the Start menu and app shortcuts, and allows you to view different open apps. Some users may feel that it’s taking up too much of the interface and wish to remove it. Fortunately, clearing it from the desktop is relatively straightforward.
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.”
- Tap the box beside the “Automatically hide the Taskbar” tab.
The taskbar should now disappear from your desktop.
Another method to get more desktop real estate is using 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 it to launch it. Alternatively, you can go to “Settings” by pressing “Windows + I.”
- Click on the “Personalization” option.
- Select “Taskbar.”
- Tap the “Taskbar Behaviors” section.
- Click on the box beside “Automatically hide the taskbar” to enable the feature.
If you want to open a specific program quickly, you might want fast access to the shortcut located in the taskbar. In that case, you can temporarily pull it up.
- Navigate to the bottom of the interface to view the taskbar.
- When you move the cursor away from the lower end of the desktop, the taskbar will be gone again.
Hiding the taskbar is helpful for gaming, online meetings, researching, and other situations where you want to declutter the desktop and remove unnecessary distractions. However, the taskbar is an essential Windows feature that gives you more control over your PC. Once you’re done with your game or have completed your tasks, you can recover the taskbar and restore the default Windows 11 desktop appearance.
Here’s how to retrieve the Windows 11 taskbar:
- Tap the “Start” button and find the “Settings” app using the search bar. You can also launch the app by holding “Windows + I.”
- Select “Personalization.”
- Click on the “Taskbar” section in the right part of the screen.
- Choose “Taskbar Behavior.”
- Deselect the box beside the “Automatically hide the taskbar” option to disable the feature.
The taskbar will reappear in its default position.
It’s also possible to disable the auto-hide feature directly from the taskbar. Here’s how to do it:
- Hover the cursor over the taskbar and perform a right-click.
- Tap “Taskbar Settings.”
- Choose the “Taskbar Behavior” option.
- Deselect the “Automatically hide the Taskbar” tab to restore the taskbar.
Some users have reported that the auto-hide feature doesn’t always remove the taskbar. In that case, there are several ways to resolve the issue.
When your PC fails to remove the taskbar after you’ve attempted to hide it automatically, restarting the File Explorer should fix the problem.
- Hold “Ctrl + Shift + Esc” to launch the Task Manager.
- If a new window pops up, click on the “More Details.”
- Choose the “Processes” option.
- Navigate to the “Apps” tab, place the cursor over “Windows Explorer,” and right-click.
- Select the “Restart” card from the dropdown menu.
The action will refresh the Windows Explorer and the taskbar. Go to the bottom of the screen and check whether the taskbar has disappeared.
Sometimes the auto-hide feature is unsuccessful because the taskbar is crammed with unopened notifications from different programs. To prevent taskbar problems, it’s best to open notifications and clear them as soon as they show up. When you’ve opened all your notifications, the taskbar will disappear automatically and reappear whenever a new app notification comes in.
Here’s how to determine whether unread notifications are blocking the taskbar from disappearing:
- Navigate to the Windows 11 taskbar.
- Scan the app icons to see whether there are any programs displaying notification alerts.
Unread messages are another obstacle that keeps the taskbar in its default position. Once you disable the message counter from popping up, you’ll optimize the taskbar, enabling it to remain hidden. To do so:
- Tap “Windows + I” to open the “Settings” app.
- Click on “Personalization” in the left part of the new window.
- Scroll to the bottom of the window and select the “Taskbar” card.
- Choose “Taskbar behavior.”
- On the “Task behavior” page, deselect the “Show badges (unread messages counter) on taskbar apps” box to disable message alerts from pinned apps.
- Ensure that the “Automatically hide the taskbar” box is selected. 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, meaning that the operating system runs many complex background processes that allow you to use your computer. These processes may sometimes interfere with each other and prevent your device from completing specific actions like hiding the taskbar.
Minor software glitches don’t cause any long-term damage to the PC, so rebooting the computer should iron out the issues. Once the PC is up and running again, check whether the taskbar is still at the bottom of the desktop.
When you enter fullscreen mode in Windows 11, the system automatically removes the taskbar. If it’s still visible, you might have forgotten to select the auto-hide option. Additionally, unopened notifications and messages could be clogging the taskbar and preventing it from disappearing. Before enabling the auto-hide option, make sure that you’ve gone through all programs pinned to the taskbar and opened all the alerts.
Windows 11 lets users enlarge the display to cover two monitors. When you set up a second monitor, it’s possible to adjust how the taskbar will appear. You may want it to remain visible only on the first monitor, or you can enable it to show up on both desktops. Moreover, you can select the auto-hide feature and remove the taskbar from both screens. When it’s gone, moving the cursor along the lower ends of the two monitors will trigger the taskbar and it will reappear.
However, Windows 11 sometimes struggles to retrieve the second monitor’s taskbar after you’ve hidden it, and wiggling the cursor is unsuccessful. In such cases, pinned 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.
- Rick-click and choose the “Unpin from Taskbar” option.
Repeat the process until you’ve unpinned all apps. When you complete the task, the taskbar should function correctly.
How do I remove taskbar icons?
If you’re satisfied with the taskbar’s default placement but feel it contains too many icons, you can declutter it by removing unwanted icons.
1. Go to the taskbar and right-click on a blank space.
2. Choose “Taskbar Settings.”
3. Navigate to “Taskbar items,” find the items you wish to remove, and toggle them off.
4. Scroll to “Taskbar corner overflow” and choose the icons you want to hide from the taskbar.
The taskbar will now contain fewer buttons and app shortcuts.
Keep the Widows 11 Taskbar Out of Sight
Although the Windows 11 taskbar doesn’t feature a very user-friendly design, there are several ways to hide it and declutter your desktop. When you want to access your pinned apps, restoring the original desktop layout only takes a few simple steps, and the taskbar will reappear.
Have you removed your Windows 11 taskbar from the desktop? Have you had trouble keeping it hidden? Which of the above methods fixed the problem? Let us know in the comments section below.