To the immediate right of the search bar is the Task View icon. This powerful new piece of functionality allows you to see all the windows you currently have open at a glance, as well as offering an easy way of creating virtual desktops.

Virtual desktops allow you to separate different windows and applications off into individual instances — for instance, you might want to create a work desktop that’s separate to the one you use to browse the web and listen to music on your lunch break.
Sometimes, users might face intermittent issues with Windows System UI components. Such issues can give a bad user experience. One such UI element is the Taskbar. If you are also facing any issues where your Windows 10 Taskbar is not working properly or freezes, is unresponsive or stops working randomly, then this article can help you troubleshoot & fix the issue.

How to Fix the Windows 10 Taskbar

There are several methods to fix a no-functioning taskbar. We’re going to list down the most effective methods.

1Repopulate the Taskbar via Command Prompt

If your Taskbar is missing its icons and the tray at the bottom right is missing functionality like the clock, you might have to dip into the command interface to remedy your issue. Fortunately, this isn’t as intimidating as it might sound.

First, use Windows key + X to open the Quick Link menu. From here, you can launch a Command Prompt with administrator credentials, which is required to open the Disk Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool that we’ll be putting into action to make this fix.

Use the following code in the resulting prompt, and you should find that your Taskbar returns to its normal state:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

2Fix an Unclickable Taskbar

If your Taskbar is present, but you can’t click on any of the icons, you may well have to resort to some desperate measures to fix the issue.

There is a relatively easy process that should clear up this predicament, but unfortunately it comes at a cost. This method will also remove all Windows 10 apps, including the Store, from your system.

To get underway, open up a Command Prompt with administrator credentials as demonstrated above. Then, input this string into the window that you’re presented with:

Get-AppxPackage | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxProvisionedPackage -Online | Remove-AppxProvisionedPackage -online

Afterwards, restart your system and you should see things put back to normal. If you decide that you want the Windows Store back.

3Remedy Auto-Hide Issues

Some users have reported that the auto-hide functionality of the Windows 10 Taskbar can sometimes stop working, with very little indication given as to what the problem is. Apparently, a fix is in the works as we speak, but until then there’s a couple of ways that you can solve the problem for yourself.

The first method hinges around restarting Windows Explorer. First, open up the Task Manager using CTRL + SHIFT + ESC and head to the Processes tab. Select the app labelled Windows Explorer and click Restart.

However, it may well be that there is a simpler solution to your auto-hide woes. One of the most common causes for the Taskbar failing to retract automatically is an app being placed in a state that requires the attention of the user — and it’s not always completely obvious when this is the case.

Cycle through the apps that you have open and make sure that there are no error messages or other similar pop-ups that might be causing complications. If you’re seeing this problem on a regular basis, a thorough check might be all you need to prevent future headaches.

4Check Your Drivers

This is relatively broad advice that’s applicable to many PC problems, but it’s been proven to solve Taskbar strife for some users. Outdated drivers can cause all manner of issues, so updating standard drivers, like the graphics and audio drivers, is a good place to start if you’re at a loss as to what’s affecting your system.

First things first; there’s a chance that Windows 10 might be the cause of your driver dispute. Its rollout of automatic updates carries over to drivers, but the implementation of this feature isn’t quite perfect. It might be worth disabling the functionality altogether.

Of course, this puts the impetus on you to make sure that your drivers are up to date.

5The Last Resort: Create a New User Account

If you’ve tried everything else and still can’t manage to make your Taskbar behave as it should, there’s one method that’s something of a silver bullet, even if it comes with a caveat. Creating a new local user account seems to remedy these issues in most cases, but it’s obviously a little inconvenient.

To create a new user account, open up the Settings app (Windows key + I) and navigate to AccountsFamily & Other Users. Under the Other Users section, select the option that reads Add someone else to this PC.

You can then work your way through the account creation process — although if you’re replacing your own user account, you might want to choose the I don’t have this person’s sign-in information and Add a user without a Microsoft account options to avoid any confusion with your original login.

6Restart Windows Explorer

This is one simple fix that can help you restore your taskbar to working order. If the problem with the taskbar is not so critical, this method should do the job for you. You won’t need to play or manipulate with other system settings. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Press Windows Key + R combination on your keyboard to launch Run prompt. Enter taskmgr.exe and hit Enter to open Task Manager.

2. Now, under Processes tab, scroll down and look for Windows Explorer over there.

3. Select Windows Explorer and click on Restart button in the bottom right corner.

4. This should simply kill the Windows Explorer process and restart it in a little while.

Check if this method resolves the issue for you.

7Check for bad explorer addons

Boot your Windows 10 computer in Clean Boot State and try to locate the offender by trial and error method. Maybe some File Explorer addon is interfering with the smooth functioning of explorer.exe. If you can identify if, disable or remove that addon and see,

8Re-registering the Taskbar

If the issue resurfaces, then try this method to fix it using Windows Powershell. Powershell is a command-line tool to configure system settings and automate Windows tasks.

First, create a system restore point and then follow these steps to use Windows Powershell for fixing taskbar issues:

1. Press Windows Key on your keyboard and type in powershell. Right-click Windows Powershell (Desktop App) and select Run as administrator. Select Yes in the UAC window that pops up.

2. Now paste the following command, in the PowerShell window and hit Enter:

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

3. Once the command is executed successfully, navigate to the following directory in Explorer where name is your Account Username. Make sure you have enabled showing of hidden items in Explorer.


4. Scroll down to locate the folder named TileDataLayer and delete this folder.

If you are unable to delete this folder, Run services.msc to open the Services Manager, scroll down to Tile Data model server service and stop it. Now try to delete the folder again.

5. Now check if your taskbar is working as expected.

9Launch Task manager

Press the [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Del] keys on the keyboard at the same time, or right click the Taskbar, and select Task manager.

10Run a new Windows task

When the Task manager window opens, click the More details option to expand it, then select Run new task from the File menu.

11Run Windows PowerShell

When the Run new task dialog box opens, type powershell, tick the box forCreate this task with administrative privileges and click OK.

12Run the System File Checker

Type sfc /scannow into the window and press the [Return] key. The scan may take some time and will end with one of three results. Windows did not find any integrity violations and Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files and repaired them mean there are now no corrupt files, but Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some (or all) of themindicates a problem.

In this latter case, type (or copy and paste) DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth into the PowerShell window and press the [Return] key. This will download files from Windows Update to replace the corrupt ones and, again, this may take some time.

If you struggled with this solution, watch the video at the top of the page to see each step in action.

13Reinstall all Windows apps

Downloading and reinstalling all Windows 10 apps reportedly fixes a stuck Start menu. This isn’t as drastic as it sounds — ‘Windows apps’ are the ones built into Windows 10 and available from the Windows Store. They used to be called ‘Modern’ apps and, before that, ‘Metro’ — Microsoft just changed the name with Windows 10.

Better still, the reinstallation is automatic and should only take a few minutes. The process might delete any data you have saved in these Windows apps, though, so backup anything important before you begin.

Apps that store data online, in Microsoft OneDrive or as files in a separate folder (such as the Photos app) should be unaffected.

Warning: Recent reports indicate that this process may cause some Windows Store apps to stop working, so be mindful of this before continuing.

Reinstall Windows apps

Launch the Task manager and open a new PowerShell window with administrative privileges, as explained above.

When the Windows PowerShell window opens copy the line below and paste it into the PowerShell window by simply right-clicking at the blinking PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> prompt, or by pressing [Ctrl] + [V] on the keyboard:

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

Wait until the app download and installation process completes — ignore any red text that appears — and restart Windows.

14Refresh your PC

As a last resort, you can ‘refresh’ your Windows 10 installation, which is much the same as reinstalling the operating system. Your documents won’t be affected, but you’ll need to reinstall any applications that aren’t part of Windows.

Restart Windows in Troubleshooting mode

Close any open applications and press the [Windows] + [L] keys to log out of your Windows account — or just restart Windows. On the login screen, click the Powericon at the bottom right, hold down the [Shift] key and select the Restart option.

Reset your PC

When the blue Choose an option screen appears, click Troubleshoot, followed by Reset this PC. finally, click the Keep my files option and follow the on-screen instructions.

15Run Windows Update

The company hasn’t stated whether it would fix any of the Start Menu issues specifically, but a few visual tweaks were made which could iron out the problems.

The Creators Update should be rolled out to your machine automatically, but if it hasn’t landed yet you can force it to come through now.

Simply go to Settings and select Update & security.

Then click on the Check for updates button and the Anniversary Update should come through.

16Use Troubleshooter

Windows 10 Creators Update brought a useful feature called Troubleshooter. This feature will help you solve various system-related problems in Windows 10. Using Troubleshooter is much easier than entering code in PowerShell or Command Prompt.

Now, we’re back to our possible problems with Windows apps, that might interfere with the taskbar. You can use Troubleshooter to deal with potential issues with Windows apps, and you’ll see that it’s easier than the solution 3.

Here’s exactly what you need to do:

  1. Go to the Settings app, and type troubleshoot into the search bar
  2. Open Troubleshoot
  3. Select Windows Store Apps, and choose Troubleshoot
  4. Follow further on-screen instructions, and wait for the tool to finish working

If there are any problems with Windows apps, Troubleshooter will detect and solve them. However, if the taskbar is still unresponsive after performing the troubleshoot, move on to the next solution.

17Start Application Identity Service

There are some reports that suggest starting the Application Identity service will fix the taskbar issue. So, we’re going to try just that. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Go to Search, type services.msc, and open Services
  2. Find Application Identity service
  3. Right-click on it, and choose Start
  4. (There’s no need to restart your computer)

18Use DISM

DISM is an acronym for the Deployment Image Servicing and Management. The main purpose of the DISM is to scan and fix corrupted files on your computer, including the taskbar.

Here’s what you need to do to run DISM:

    1. Press Windows key + X and start Command Prompt (Admin).
    2. In the command line type following command: DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

In case the DISM can’t obtain files online, try using your installation USB or DVD.

  1. Insert media and type following command:
    • DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:C:RepairSourceWindows /LimitAccess
  2. Be sure to replace ”C:RepairSourceWindows” path of your DVD or USB.
  3. The operation should last no more than 5 minutes.

19Perform Clean install

And finally, if nothing worked out and you’re trapped in cycles trying to figure out what’s the reason for the taskbar to stay unresponsive, your final solution is the clean reinstall. Yes, it may seem like a time-consuming action when we have in mind that you’ll need to backup your data and setup again all those settings. However, this is your last resort and we advise you to take it into consideration.

One of these fixes should work just fine for you. Shout out in the comments section below if any of these methods worked out for you or if you are facing any other issue with the taskbar on Windows 10.


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