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Windows - Taskbar Has Disappeared from the Desktop

This page explains how to get the taskbar to reappear.


You cannot see the taskbar (which contains the "Start" button) anywhere on your desktop.


  1. The taskbar may be hiding at the bottom of the screen after being accidentally resized.

  2. If the presentation display was changed, the taskbar may have moved off of the visible screen (Windows 7 and Vista only).

  3. The taskbar may be set to "Auto-hide" (Windows XP with Service Pack 2 only).

  4. The 'explorer.exe' process may have crashed.


  1. Put the mouse pointer on the bottom border of your screen.

    • If the pointer turns into a double-arrow (double Arrow Pointing up and down), click and drag upwards.
    • If your taskbar isn't hiding at the bottom of the screen, try moving the mouse to the right, left, and top edges, looking for the double-arrow.

  2. Press and hold the Windows logo key on your keyword, then tap the P key to bring up the presentation display mode options.

    • Make sure "Computer Only" is selected.
    • Use the arrow keys to toggle between options and Enter to select the correct display mode.

  3. Press the Windows key on the keyboard to bring up the Start Menu

    • Right-Click on the taskbar and select Properties.
    • Toggle the 'Auto-Hide the taskbar' checkbox and click Apply.
    • If it is now checked, move the cursor to the bottom, right, left, or top of the screen and the taskbar should re-appear.
    • Repeat step three to return to your original setting.

  4. Open the Task Manager using either Ctrl+Alt+Del or Ctrl+Shift+Esc.

    • If explorer.exe is already running, select it and choose End Task before continuing on.
    • Click the File menu and select New Task.
    • In the dialog box, type 'explorer.exe' to restart the process.

  5. If the above solutions fail, or if the problem recurs, please contact the DoIT Help Desk for assistance.

Keywords:windows win taskbar icon task bars tools toolbars start menu button logo key bottom restore unhide reveal show add find hidden missing gone explorer.exe bold type computer properties shortcut short cut buttons escape key task bar show lower status bar   Doc ID:592
Owner:Help Desk KB Team .Group:DoIT Help Desk
Created:2000-05-01 19:00 CDTUpdated:2019-10-07 08:20 CDT
Sites:DoIT Help Desk
Feedback:  1387   2234