How to Fix an Unresponsive Windows 11 Taskbar

The Windows 11 taskbar is a downgrade from Windows 10 and prone to issues.

Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working Fix

Even though Windows 11 brings many improvements, its taskbar is not only a downgrade over Windows 10, but it is also prone to issues such as the taskbar disappearing, appearing blank, or being unresponsive. Whatever the issue related to the taskbar, the following solutions will help fix the issue of the Windows 11 taskbar not working.

1. Restart Taskbar Service

The first thing you must do is restart taskbar services by restarting Windows Explorer in Task Manager.

Windows Explorer controls the Windows shells that include File Explorer, the taskbar, and Start Menu. Restarting it would fix any problem that could be causing the taskbar to not work.

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager on your Windows computer. Alternatively, press Ctrl + Alt + Delete and click on Task Manager.
  2. The Task Manager window will open. Look for “Windows Explorer” under the “Processes” tab. Click on it and hit the “End task” or Restart button. Windows Explorer will restart. Hopefully, the taskbar will start functioning normally.
Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working Task Manager End Task
  1. If you don’t see tabs like Processes, Performance, App history, etc., you are in the Task Manager compact view. Click on “More details” to expand Task Manager, then follow step #2.
Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working Task Manager More Details

2. Restart PC

If restarting Windows Explorer didn’t help, try restarting your computer. Often, due to temporary glitches, the taskbar becomes unresponsive. A restart should fix it. The normal method to restart the computer from the Start Menu will not work because the taskbar isn’t working, Do the following instead.

  1. Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete on your keyboard.
  2. The administrative screen will show up. Click on the Power icon at the bottom-right corner and select “Restart” from the list.
Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working Restart Screen

3. Turn Off Hide Taskbar

If the Windows 11 taskbar keeps hiding from you, you may want to disable the associated setting as shown below.

  1. Open Settings on your Windows computer. Again, since the taskbar isn’t working, you have to try an alternate route to open the settings. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. When Task Manager opens, click “File → Run new task.”
Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working Settings
  1. The “Create new task” pop-up window will open. Type ms-settings: and hit the “OK” button.
Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working Settings Open Using Task Manager
  1. The Windows 11 Settings will open. Go to “Personalization → Taskbar.”
Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working Settings Open Taskbar
  1. Scroll down on the next screen and expand the Taskbar behaviors section. Uncheck the “Automatically hide the taskbar” setting.
Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working Settings Hide Taskbar

4. Change Taskbar Alignment to Center

Many Windows 11 users suggest that changing the taskbar alignment to center instead of left fixed the unresponsive taskbar issue.

  1. To do so, follow steps #1 to #4 of the above method to open the Taskbar settings.
  2. Expand the Taskbar behaviors section.
Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working Alignment
  1. Select “Center” in the drop-down box next to Taskbar alignment.

5. Enable Taskbar on All Displays

If you use a multi-device setup, and the taskbar isn’t working on the second monitor, you must check the taskbar settings related to multiple displays.

  1. Open Settings using Task Manager as shown in section 3.
  2. Go to “Personalization → Taskbar.” Expand Taskbar behaviors and check the box next to “Show my taskbar on all displays.” Also, customize the settings depending on your preferences for “When using multiple displays, show my taskbar apps.”
Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working Multiple Display

Note: the settings are greyed out in the screenshot because we’re not using multiple displays.

6. Repair System Files

Next, you must try to repair the system files, which could be causing the Windows 11 taskbar to not work. Don’t worry, though, as you don’t have to tinker with the system files manually. Windows offers a built-in tool known as System File Checker to scan the computer for errors and fix them.

Follow these steps:

  1. Open Task Manager using the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keyboard shortcut.
  2. Go to “File -> Run new task.”
Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working Settings
  1. Type CMD in the “Create new task” pop-up window to open the Command Prompt. Check the box next to “Create this task with administrative privileges” and click “OK.”
Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working Repair System Files Open Cmd
  1. Type the sfc /scannow command and hit the Enter key.
Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working Repair System Files Run Sfc
  1. Wait for Windows 11 to execute the command and repair any faulty files. Once done, close the Command Prompt.
  2. The sfc/scannow command performs a quick check of your computer. If that command didn’t help, perform an extensive check of your PC using the DISM commands. Open Command Prompt again and enter the following commands one at a time:

7. Turn Off Fast Startup

If the Windows 11 taskbar appears with no buttons and icons on startup, turning off Fast startup has proved to be beneficial. Follow the steps as shown below.

  1. Open Task Manager with the help of the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keyboard shortcut.
  2. Open “File -> Run new task.”
Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working Settings
  1. Enter “Control panel” in the “Create new task” window.
Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working Control Panel Open Task Manager
  1. Click on “Power Options” if the view is set to icons. Alternatively, go to “Hardware and Sound → Power options.”
Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working Control Panel Power Options
  1. Click on “Choose what the power buttons do” in the left sidebar.
Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working Control Panel Power Options Button
  1. Uncheck the box next to “Turn on fast startup (recommended)” under Shutdown settings. Click “Save changes.”
Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working Power Options Fast Startup Turn Off
  1. If it appears greyed out, click on “Change settings that are currently unavailable” at the top. That should activate the Shutdown settings. Then, uncheck “Turn on fast startup,”
Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working Power Options Fast Startup Grey

8. Change PC’s Date and Time

Another solution that fixes issues with the Windows 11 taskbar is to change the computer’s date and time to a month ahead. Follow these steps:

  1. Open Task Manager and go to “File → New Task.”
  2. Type “Control Panel” in the new task window to open it.
  3. In Control Panel, go to “Date and Time.”
Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working Date And Time Control Panel
  1. Under the “Date and Time” tab, click on “Change date and time,” and set the month to the next month.
Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working Date And Time Change
  1. Click on the “Internet Time” tab followed by “Change settings.”
Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working Date And Time Internet
  1. Uncheck the box next to “Synchronize with an Internet server” and hit the “OK” button.
Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working Date And Time Synchronize

9. Update Windows OS

The taskbar not working issue could also be caused by an outdated or faulty version of the Windows 11 OS currently installed on your computer. Check for possible updates and update Windows 11 to the latest version by following these steps:

  1. Open Settings on your computer using Task Manager.
  2. Go to “Windows update” and hit the “Check for updates” button.
Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working Update

3. Install the update, if one is available.

10. Tweak Taskbar Registry

If the Windows 11 taskbar still doesn’t work properly, you must make the following change to the taskbar registry.

  1. Open Task Manager.
  2. Go to “File → Run new task,” type regedit in the window, and hit “OK” to open the Registry editor.
Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working Registry Editor Open

Tip: you should create a backup of Windows Registry before editing any files.

  1. Navigate to “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced”. Double-click on “TaskbarSd.”
Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working Registry Taskbarsd 1
  1. Change the value to “1” in the Value data box if it’s set to “0.” Click on “OK.”
Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working Registry Editor Edit
  1. Restart Windows Explorer as shown in section 1.

11. Re-register Taskbar

The taskbar on Windows 11 could have been de-registered due to some issue, and that’s why it isn’t working properly. To make things right, you need to re-register the taskbar with the help of Windows PowerShell as shown below.

  1. Open Task Manager and go to “File → Run” new task.
  2. Type Powershell in the “Create new task” pop-up box to open Windows PowerShell. Check the box for “Create this task with administrative privileges” and click on “OK.”
Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working Powershell
  1. The Windows PowerShell window will open. Enter the following command and hit the Enter key.
Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working Powershell Command
  1. Wait for the command to finish. Once done, restart Windows Explorer.

12. Run Windows Security Scan

If you recently installed an app or downloaded media from unverified sources, your Windows 11 PC might have become infected with malicious or corrupted files, and that could be causing issues with the taskbar. While one way to fix the issue is to delete the recently installed app or files, an easy workaround is to use the Windows Security Scan to detect and fix such issues as shown below:

  1. Open Settings on your PC.
  2. Go to “Privacy & security” and click on “Windows Security.”
Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working Security
  1. Click on “Virus and threat protection” and “Quick scan” on the next screen.
Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working Security Scan
  1. If you don’t see the Quick scan option, click on “Open app” to open the third-party antivirus app and scan your PC with it.
Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working Virus Open App

13. Uninstall Update

For many users, a faulty security update installed on the computer causes issues with the taskbar. One of the security updates that has been wreaking havoc on the taskbar is KB5006674. You must uninstall it as shown below.

  1. Open Control Panel on your PC.
  2. Go to “Programs and Features.”
Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working Uninstall Security
  1. Click on “View installed updates” in the right panel.
Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working Security Uninstall Updates
  1. Look for “Update for Microsoft Windows (KB5006674),” right-click on it, and hit the “Uninstall” button.
Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working Uninstall Security Update

Enjoy Windows 11

We hope the above solutions fixed the Windows 11 unresponsive taskbar issue. Once the taskbar starts functioning properly, learn how to customize the taskbar like a pro. You may also be interested in learning how to install Google Play Store on Windows 11.

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