How to Fix Windows 10 Taskbar Not Responding Issue?

PC Repair Windows

The Taskbar is an important element of the Windows platform that allows you to easily launch or locate programs. It was first introduced in Windows 95 and is now being used in all versions of Windows.

The Taskbar has certain distinguishing elements that play a vital role in completing various tasks. These elements include the following:

  • The Start Button – When clicked, this button invokes the Start menu where you can access programs and applications of the Windows operating system.
  • The Quick Launch Bar – Although not present in some Windows versions, this section contains shortcuts to certain apps or programs.
  • The Notification Area – Also called the system tray, this portion of the Taskbar displays the icons for programs and system features that are not present on the desktop.
  • Deskbands – This area contains the shortcuts to minimized yet active applications, such as Windows Media Player or Microsoft Word.

Like other elements of the Windows operating system, the Taskbar is no stranger to issues. In fact, many Windows users have reportedly experienced the Taskbar not responding issue on their devices.

In case you are among the unlucky few who have come across this error, then this post is for you. Read on to know what causes the issue and how to fix it.

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What Causes Taskbar Not to Respond?

The Taskbar is quite an old concept used by Microsoft in all Windows operating systems, starting in Windows 95. And for many years, this feature has undergone quite a few changes with Cortana being the most significant change.

Although this enhancement has drastically improved users’ experience, it has caused problems with some built-in programs and third-party apps. As a result, it causes the Taskbar to hang or stop working.

Other possible causes of this issue include corrupt graphics drivers, incompatible software programs, auto-hide problems, and many more.

Now, according to some affected users, when they encounter the Taskbar not responding issue, they are unable to seek help. This is because they cannot use Cortana to find solutions. For this reason, we have compiled a list of fixes that you can try to fix the Taskbar not responding problem.

What to Do About Taskbar Not Responding in Windows 10?

So, what should you do to fix the Taskbar not responding in Windows 10 problem? Try the solutions we have presented below. For sure, one of them should get the Taskbar to work again.

Solution #1: Restart Windows Explorer

If the Taskbar does not respond to clicks or sometimes freezes, then restarting Windows Explorer may do the trick. Follow the steps below to restart Windows Explorer:

  1. Press the Ctrl + Shift + ESC keys to launch the Task Manager.
  2. Scroll down the list of active process and find Windows Explorer.
  3. Click Windows Explorer and hit the Restart button located at the bottom-right corner of the screen.
  4. Wait for Windows Explorer to restart and check if Taskbar is already responsive.

Solution #2: Try to update Windows

Windows Updates are rolled out to fix previous issues with the built-in features and programs of Windows. So, if the not responding issue is triggered by an error with a built-in Windows program, then this solution will work.

Here’s how to install Windows Updates:

  1. Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run utility.
  2. Input ms-settings: into the text field and hit the Enter button.
  3. Choose Update and Security.
  4. Hit the Check for Updates button and wait for the update to be downloaded and installed.
  5. Restart your PC and check if the problem has been fixed.

Solution #3: Run an SFC scan

System File Checker is an in-built tool in all Windows operating systems. It is designed to scan your device for any errors and fix them right away. So, to resolve issues that cause the Windows 10 Taskbar to stop working, then you may use this tool. Here’s how:

  1. Press the Ctrl + Shift + ESC keys to launch the Task Manager.
  2. Go to File and click Run New Task.
  3. Input cmd into the text area and tick the Create this task with administrative privileges option.
  4. Type sfc /scannow and hit Enter.
  5. Wait for Windows to complete the scan.
  6. Restart your PC.

Solution #4: Re-register Taskbar using PowerShell

Some affected Windows users said that re-registering the Taskbar using PowerShell has helped get rid of the problem. To do so, refer to the guide below:

  1. Press the Ctrl + Shift + ESC keys to open Task Manager.
  2. In the window that appears, click File.
  3. Select Run new task.
  4. Input powershell into the text area and tick the Create this task with administrative privileges option.
  5. Hit OK to launch the PowerShell utility.
  6. Enter this command: Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml”}.
  7. Hit Enter to proceed.
  8. Exit PowerShell and go to C:/Users/XXX/AppData/Local/. Make sure to change the value of XXX to your username.
  9. Find the TileDataLayer folder and delete it.
  10. Restart Windows and check if Taskbar still freezes.

Solution #5: Uninstall the most recent graphics drivers

Sometimes, installing graphics driver updates can trigger the Taskbar to freeze. To fix this, uninstall the latest graphics drivers you have just uninstalled. Use the instructions below as your guide:

  1. Launch Task Manager by pressing the Ctrl + Shift + ESC keys.
  2. Select File and click Run new task.
  3. Type control panel and hit Enter.
  4. Select Device Manager and expand the Display adapters section.
  5. Right-click on your graphics card and select Properties.
  6. Navigate to the Driver tab.
  7. Click Roll back driver and choose the most appropriate reason for uninstallation.
  8. Proceed by hitting Yes.
  9. Restart your PC for the changes to take effect.

Solution #6: Disable your startup items

Whenever your PC boots up, Windows automatically loads all programs that have been set to run in the background. Unfortunately, this may cause your Taskbar to freeze, especially if plenty of programs are enabled via Startup.

To disable those unnecessary apps, do the following:

  1. Launch Task Manager by pressing the Ctrl + Shift + ESC keys simultaneously.
  2. Navigate to the Startup tab.
  3. Right-click on a program and choose Disable.
  4. Repeat the steps above for all programs you wish to disable at startup.
  5. Once done, restart Windows and check if you can now use Taskbar without any problems.

Solution #7: Run the Application Identity service

There are plenty of services that are relevant to various Windows processes and operations. Without them, issues like the Taskbar freezing may arise. To avoid this, try to enable the Application Identity service. Here’s how:

  1. Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run utility.
  2. Input services.msc into the text area and hit Enter.
  3. Right-click on Application Identity and click Start.
  4. Restart your PC and see if Taskbar no longer freezes.

Solution #8: Use another user account

There are instances when unnecessary tasks affect the core services and features of Windows. As a result, Taskbar may not respond to your clicks. In this case, check if the Taskbar works when another user account is signed in. This will give you a better idea as to what’s causing the issue so you can fix it.

If you don’t have another account on your PC, create one by following the steps below. And then, use it to log in to Windows and check if the issue is gone.

  1. Go to Settings and select Accounts.
  2. Choose Family and Other Users.
  3. Click the Add someone else to this PC option.
  4. Enter the required information, including the username and password, to create a new user account.
  5. Once the account is all set up, click the Windows button and select your profile icon.
  6. Choose Sign Out.
  7. Log in using the login credentials of the account you have just created.
  8. Check if the Taskbar works.

Solution #9: Use the System Restore functionality of Windows

If all else fails, use System Restore. This feature is meant to fix system files that have been damaged, missing, or corrupted. Just take note that using this will reinstall some recently installed applications. However, some of your personal files will remain intact.

To use this functionality, follow these instructions:

  1. Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run utility.
  2. Input rstrui.exe and hit Enter.
  3. Select the Choose a different restore point option.
  4. Hit Next to continue.
  5. Tick the box next to the Show more restore points option.
  6. Select the most appropriate restore point. It should be one that was created prior to the occurrence of the issue.
  7. Click Next.
  8. And then, hit Finish.
  9. At this point, Windows will reboot automatically. Once Windows has rebooted, check if the error persists.

Conclusion

The Windows 10 Taskbar not working issue is common among Windows devices. When it occurs, the Taskbar simply stops responding to any of your actions. Often times, it gets frozen and goes to the extent that your cursor can’t be dragged there. So, if you are experiencing this issue, just use the solutions above and you should get your Taskbar to work again.

Do you have other alternative solutions to the Taskbar not responding on Windows 10 problem? We’d love to know. Share them in the comments below.

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