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I have my Win 7 taskbar set to autohide but its often pops up... and just stays visible, obscuring the bottom of all other programs (since they are behaving correctly (as if the Task Bar isn't there b/c it's supposed to autohide).

Any way to force it to HIDE again?

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Adding to what DougMelvin posted, here's a script that I found a while back...

@echo off
taskkill /f /im explorer.exe 
start explorer.exe

Upon saving the batch file, I created a shortcut to the desktop and added shortcut key.

Ex. ctrl+alt+k

This forced the task bar to auto hide when explorer restarted.

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Just curious... is this an acceptable answer? – Rob Feb 15 '14 at 23:25

This happens to me when a programs want's to give me a notification and windows is set to not show the notification.

The program in question just can't deal with it and keeps trying and the silly taskbar won't go away.

The only solution I have found short of reloggin/rebooting is to open the task manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc) then find and kill explorer.exe.

Then in the run menu of task manager type "explorer".

Your desktop comes back, all taskbar and notification area icons accounted for (unlike in previous version of windows) and more importantly, your taskbar will now autohide.

No running programs should be harmed.

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It won't hide again if you move your mouse over it and then away? I think it should once you restore focus to something else.

Some programs steal focus, which may be causing the issue. One that I have encountered a lot is logitech mouse mapping software - once you launch it, it runs in the background but may randomly steal focus.

Next time it happens, click on one of your open windows and see if the taskbar goes away again.

Are you using any mouse or keymapping programs?

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See this, attached file at bottom of first post, instructions on another page.

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Ime this happens when a program has some sort of "notification" or alert (sometimes these are not obvious). Typically the app icon on the taskbar will be lit or highlighted in some way. If that's the case for you just click the app icon (bring the prog window forward/into focus) and the task bar will hide normally after that.

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