My taskbar does not stay on top of applications, even when they are not full screen. As you can seen in the cropped screenshot below, the non-maximized windows are on top of the taskbar.

A desktop screenshot showing two windowed applications covering the Windows taskbar with a third window maximized and not covering the taskbar

  • All applications are showing up on top of the taskbar, not just a specific application, such as Microsoft Word
  • If I maximize a window, it does size correctly - the bottom of the maximized window touches the top of the taskbar

In my googling, I've only found instances of people trying to go the other way (they want to disable Always on Top), or people talking about the taskbar being on top of full screen applications such has video games or movies. I found that the ability to toggle "Always on Top" was removed in Windows 7 and the behavior should be that the taskbar is always on top, but that is not the behavior I'm getting. I can't think of any application I may have installed that would change this behavior.

The closest SuperUser question I can find is this one, but the solutions there didn't work for me.

  • Are you using any display-changing plugins or applications. Things like alternate start menus or the like? Jan 5, 2017 at 23:49
  • Did you check this post?
    – Asme Just
    Jan 6, 2017 at 1:30
  • @music2myear I couldn't think of any, but I may need to review my "Programs and Features" list to see if I've forgotten about anything. The last answer in the post I linked to listed a couple of applications, but the last bullet was something like "or it could be any application, really" :/
    – tehDorf
    Jan 6, 2017 at 1:37
  • 1
    Well, Windows 10 as SOOO many weird behavior I never saw in Windows 7 or even in Windows 8.
    – Asme Just
    Jan 6, 2017 at 1:47
  • 1
    Thank you for posting this (way too many posts for the opposite, simple problem)! For me this decades-old issue seems to be related to having 2 GPUs: Intel & Nvidia in my laptop and Windows not being consistent in choosing which one to use for which app. There are too many disparate locations for trying to set these parameters: Nvidia Control Panel, Windows Graphics Settings, Individual apps (enabling hardware acceleration, etc). It's a mess. The solution below to turn off In-Game Overlay worked for me today, but I actually use that feature. And next month there will be a new cause. <sigh> Mar 4, 2022 at 17:53

16 Answers 16


I had the same issue, and fixed it by turning off Nvidia Shadowplay desktop capture.

New GeForce Drivers that are installed with GeForce Experience (since 2016) call it the In Game Overlay, and you can disable it by opening GeForce Experience > Settings (top right) > General and untick the In Game Overlay option.

GeForce Experience Settings Page

  • 2
    – Queso Pez
    Sep 7, 2021 at 10:30
  • If you want to use the in-game overlay, just press start, alt+z, then close the overlay. This fixes it for me. Might not work for everybody.
    – mohkamfer
    Sep 13, 2021 at 7:11
  • Hopefully someone has reported this issue to NVidia
    – twominds
    Jan 18, 2022 at 9:19
  • 3
    If disabling the GeForce Experience overlay solves the problem for you, then you might be hitting a Windows bug similar to the one described at github.com/dechamps/RudeWindowFixer. If you use RudeWindowFixer you might be able to keep the overlay enabled and still get rid of the issue. It might also potentially get rid of similar problems with other applications. See also: superuser.com/a/1703539/8695 Feb 6, 2022 at 21:08
  • 1
    I found that my problem was also with Nvidia's GeForce Experience, but what I had to do was turn off all of the overlay options (e.g. showing the FPS in one of the corners).
    – trlkly
    Aug 28, 2022 at 10:01

Ok, so I fixed this for myself just now. All I did was right click the task bar, go to properties and set it to show at the top of the screen. Then I set it back to the bottom and now it works like it used to.

  • 1
    You might add more detail, screen shots, etc. of what you did as it does not seem clear based on reading this answer. Jul 12, 2017 at 0:53
  • Welcome to superuser: While this answers the question,(you need to accept it) it would be a better answer if you could provide some explanation why your solution works with detail and an easy to follow instructions. If you feel your answer is correct do these things and re-edit. Please take a couple of minutes and read:- superuser.com/help .Answering: superuser.com/help/how-to-answer, again welcome to superuser.Thankyou
    – mic84
    Jul 12, 2017 at 1:42
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    Right click the taskbar, go to Taskbar Settings, change "Taskbar Location on Screen", then change it back. Worked for me.
    – mbomb007
    Jun 3, 2019 at 19:30
  • Note that simply dragging the taskbar to a new location and back did not work for me. I had to actually right-click the taskbar, go into Taskbar settings, and change Taskbar Location On Screen to fix this.
    – Mike
    Apr 6, 2021 at 17:58
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    Didnt work for me
    – twominds
    Jan 18, 2022 at 9:18

I've had this issue before many times and it drives me crazy.

Whenever you start having the issue, open Task Manager, and look for "File Explorer", just click on it and press restart in the bottom right. It's not a permanent solution, maybe even restarting the computer after restarting file manager would do something for you.

  • 2
    You may want to try ending the process of DWM [Desktop Windows Manager), of which will cause a desktop redraw to occur. That's more preferred to restarting Explorer, as doing so also ends many processes that were started by Explorer at login, of which are not restarted automatically following a restart of Explorer.
    – JW0914
    Jul 12, 2017 at 4:19
  • 2
    I believe you meant "Windows Explorer" (which operates the TaskBar). But in any case, this did not resolve it for me.
    – kmote
    Sep 27, 2017 at 15:51
  • @JW0914 I tried your suggestion of ending the Desktop Windows Manager process, but an ominous-sounding window pops up saying: "Ending this process will cause Windows to become unusable or shut down, [...]. Are you sure you want to continue?" And there's a check-box at the bottom saying "Abandon unsaved data and shut down". If checked, a grayed out "Shut down" button becomes available. Are you saying that clicking the "Shut down" button will actually NOT shut down the PC but merely redraw the desktop? I tried restarting the Windows Explorer "App", and it fixed the taskbar issue for me.
    – StormRyder
    Oct 18, 2021 at 18:15
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    @StormRyder When ending Desktop Windows Manager, "Shut Down" will shut the process down, not the PC; unsaved data warning can be disregarded as it isn't referring to user data. Explorer.exe isn't an app in the normal sense and may not resolve the issue since it often isn't with Explroer.exe, but with Windows' windows manager [Desktop Windows Manager]. (Explorer.exe has two independent functional processes: first is the Windows shell and the other is the file explorer for Windows).
    – JW0914
    Oct 19, 2021 at 12:16
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    This worked for me after changing GEFORCE EXPERIENCE settings did nothing, nor did messing with taskbar settings. Sep 20, 2023 at 17:21

I experienced a similar problem, although I use taskbar auto-hide, so it's closer to the other question. Nevertheless, I suspect the solution I found might apply here too.

Basically: I found a particularly subtle Windows bug where, under very specific conditions, Windows mistakenly thinks you are using a full screen application (even though you're not) and hides the taskbar as a result. The bug involves a race condition which is non-deterministic in nature, which is why it can be quite difficult to reproduce.

I was able to reproduce, characterize, and root cause the problem, and I also came up with a workaround: RudeWindowFixer. You will find all the gory technical details there.

  • This seems like it might be in the ballpark, but Chrome tried to block me from downloading it and, after subverting that, Windows blocked me from running it. At that point, I thought "maybe I shouldn't run this" and stopped. Mar 4, 2022 at 17:29
  • @HighTechGeek You're not the first one to have had this reaction. I provided ample proof that the program is harmless: github.com/dechamps/RudeWindowFixer/issues/1 If you still don't trust it, you can always build it yourself - all you need is Visual Studio (which is free) and you can just open the folder and click Build. That's it. (And of course you can check the source code yourself, which is small and trivial enough to make it obvious that there's nothing shady going on.) Mar 4, 2022 at 21:10
  • @HighTechGeek I don't know why security software seems to dislike this EXE. My best guess is that it's because (1) it's not "well-known" and (2) it does unusual things (since it's solving an unusual problem in unusual ways). I have yet to receive any credible evidence that these aren't false positives. Mar 4, 2022 at 21:13
  • 1
    I've run into this issue for years and you're the first person I've encountered that has actually taken the effort to deep dive it. It's frustrating that Microsoft, Google, etc. react to so much stuff by blocking it outright. Maybe you could submit your findings to Nvidia, Intel and Microsoft bug reports. Thank you for the huge effort and write-up! Mar 6, 2022 at 6:02

Pires Dimmer caused this problem for me. Turning it off fixed the issue. https://www.nelsonpires.com/software/dimmer/

  • Wow! This is insanely obscure but fixed it for me (well, almost: except I love dimmer so will just have to live with it).
    – neuronet
    Jan 10, 2021 at 14:23
  • This software might be similar to the GeForce Experience overlay (see other answer), i.e. it might be creating a full screen transparent window to do its thing. If that is the case it's possible RudeWindowFixer might be able to get rid of the problem: superuser.com/a/1703539/8695 Although if that software puts the transparent window always on top then it likely won't be enough. Feb 6, 2022 at 21:15

I finally figured out why the Windows 10 taskbar doesn't stay in the foreground as I would like!

Some application when running in compatibility mode causes any other application window will be able to overlay the taskbar. When closing this application, task bar will work fine.

I'm a software developer and my development application, because it's old, works better in compatibility mode. Interestingly, this behavior of the taskbar did not occur with Windows 7, where it was always in front of all other windows.

Anyway, check if a program is running in compatibility mode and try to disable it to see what happens.


I had to restart Desktop Window Manager as I noticed it somehow used 20% of an 1080 ti. That fixed it for me.

  1. Right-click on a blank part of the Taskbar.
  2. Open "Taskbar settings"
  3. Turn off "Automatically hide the taskbar in desktop mode"
  4. Turn off "Automatically hide the taskbar in tablet mode"

Incase more people still have this issue.

Quite often I find that simply right clicking an empty space on the task bar fixed this.

Minimise all but 1 window / program and move / change the height so that it covers half of the task bar, then hover over the task bar and right click on the bit you can see, for me this fixes it 9 times out of 10.

I noticed the issue usually occurs if explorer.exe has crashed or had an accident.

Another potential option is to open task manager and kill explorer.exe and then restart it. Sometimes has to be done a couple times.


FIXED for me - I noticed the bottom few rows of pixels were missing off the bottom of the screen. The mouse was stopping at the last row of pixels, not disappearing down to where the taskbar would be. There was apparently a problem with my screen resolution or registration.

I changed my screen resolution, then changed it back to the recommended setting (native resolution) and my taskbar is now accessible!


I have used the option Cascade Windows. on the tool bar menu and it worked. the toolbar is under the application.


In my case, the problem was caused by an add-in for Outlook 2016. After disabling the Outlook Addin the behavior did not occur anymore. The problematic Addin was Colligo Engage.

You can disable the Addins in Outlook in the options under the tab "Add-Ins". For troubleshooting - If you experience the same error, I would try to close all programs (also the Windows Startup programs) and check if it works or not.


This happened to me, I did the taskbar config, still no help.

It was one app that was in "full-screen mode" by accident I guess. I got it out of full-screen mode and my taskbar was back. This was for GitKraken (Ctrl-Shift-F or menu option), obviously, if you have some other app in full-screen mode by accident, the way to get out of full-screen mode will vary.


My case was fixed by uncheck "Keep Gesture Draw Window On Top" from StrokePlus app.


I had this problem with Task Manager. When you dragged the window around the screen it would be on top of the taskbar

To fix: open task manager -> Go to options (top left next to "File") -> untick option "always on top".

Not sure if I did this myself or if it was always on


Here's how I solved it, hope it works for others who couldn't fix it by right clicking on the Taskbar and blocking it. You must go to your Task Manager (CTRL-ALT-SUPR) and finalize the Explorer item, mine didn't have the option of restarting so I just restarted my computer after that. Took me two days to work it out X-D Good luck!

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