On Window 10, I want to right-click on the taskbar to get the taskbar menu -- usually I do this by right-clicking on an empty space on the taskbar. However, where can I click when my taskbar is completely full of icons for open programs and there is no open space on the taskbar?

If I right click on any of the program icons, I get the "Pin to taskbar/Close/etc." menu. Where can I right-click to bring up the Taskbar menu (i.e., the one with Toolbars, Task Manager, Taskbar settings, etc.)

10 Answers 10


There are two places you can right-click on a full taskbar to get the taskbar menu:

  1. the taskbar clock
  2. the taskbar up arrow (looks like ^ and shows hidden icons)
  • 2
    This is really useful! And if you have the Task View button enabled there's a little space between it and your first shortcut as well
    – MC10
    Jan 31, 2020 at 17:27
  • 4
    Also the 'Type here to search' magnifying glass to the right of the start button, and Quick Launch and the Task View button if these are enabled. Jan 31, 2020 at 17:47
  • 4
    Note that clicking in the described locations does not produce exactly the same menu as clicking in a truly empty region of the taskbar. Some additional items are added to the menu. Feb 1, 2020 at 4:29
  • 7
    While not an option you can "click" the shortcut Ctrl+Shift+Esc will also open the task manager regardless of how full your taskbar is.
    – SeinopSys
    Feb 1, 2020 at 10:19
  • Should be noted that this also works on Windows 8.x, not just 10.
    – Vikki
    Feb 2, 2020 at 4:49

If the taskbar is unlocked, you can also right-click the size-adjust icon.

This double-arrow icon is displayed when hovering over the upper border of the taskbar, to be used to change by left-click the taskbar's height (or width if in vertical orientation).


Maybe an overkill, but there's the 7+ Taskbar Tweaker app. It has an option that does just that.

enter image description here


You can right click on the search icon, or the Cortana icon (or the task view button on the right of them)

If contacts are shown in your taskbar (the "People" button on the left of the taskbar up arrow icon ^) then you can also right click on it. If it's disabled you can enable it from taskbar settings > People > Show contacts on the taskbar, or right click on the taskbar > Show People on the taskbar

  1. Right click on the up arrow that opens the system tray. Taskbar Settings is at the bottom of the menu.
  2. Right click on the time/date in the system tray.
  3. Hold the Windows Key down and tap the 'I' key (Win-I). In the "Find a setting" box, type taskbar. Taskbar settings will be the first result.
  4. Tap the Windows key to open the Windows menu. Left click the gear icon to open settings. Then see # 3 above.

Note, right clicking the Windows start button on the left of the taskbar, opens a different menu which does not have an entry for Taskbar Settings.

  • OP is asking for the context menu itself, not necessarily for the Taskbar Settings. (Taskbar Settings is just one of the options on the context menu that they're looking to access.) Feb 3, 2020 at 18:19
  • So 1 and 2 answer the question, but 3 and 4 technically don't. Feb 3, 2020 at 18:20
  • #3 and #4 don't answer the question, but I included them for completeness, because what they're really asking is: how do I open the taskbar settings.. Too much information is way better than not enough. Besides, nobody knows what the person who finds this question in their Google search results next month, next year, will really be looking for. Feb 4, 2020 at 17:25

enter image description here

To summarize what everyone's been saying, there are a few out of the box options for selecting the taskbar's context menu. This won't include any third party or extra installs.

In the image above, anything circled in red are optional entities on your taskbar, all of which you can get the taskbar context menu by right clicking.

From left to right:

  • Cortana/Search
  • Task Viewer
  • Blank space left by default between applications and tray
  • People
  • Show Hidden Icons
  • Windows Ink Workspace
  • Touch Keyboard
  • Clock

Alternatively, you can make your icons smaller and double-row the taskbar to increase the number of apps you can have while still having empty space. This is reflected in orange. If there's an odd number of icons in the tray, you can also select the blank space would be where the yellow square is in the tray.


You can hover over the top edge of the taskbar which will bring up the ns-resize cursor1.

ns-resize cursor

There you can right click to access the taskbar settings.

You can even do this where there are icons below.

1 This will only work if you already have an unlocked taskbar, otherwise you can do the tricks mentioned in other answers.


There is a sliver of space for you to right-click:

enter image description here

Good luck practicing your sniper skills.

  1. You can just click the Clock or time icon.
  2. You can also click the windows icon.
  • 2
    Unfortunately the context menu of the Windows button contains different options from the rest of the taskbar. It's still useful, but for other purposes. Feb 1, 2020 at 1:27

I have a tiny sliver of real estate between the last window and the first tray icon. It is quite hard to aim at. I hover over the last window and then move right to find this area. Sometimes I overshoot and hover at the first icon. Then I need to move slightly leftwards and find the precise location where neither the window nor the icon are under the mouse.


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