I use Windows 8 on my desktop. Currently I have to move my mouse over the taskbar, right click, click on properties, click on auto-hide the taskbar, and then click OK. This is a real pain if you want to toggle this status between on and off several times during the day. In fact, it's unworkable, so it stays on by default and wastes a lot of screen real estate when I don't need it.

Is there a better way?

(If it helps, I use Autohotkey.)

  • 1
    See this post Oct 4 '13 at 3:05
  • 1
    @PortlandRunner Thanks for the tip. I'd already seen it, but it's trying to do something different, which is to show a hidden taskbar. I want to toggle the auto-hide status of the taskbar, from 'do auto-hide' to 'do not auto-hide', and back again. Oct 7 '13 at 3:30

Here is an AutoHotKey script to make Win+b into a hotkey that toggles the taskbar auto-hide setting:

VarSetCapacity(APPBARDATA, A_PtrSize=4 ? 36:48)

   NumPut(DllCall("Shell32\SHAppBarMessage", "UInt", 4 ; ABM_GETSTATE
                                           , "Ptr", &APPBARDATA
                                           , "Int")
 ? 2:1, APPBARDATA, A_PtrSize=4 ? 32:40) ; 2 - ABS_ALWAYSONTOP, 1 - ABS_AUTOHIDE
 , DllCall("Shell32\SHAppBarMessage", "UInt", 10 ; ABM_SETSTATE
                                    , "Ptr", &APPBARDATA)
   KeyWait, % A_ThisHotkey

If you wish to use a different key or key combination than Win+b, change the #b before the double colons in line 3 to whatever hotkey you want (using the syntax in the AutoHotKey documentation).

  • Thanks very much for posting that. Does this just hide the taskbar and leave other windows as they are, or will they automatically fill the space that the taskbar used to occupy? The problem with many solutions is that the taskbar hides but other windows don't fill the space. Oct 9 '13 at 6:14
  • 1
    This works for me (w7 x64). All windows are fill the space that the taskbar used.
    – Grey
    Oct 12 '13 at 18:56
  • 4
    Note that this script is using Space as a hot key (if you were wondering how to toggle hide/show) which is not ideal. I replaced it with #b (win + b, b for bar).
    – alexeit
    Feb 5 '14 at 4:09
  • 2
    Found this via google. Doesn't seem to work on Windows 10: It always switches to "always show", but the other direction (to "auto hide") doesn't work.
    – srs
    Apr 1 '18 at 11:06
  • 2
    Works perfect in Windows 10. Just remember to add the VarSetCapacity(APPBARDATA, A_PtrSize=4 ? 36:48) line at the top of your script (before your hotkeys).
    – Shayan
    Jan 13 '19 at 19:51

I found a program called "Taskbar Control" thats lets you set a Taskbar Autohide toggle key.

Taskbar Control


Note: Make sure you download "Taskbar AutoHide Control" version if you want your current window to auto-fill the space.


Try this little program that I found a while ago. 'Tis amazing. It toggles the taskbar shown or hidden with Alt-T, and you can set it to start up with windows as well.


It's called Taskbar Eliminator and it works for both Win7 and Win 8

  • Yes, that's the perfect little app. Just what I was looking for! Oct 14 '13 at 3:39
  • I'm forced to accept the other answer that uses AutoHotKey, though, since it doesn't require installing any more software than I already use. I'm sure your answer will be the right one for someone else, though. Oct 14 '13 at 3:48

To autohide the taskbar from a cmd prompt or in a .cmd or. bat file:

Windows 7 (StuckRects2)

powershell -command "&{$p='HKCU:SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StuckRects2';$v=(Get-ItemProperty -Path $p).Settings;$v[8]=3;&Set-ItemProperty -Path $p -Name Settings -Value $v;&Stop-Process -f -ProcessName explorer}"

Windows 10 (StuckRects3)

powershell -command "&{$p='HKCU:SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StuckRects3';$v=(Get-ItemProperty -Path $p).Settings;$v[8]=3;&Set-ItemProperty -Path $p -Name Settings -Value $v;&Stop-Process -f -ProcessName explorer}"


The registry key which stores this value also stores a number of other settings. Since we only want to change position 9 ($v[8] in the cmd) of that registry setting, we need to preserve the other settings.

Normally from cmd, it's enough to use a reg add command to modify the registry, but we use powershell because it makes it easy to preserve the other settings stored under the same registry key.

Explorer also needs to be restarted to pick up the change. We use Stop-Process because Windows automatically restarts Explorer when it is stopped.

Note: change $v[8]=3 to $v[8]=2 in the commands above to undo this change (if you want the taskbar to be always visible).

  • I like your reply. Even if the other tools might be better/easier your explanation was the most interesting.
    – Don King
    Jan 4 '19 at 9:02

"taskbar real toggle"

The AutoHotKey script above in the best answer works fine. On my PC I combined it with



This taskbar hiding application lets me choose the hotkey to hide the taskbar. I mapped the AutoHotKey-hotkey to Win+A and the TaskBar Hider to Win+Y. So now when I press Win+Y, Win+A the taskbar toggles without popping up again when I accidentally the bottom pixel; when I press Win+Y, Win+A again it comes back and stays there no matter where I put the mouse cursor and it's just great. A one-key solution would be even better though with the two hotkeys so close together it's really manageable.

Maybe there is a better (one-key-) solution using just AutoHotKey?

  • 1
    does not work with my win7 64bit.
    – Edwin Yip
    Jul 4 '15 at 7:33
  • Of course you could edit the AHK script to also emit the second keypress event. Nov 12 '15 at 15:10
  • 1
    Does not work on Windows 10
    – Shayan
    Jan 12 '19 at 14:35

I couldn't get the AutoHotKey script from Gray to work for me on Win 8.1, so I made one. Put this in a .ahk file

Windows 8.1 version:

Run, %SystemRoot%\System32\rundll32.exe shell32.dll`,Options_RunDLL 1
WinWait, Taskbar and Navigation properties, 
IfWinNotActive, Taskbar and Navigation properties, , WinActivate, Taskbar and Navigation properties, 
WinWaitActive, Taskbar and Navigation properties, 

Windows 10 version (tested on version 10.0.17134.523 1/13/2019):

#Warn  ; Enable warnings to assist with detecting common errors.
SendMode Input  ; Recommended for new scripts due to its superior speed and reliability.

Run ms-settings:taskbar
WinWait, Settings, 
WinWaitActive, Settings, , 3
if ErrorLevel
    MsgBox, WinWait timed out.

CoordMode, Pixel, Client 
WinGetPos, X, Y, Width, Height
;OutputDebug, Width Height %Width% %Height%

; Wait for Settings UI to load
Sleep 500

if (Width <= 735)
    Send {TAB}{TAB}{space}
    Send {TAB}{TAB}{TAB}{space}

;Close the settings UI
Sleep 150
Send !{F4}


(You may need to adjust the sleep durations if they are not long enough on your system. There is probably a better way to detect when the UI has loaded besides sleeping, but I couldn't figure it out. I couldn't detect the text box control in the UI. I tried to detect a color pattern but the end user has control of the color scheme.)

  • What does u and a do in Send, {ALTDOWN}u{ALTUP}{ALTDOWN}a{ALTUP}{ESC} I can't find anything in the docs.
    – Shayan
    Jan 12 '19 at 15:01
  • It does not work for me on Windows 10
    – Shayan
    Jan 12 '19 at 16:00
  • 1
    U and A are the keystrokes sent to the application, specifically alt-U and alt-A. I’ll check on Win10 later.
    – Chuck
    Jan 13 '19 at 19:16

I wanted something that does basically what that AHK script does but didn't want to install AHK just for this and also didn't want another background process listening for a hotkey and so ended up making this tool to toggle taskbar auto-hide. I'm persnickety about how the taskbar behaves whilst toggling with maximized windows so none of the existing tools satisfied me.

  • AHK really does a lot of cool things. It's amazing how many diverse problems it can help solving. And how much time it can save typing with its ability to expand abbreviations. Oct 15 '20 at 3:16

Yes you can download this great tool called " Hide Taskbar" , which gives you a shortcut " Ctrl+Esc" (by default, you can change it) to hide/unhide the taskbar

download here


  • 1
    Thank you for this answer. I downloaded the program. Unfortunately when I press "Ctrl+Esc" it hides the taskbar, but it just leaves an empty task-bar-sized space on the desktop. Maximised applications don't use up that space (which is now wasted space). When I use the built-in Windows option, applications automatically will maximise to fill the entire screen. Now I just have a black strip where the taskbar used to be, but I don't get any more screen real estate. Oct 7 '13 at 3:33
  • This tool is created with autohotkey and all it does is, it sets the transparency of Shell_TrayWnd to 0 (hides it)
    – Shayan
    Jan 12 '19 at 14:33

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