5

Lately when using Windows 7 on my laptop, I like to keep the taskbar at the top. It just seems more natural to me to keep these controls at eye level than at the bottom.

One of the problems you encounter with this setup is the occasional window opening underneath the task bar, completely obscuring the titlebar such that you can't move it or click its buttons. The workaround is to either move the taskbar or Alt-Space + M and move down with the arrow keys or mouse. I'm aware you can also use Win+Up/Left/Right to maximize or position left/right.

But, if anybody remembers Windows 95, this has always been a problem with the taskbar at the top. Has Windows 7 managed to fix this with some option I'm not aware of?

  • Was this problem only affecting certain programs? In that case, what programs were you using? Were you able to replicate the problem? How did you resolve it? – Samir Apr 29 '14 at 17:58
3

Well, if you keep the taskbar on top of the screen then this is quite normal ("it's not a bug, it's a feature!"). Unfortunately, when the taskbar is located at the top of the screen, the title bar of the program window will disappears behind the taskbar, and this can indeed cause some inconvenience.

However, Windows should remember the location of a program window. So when you move the program window and then close it, the next time you open this program it should open at the last location.

Alternatively, you can use a window management application. These applications allow you to assign rules to any program window (e.g. location on the screen, transparency, and so on). I have two recommendations for you;

My favorite is Actual Window Manager. But both programs offer a plethora of useful features. They are both well worth having.

| improve this answer | |
  • I would never consider this as a bug, and it's definitely not a feature. If anything, this can be seen as a design flaw. But more importantly, this is not how program windows normally behave in Windows 7 when you have the taskbar at the top of the screen. This is not normal behavior. I would call it anomaly, something that only affects this user's Windows 7 installation, and only under certain conditions (if it only affects some program windows and not the others). – Samir Apr 29 '14 at 17:52
1

Expected behavior

Normally, when you have the taskbar at the top of the screen, Windows will not open a new program window in such a way that the titlebar is placed underneath and obscured by the taskbar. This is not possible, even if you forcefully try to do this.

Here I have the taskbar at the top of the screen in Windows 7, and I start a new instance of Calculator. I am trying to click and move the program window underneath the taskbar at the top. But as soon as I release the mouse button Windows pushes the program window out so that the titlebar is not obscured.

Clcik for a larger image.

windows7

windows7

Unexpected (unacceptable) behavior

I have now tested this in Windows 10 (1607). The problem arises when a child process is executed and places a new program window at Y coordinate 0, and the parent process is executed before the taskbar is placed at the top.

I used this bit of JS code to pop a new window from the web browser and place it at X=0 and Y=0 coordinates.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
    <head>
        <script>
        function myFunction()
        {
            var myWindow = window.open("", "Test Button", "left=0, top=0, width=200, height=200");
            myWindow.document.write("<p>This is my test window at");
            myWindow.document.write("<br>X coordinate: " + myWindow.screenX);
            myWindow.document.write("<br>Y coordinate: " + myWindow.screenY + "</p>");
        }
        </script>
    </head>
    <body>
    <style>
    body {background-color: DarkOliveGreen;}
    </style>
        <button onclick="myFunction()">My Test Button</button>
    </body>
</html>

Case 1:

  1. Set or leave the taskbar at the bottom.
  2. Open the HTML file.
  3. Click the button.

Windows should put your window at the very top of ths screen, in the upper left corner. For some reason my window was indented a few pixels to the right.

windows 10 - Case 1 Windows  10 - Case 1

Case 2:

  1. Set the taskbar at the top.
  2. Open the HTML file.
  3. Click the button.

Windows should push your window down by 40 pixels, which is the height of the taskbar (when at the top or the bottom).

Windows 10 - Case 2 Windows 10 - Case 2

Case 3:

  1. Set or leave the taskbar at the bottom.
  2. Open the HTML file.
  3. Click the button.
  4. Set the taskbar at the top.
  5. Click the button again.

After the last step, you should find your window at the very top of the screen, underneath the taskbar with the window buttons inaccessible.

Windows 10 - Case 3 Windows 10 - Case 3 Windows 10 - Case 3 Windows 10 - Case 3

I still don't see this as a bug, but rather a design flaw. Regardless, it should have been corrected long since. If this has been around since Windows 95, then it means it has not been corrected for over 20 years. That's just unacceptable.

Solution

This is not exactly a solution but more of a workaround. One that the original poster has already mentioned.

  1. Press Alt + Space.
  2. Press M.
  3. Press Enter.

windows 10 - workaround

Note that you don't have to use the arrow keys to move the window.

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  • -1 Your experiment is not what the user is experiencing.Old topic but this is still an issue in Windows 10 because it is how the Windows window manager works. The user, like I, is experiencing this when a program spawns a window using the coordinates (0,0) which is the origin. This happens to be the upper left corner of the screen. The usual culprit for me is Chrome when visiting a site that insists that a small fixed size window is appropriate for presenting downloadable content. Chrome spawns the window at 0,0 and I have to manually close it. Very annoying. – Mister Tea Jun 15 '17 at 22:55
  • So this only happens if the program insists on putting up a window at 0,0 coordinate? While in my little experiment I was trying to do it after the fact, after the program was launched... I think I see now what you're getting at. Could you please make an animated GIF maybe, for me to see this in effect? Or tell me how to replicate it? I normally don't use the task bar at the top, so it's no wonder I have never experienced this. Not saying that it's wrong, but it seems like a peculiar design flaw. – Samir Jun 18 '17 at 9:46
  • OK, I have done a quick test now. I made a program window pop up at 0,0 coordinate. You are absolutely right @MisterTea it was impossible to reach the window buttons or see the title bar. I am also using Windows 10 here (1607). Interesting... I have never seen this before. But I also don't use the task bar at the top. This must be annoying indeed, for those of you who use the task bar at the top. This is also something that software designers need to be aware of. Perhaps that's the best remedy for now, avoid using 0,0 coordinate on program launch. – Samir Jun 18 '17 at 10:13
  • Thank you for fixing your post, you did a great job at illustrating the problem. I also fixed the mod. Since the taskbar at the top is a rare use case, I think MS has ignored this issue. Though, I think they should certainly fix the issue and make the window manager aware of the taskbar location and ensure it never overlaps a window. I started placing the taskbar up top after getting used to it on Gnome2 and subsequently Cinnamon/Mate under Linux. – Mister Tea Jun 19 '17 at 14:22

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