How to Change My Windows 7 Taskbar Back to Normal

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Unless it is locked, the Windows 7 taskbar can be moved to a different part of the screen by dragging it with the mouse. If the taskbar is locked you can't move it back to the lower part of the screen. If you can't find the taskbar anywhere, it may be hidden. But don't worry -- you can make it visible again from the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties window.

The normal position of the taskbar and its default settings.
(Image courtesy of Microsoft)
Step 1:

Click Start, type "taskbar" into the Search box and then select "Taskbar and Start Menu" from the Control Panel section to display the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties window. If the taskbar is hidden or locked, unhide or unlock it from this window.

The Start menu in Windows 7.
Image courtesy of Microsoft
Step 2:

Uncheck the "Auto-hide the taskbar" box to unhide the taskbar. Uncheck the "Lock the taskbar" box to unlock it, so that you can move it back to the bottom of the screen. Click "Apply" and then "OK" to apply the new settings and close the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties window.

The Taskbar and Start Menu Properties window.
Image courtesy of Microsoft
Step 3:

Drag the taskbar to the bottom of the screen. The taskbar snaps into place and all taskbar elements, including the system tray, pinned programs and application icons, are preserved when you move the taskbar.

The default position of the taskbar in Windows 7.
Image courtesy of Microsoft
Step 4:

Lock the taskbar and prevent others from moving it to a different part of the screen by enabling the "Lock the taskbar" option in the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties window. To automatically hide the taskbar, enable the "Auto-hide the taskbar" option. Click "Apply" and then "OK."

The Lock the Taskbar and Auto-hide the Taskbar options.
Image courtesy of Microsoft

Tips & Warnings

  • You can change the position of the taskbar from the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties window. Select "Bottom" from the "Taskbar location on screen" drop-down box and then click "Apply."
  • You can position the taskbar on the bottom, left, right or top part of the screen. If the taskbar is locked, you can't drag it to a different part of the screen until you unlock it.
  • To display a hidden taskbar, mouse over the part of the screen where you last saw it. Try the top, right, bottom and left parts of the screen. The mouse must go almost off the screen to display the taskbar.
  • Another way to unlock the taskbar is to right-click it -- if it's visible -- and select "Lock the taskbar." The taskbar is locked when the Lock the Taskbar option has a check mark next to it.
  • To resize the taskbar, ensure it is unlocked, mouse over its edge -- the cursor changes to a double-headed arrow -- and then drag the taskbar border until you are satisfied with its size.

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