Taskbar Won’t Hide – How to FIX Windows 10 Taskbar Not Hiding

The taskbar on Windows 10 can be used to open the apps that are pinned to it, switch between the apps and files that are currently open, open the Start Menu, and interact with the system tray.

The Taskbar is important but when you can hide it until it’s needed. If you need to focus on something, you can switch an app to full screen and the taskbar will be hidden by default. 

Windows 10 taskbar not hiding

The taskbar can be set to hide automatically when it isn’t being used i.e., when you’re actively working in an app. To hide it;

  1. Right-click the taskbar and select Taskbar settings.
  2. Turn the ‘Automatically hide the taskbar in desktop mode’ switch on.
  3. Turn the ‘Automatically hide the taskbar in tablet mode’ switch on if you use a tablet or 2-in-1 laptop.

Taskbar Won't Hide, How to Hide Taskbar

Taskbar Won’t Hide – How to Hide Taskbar

If the above doesn’t get the Taskbar to automatically hide or it doesn’t hide when you switch an app to full-screen mode, try the following fixes.

1. Restart Explorer.exe

Taskbar seems like a stand-alone component in terms of GUI but functionally, it is tied to File Explorer, or more precisely, the explorer.exe process. Restarting explorer.exe will restart Taskbar which can solve the problem.

  1. Right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager from the context menu.
  2. Go to the Processes tab.
  3. Look for Windows Explorer and select it.
  4. Click the Restart button at the bottom right.

2. Disable UI modifying apps

Windows 10 allows users to modify the UI with themes, icons, skins, and overlays. Users will normally install one or more UI modifying apps (Rainmeter, UXThemePatcher) to get the job done and add themes on top of it. They may sometimes interfere with how Windows 10 works.

  1. Disable all apps that modify the UI.
  2. Switch to full-screen mode in an app or wait for the taskbar to auto-hide.
  3. If the Taskbar hides, take a look at the apps that you’re using to modify the UI and remove the ones that interfere with the Taskbar.

3. Restart app

It’s possible that the taskbar isn’t at fault. The app that you’re trying to use in full-screen mode is having trouble switching to it.

  1. Close/exit the app e.g., Netflix.
  2. Open the app again.
  3. Switch to full-screen mode.
  4. The taskbar should hide.

4. Media apps: click inside the media player

Media players sometimes struggle to enter full-screen mode and allow the taskbar to hide. 

  1. Open the media player and play something.
  2. Tap the F11 key to switch to full-screen mode.
  3. Click inside the media player once.
  4. Click the Taskbar.
  5. Click inside the media player once again.
  6. Toggle full-screen with the F11 key.
  7. The taskbar will be hidden in full-screen.

5. Remove third-party toolbars

The taskbar can house third-party toolbars. These are basically apps that can display on top of the taskbar (For example: Xmeters). A good taskbar toolbar won’t cause problems but a poorly written one can keep the taskbar from hiding.

  1. Right-click the taskbar and go to Toolbars.
  2. Disable third-party toolbars.
  3. Restart explorer.exe (see solution 1 above).
  4. The taskbar will hide in full-screen mode or when it’s idle.

6. Check pending alerts

Apps that need to send alerts e.g., unsaved work, will flash on the taskbar. Normally, this activity remains in the background/hidden if you’re in full-screen mode but not always.

Check each app that you have open for notifications. If you have a browser open, check the tabs. Some websites are not only persistent with notifications, they’re intrusive as well. 

Conclusion

The taskbar normally has problems with media players or apps like Chrome that can play media. A simple toggle in and out of full-screen will fix the problem. In cases of obscure apps, the app itself might be to blame. If the problem is specific to one app, check its settings to see if there is a way to customize its full-screen view.

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Windows Photos Crash When Printing – Here’s the FIX

Windows 10 has a stock app called Photos for viewing and managing large photo collections. It has some basic photo editing features that you find in common image editors.

The Photos app’s photo viewing is mediocre; it’s a slow app and its photo and video editing features do not make up for its poor performance. Since it is a stock app, you won’t find a lot of people who have replaced it. Most will make do with it since it does eventually get the job done.

Microsoft Photos crashes when printing

The Photos app can print photos but like its core feature i.e., viewing photos, printing on it can be a problem. The app tends to crash in some cases when users try to print a photo. The photo doesn’t print so here are a bunch of things you can try.

Microsoft Photos crashes when printing

1. A different app

As mentioned, the Photos app isn’t that great and if you’re having trouble with it, it’s time to find a better alternative. We strongly recommend using IrfanView. It’s free and much faster than Photos. It also has some fairly advanced image editing tools though it won’t fill in for a library manager. 

IrfanView supports printing so all you have to do is open an image in IrfanView and tap Ctrl+P. It also has an excellent print job customization panel. 

If you prefer a stock app, try Windows Photo Viewer. Learn how to enable it here

2. Use system print 

Files that can be printed have a print option in their context menu that allows users to print them without ever opening them.

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Navigate to the photo you want to print.
  3. Right-click the photo and select Print from the context menu.
  4. Customize the print job, and click Print.

3. Repair Photos 

If you like the Photos app, you may not like having to use a different app just for the sake of printing. Try to repair Photos and it may be able to print again.

  1. Open the Settings app (Win+I keyboard shortcut).
  2. Go to Apps>Apps & features.
  3. Select the Photos app from the list of apps.
  4. Click Advanced Options.
  5. Scroll down and click Repair.
  6. Open the app and try printing.

4. Reset Photos

Uninstall and reinstall Photos

You can try uninstalling and reinstalling Photos if a reset doesn’t fix its problems.

  1. Open PowerShell with admin rights. 
  2. Run this command to uninstall Photos.
Get-AppxPackage *Microsoft.Windows.Photos* | Remove-AppxPackage
  1. Install the app from the Microsoft Store.

5. Reset Photo libraries

It’s possible that there’s a problem with the photos or pictures library on Windows 10. The Photos app automatically adds photos from it which may be why it’s crashing. 

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Go to the View tab.
  3. Click the Navigation pane dropdown.
  4. Select ‘Show libraries’.
  5. In the navigation column on the left, expand Libraries.
  6. Right-click Pictures and select Properties from the context menu.
  7. Click the Restore defaults button.
  8. Try printing with Photos.

6. Reregister Windows apps

Problems with many stock Windows apps can be resolved by reregistering them.

  1. Open PowerShell admin rights.
  2. Run this command.
‎Get-AppXPackage | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}
  1. Restart the system.

Conclusion

The Photos app may have more features but it doesn’t compare to the Windows Photo Viewer that was a part of Windows 7. Microsoft has put some of its best apps out of work and replaced it with apps that do not measure up. Photos is one obvious example.

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Windows Store Games Won’t Download on Windows 10 – Try These Solutions

The Microsoft Store is home to some popular apps like iTunes, VLC, Spotify, Hulu, and more. It also has a dedicated Games category. Windows 10 offers a great gaming experience but not many users go to the Microsoft Store to buy a game. The titles are limited and Steam remains the superior option. 

That said, there are still some games in the Microsoft Store that users enjoy and these titles are exclusive to the store. Unfortunately, the Microsoft Store app often runs into trouble with games. Specifically, users have trouble downloading them and this bug is exclusive to games. All other apps download and install without any trouble.

Windows Store Games Won’t Download

Microsoft Store games are normally larger than the average app. They can usually be installed to any drive but the drive must have sufficient space for the game. In some cases, you may not be able to install a game to a drive that isn’t the C drive. 

Windows Store Games Won’t Download

Why Won’t My Games Download?

All this and more may be the reason you’re unable to download games from the Microsoft Store. The problem may manifest in several different ways;

  • The download simply won’t start.
  • You will see the Try again message after the app attempts to download.
  • The download starts but never progresses.

1. Log out and log in again

The Microsoft Store may be experiencing trouble connecting to your Microsoft Account. Signing out and signing back in again will fix the problem.

  1. Open the Microsoft Store app.
  2. Click your profile icon at the top right.
  3. Select your account.
  4. In the pop-up window, click Sign Out.
  5. Once signed out, close the app.
  6. Restart the system.
  7. Open the Microsoft Store app.
  8. Click Sign In.
  9. Sign in with your account and download the game.

2. Download from Library

If you’re unable to purchase the game or clicking on the Get button on the game’s store page does nothing, you can add the game to your account from your browser and then download it from the library.

  1. Open the game’s store page in your browser.
  2. Click the more options button next to the Get button.
  3. Select Add to cart.
  4. Complete the purchase in your browser.
  5. Open the Microsoft Store app.
  6. Click the more options button at the top right.
  7. Select Library.
  8. Look for the game you bought.
  9.  Click Install.

3. Save game to C drive

Make sure the game is downloaded and installed to the C drive. 

  1. Open the Settings app (Win+I keyboard shortcut).
  2. Go to System.
  3. Select the Storage tab.
  4. Scroll down and click “Change where new content is saved’.
  5. Open the New apps will be saved to dropdown.
  6. Select the C drive (or your Windows drive).
  7. Try downloading the game.

4. Use a different connection

The Microsoft Store app sometimes has trouble downloading content over a particular network. This can happen randomly and to a network that was working perfectly fine.

Try connecting to a different network and then download the game. If you do not have another network available, use a VPN or create a hotspot on your mobile phone and connect to it from your desktop.

5. Disconnect removable storage

Download problems with the Microsoft Store are sometimes caused by removable storage. It’s odd but if you have an external drive or an SD card inserted, remove it.

  1. Look for the removable storage icon in the system tray.
  2. Click the icon.
  3. Select the Remove device option.
  4. Restart the system for good measure.
  5. Download the game from the Microsoft Store.

6. Disable third-party antivirus

Third-party antivirus apps may prevent a download from starting. If you’re using an antivirus app that is not Windows Defender, turn it off. Turn Windows Defender On, and then download the game from the Microsoft Store.

7. Disable Windows update blocking apps

Many users block Windows updates via specials apps. These apps suspend or block services that need to run in order for Windows 10 to fetch an update but they are also needed to download content from the Microsoft Store.

If you’re using an app that blocks Windows 10 updates undo all the changes it has made and disable it. If you have a pending restart after downloading and installing an update, restart the system and then try to download the game.

8. Restart the Windows Update service

The Windows Update service runs automatically i.e., a user doesn’t have to start it but the service may stall and cause problems with Microsoft Store downloads.

  1. Open Command Prompt with admin rights.
  2. Run the following commands, one-by-one.
net stop wuauserv
net stop bits
rename c:\windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
net start wuauserv
net start bits
  1. When the last command has run, try downloading the game again.

9. Install pending updates

If you have a pending update that needs to be downloaded and installed, go ahead and install it. An update can fix problems with the Microsoft Store app.

  1. Open the Settings app (Win+I keyboard shortcut).
  2. Go to Update and Security.
  3. Select the Windows Updates tab.
  4. Click Check for updates.
  5. Download and install available updates.
  6. Restart the system.
  7. Download the game.

10. Reset the Microsoft Store app

The Microsoft Store app, like other UWP apps on Windows 10, can be reset when it runs into problems.

  1. Open the Settings app (Win+I keyboard shortcut).
  2. Go to Apps.
  3. Select the Apps and features tab.
  4. Scroll down to the Microsoft Store app and select it.
  5. Click Advanced Options.
  6. Click the Reset button.
  7. Restart your system for good measure.
  8. Download the game from the Microsoft Store.

11. Check time and region

If you’ve set a different time or region in the Settings app than what is actually your region, it may be blocking the download.

  1. Open the Settings app (Win+I keyboard shortcut).
  2. Go to Time & Language.
  3. Select the Date & Time tab.
  4. Turn the “Set time automatically” and “Set time zone automatically” switches on.

  1. Go to the Region tab.
  2. Open the Country or region dropdown.
  3. Select your country/region.
  4. Close and open the Microsoft Store app.
  5. Download the game.

12. Reregister UWP apps on Windows 10

The Microsoft Store is a UWP app and bugs with these types of apps can often be fixed by registering them. 

  1. Open Command Prompt with admin rights.
  2. Run this command.
Get-AppXPackage | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}
  1. Once the command has run, open the Microsoft Store app and download the game.

13. Download game in Safe mode

Try downloading the game in Safe mode.

  1. Open the Start menu.
  2. Click the power button.
  3. Hold down the Shift key and click Restart.
  4. Go to Troubleshoot>Advanced Options>Startup settings>Restart.
  5. Select the Safe mode with networking option.
  6. Once in Safe Mode, open the Microsoft Store app.
  7. Download the game.

14. Create a new user account

The Microsoft Store app is a core Windows 10 component and if nothing else fixes it, it may point to a problem with your user account. Create a new user account and try to download the game. If the game downloads from the new account, delete the old one and switch to the newly created account.

  1. Open the Settings app (Win+I keyboard shortcut).
  2. Go to Accounts.
  3. Select the Family & other users tab.
  4. Click Add someone else to this PC.
  5. Create a new account.
  6. Log in with the account.
  7. Download the game from the Microsoft Store.

Conclusion

The Microsoft Store sometimes struggles with games because they’re generally larger in size. Often the best solution to this problem is to wait. The app experiences flukes in its service from time to time and they go as mysteriously as they come. If after waiting a reasonable amount of time the issue isn’t resolved, you may need to get proactive about the solution and one of the fixes we’ve listed may help sort things out.

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Can’t Set Default Apps on Windows 10: Change Default Programs (Settings Page) Easily

When you install Windows 10 fresh on your system, the OS will let you view images, play movies, play music, and browse the internet all without installing additional apps. All this is made possible by the stock apps that come pre-installed on the OS.

Stock apps are set as the default for their respective file and call-handler types. When you have a fresh Windows 10 installation, the Photos app is already set to open JPGs and PNGs. 

Of course, not everyone loves or continues to use these stock apps. Many people have a different preference for browsers, image viewers, media players, image editors, and more. 

Can’t Change Windows 10 Default Apps

When you install a different app on Windows 10, it may or may not ask to be set as the default app for the types of files it handles. In case it doesn’t ask to be set as the default app, you will have to make the change manually. 

Unfortunately, sometimes when users change default apps on Windows 10 to a different/non-stock app, the change doesn’t stick. Files, when they’re double-clicked, continue to open in the original default apps. 

1. Change default apps on Windows 10

If the app you installed asked to be set as the default app for its file type, and it provided you a UI to do so, it may not have worked. In that case, you need to manually change the default app.

  1. Open the Settings app (Win+I keyboard shortcut).
  2. Go to Apps>Defaults Apps.
  3. Click an app type, and select the new default app from the list.

Change default apps on Windows 10

2. Change default app from file properties

You can set the default app for a file type from the file itself. For example, if you have an MP3 file on your desktop, you can set a default app to open it from the file’s properties.

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Navigate to the file you want to set a default app for.
  3. Right-click the file and select Properties from the context menu.
  4. Go to the General tab.
  5. Click Change.
  6. Select the new default app from the menu.
  7. Click OK and open the file.

3. Change default app from Open With menu

You can change the default app from the Windows 10 Open With option. 

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Navigate to the file you want to set a default app for.
  3. Right-click the file and select Open With from the context menu.
  4. Select the Choose another app option at the bottom of the sub-menu.
  5. In the window that opens, select the new default app.
  6. Enable the ‘Always use this app to open file type’ option.
  7. Click OK and open the file.

4. Change default app by file extension

Default apps can be set by file extension e.g. an app that will open all MP3 files or OGG files.

  1. Open the Settings app (Win+I keyboard shortcut).
  2. Go to Apps>Default apps.
  3. Scroll down and click Choose default apps by file type.
  4. Look for the file extension for the type of file you want to set a default app for.
  5. Click Choose a default or the app that’s currently set as the default.
  6. Select a different app.

5. Set default by app

Some apps can automatically set themselves as the default app for certain file types but most of them do not have this option. Windows 10 does, however, allow users to set defaults by app.

  1. Open the Settings app (Win+I keyboard shortcut).
  2. Go to Apps>Defaults apps.
  3. Scroll down and click Set defaults by app.
  4. Select an app and click Manage.

  1. Click the app that is set for a file type.
  2. Select the app you want to set from the menu.

6. Uninstall and reinstall app

Windows 10 may not be to blame for the default app not being set. It is possible that there is a problem with the installation.

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Select the app you’re trying to set as the default app for a file type.
  3. Click Uninstall at the top.
  4. Once uninstalled, reinstall the app and try the above methods to set it as the default app.

Conclusion

Windows 10 sometimes struggles to change the default app for a certain type of file but, generally speaking, it has gotten better at handling these types of changes. Changing the default app for a file type is not something that requires admin rights so the above fixes can be applied by a user with normal rights however, in some cases, a system admin can force users to use a particular app and in that case, you will not be able to change the default app for a file without permission fro the system admin.

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Windows 10 Desktop Icons Missing: Here’s How to Fix Desktop Icons Not Showing

The desktop is a real location on your drive and you can save files and folders to it. The desktop is easy to get to on Windows 10; tap the Win+D or swipe down with four fingers (if you have a precision touchpad) and you’ll be taken to the desktop.

It’s because the desktop is so easy to access that many people put important files and folders, or shortcuts to them on the desktop. If you can’t see icons on the desktop though, the desktop loses most of its utility. 

Windows 10 Desktop Icons Missing

Windows 10 Desktop Icons Missing

If you do not see desktop icons on your Windows 10 desktop, you may have turned them off, they may have been hidden by an app you’ve installed, you may actually be seeing the fullscreen Start menu or the Start screen, or you may not have any icons on the desktop.

Desktop icons not showing in Windows 10

Here are a few things you can try to fix desktop icons not showing.

1. Enable desktop icons

A lot of people like to put items on the desktop but they do not like looking at the mess. Windows 10 has an option to hide desktop icons which, if enabled, may be the reason you don’t see any icons on the desktop.

  1. Go to your desktop.
  2. Right-click anywhere.
  3. From the context menu, select View>Show desktop icons.
  4. Check if the desktop icons appear.

2. Restart Explorer.exe

Explorer.exe isn’t just File Explorer or Windows Explorer. It handles lots of other functions on your system e.g., if there’s a problem with it, the taskbar may not work correctly or you may not see desktop icons.

  1. Right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager from the context menu.
  2. Go to the Processes tab and look for Windows Explorer.
  3. Select it, and click Restart at the bottom right.

If you’re having trouble opening Task Manager, there are different methods you can try to open it.

3. Disable/Uninstall UI modifying apps and themes

The Windows 10 UI can be modified with third-party apps and themes. The modifications can be extensive though you, as user, may simply see a new skin applied to the OS.

To give your OS a new/different look, apps and themes may disable certain features so if you have anything like that installed e.g. UXthemepatcher, disable or uninstall it. 

Restart the system and check if your desktop icons appear.

4. Toggle projection mode

If you have a multi-monitor set up or you used a second (or third) monitor at some point, it may still be detected as a phantom display and that’s where the icons may be hiding.

  1. Tap the Win+P keyboard shortcut.
  2. In the panel on the right, select PC screen only
  3. Check if the icons show up. If they do, you can set the projection mode back to whatever it was before.

5. Rebuild icon cache

If the icon cache is corrupt, the desktop may not be able to load icons for the various files and folders that you’ve saved to it.

  1. Open File Explorer and go to the View tab.
  2. Enable the ‘Hidden items’ check box.
  3. Navigate to the following location (replace Username with your own user name).
C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local
  1. Look for a file called IconCache.db.
  2. Select it and tap Shift+Delete.
  3. Restart the system.

6. Turn off Tablet Mode

Windows 10 doesn’t just run on desktops. It also runs on tablets and, its UI is slightly different for tablets to make it easier to use on the device. On a desktop, users have the option to enable Tablet mode if they want but it will change how certain things work.

  1. Open the Settings app (Win+i keyboard shortcut).
  2. Go to System>Tablet.
  3. Open the When I sign in dropdown and select ‘Never use tablet mode’.
  4. If you have a 2-in-1 device i.e., a touch screen device, open the ‘When I use this device as a tablet’ dropdown and select ‘Don’t switch to tablet mode’.

7. Turn off Start menu fullscreen

The Start menu has two different modes; the column view that most people like and that is close to the Windows 7 Start menu, and fullscreen mode.

  1. Open the Settings app (Win+I keyboard shortcut).
  2. Go to Personalization>Start.
  3. Turn the Use Start full screen switch off.

Conclusion

The desktop is one of the more solid, well-built features on Windows 10. It’s rare for it to run into problems that can’t be fixed and often, when something goes wrong with it, UI modifying apps are to blame. If you like to modify your OS, make sure you create a restore point first and that you use only tried/trusted apps to modify it.

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