My Taskbar is missing and I have no Start button. What do I do?

The Taskbar and Start button disappeared. We'll look at solutions for several reasons why this might have happened.

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All of a sudden my taskbar is gone. I can’t find it, so I have no Start button to click on, no quick launch to start programs from – I can’t even see what time it is! How do I get it back?

There are a couple of different ways that the taskbar can disappear or appear to disappear. Naturally, the solutions are different as are the workarounds.

(By the way, I’ll assume that you’re not running Windows 8. That’s a whole ‘nother ball game when it comes to the task bar. :-) )

It’s hiding

Press CTRL+ESC. If your taskbar magically reappears, then it’s probably simply been resized too small, repositioned somewhere you didn’t expect it, or perhaps it’s beneath another application that’s running full-screen on your computer.

The workaround? Press CTRL+ESC to access the taskbar.

Windows 7 Desktop

To fix it, this previous article, “My taskbar is too small to be useful, what can I do?” includes a short video that shows the settings that you can change to make it behave the way you want, and/or the approach to making it “big enough” once again.

It’s not running

If CTRL+ESC didn’t make it come back, then the program that displays the task bar most likely isn’t running. That program is often called the “Windows Shell,” but it’s really “explorer.exe.” It’s the program that not only displays the taskbar, but also responds to the CTRL+ESC sequence.

The workaround: press CTRL+ALT+DEL and select Start Task Manager:

Win 7 Ctrl+Alt+Del

In Task Manager on the File menu, select New Task (Run…). Type in “explorer” and press OK.

Running Explorer using Task Manager

That should restart explorer and re-display your taskbar.

In some cases, that may not work, so we fall into the various approaches on fixing it.

Fixing a missing explorer

If you don’t have the Windows Shell running, you can still run programs as I described above: use Task Manager’s File, New Task (Run…) to run the programs we need. I often like to run a command prompt, “cmd”, as a quicker way to type in and run other programs from there.

My first recommendation is to run an up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware scan. Both viruses and spyware are known to occasionally interfere with the Windows Shell.

Then, I would run the system file checker, as outlined in this article: What is the System File Checker, and how do I run it?. That will check for missing or damaged files in Windows and repair or replace those that it can.

Finally, you may be faced with re-installing Windows. You can perform what’s called a “repair install” that will preserve your data. This article: “How should I reinstall Windows?” discusses that.

Now, naturally, there may be cases where a specific cause could result in a particular solution. In fact, I’m sure that readers will comment with such various approaches (along the lines of “If you have this virus, all you need do is twiddle that setting.”). Those approaches may (or may not) resolve the entire problem. But if they make sense to you, then by all means, try them out. Back up first!

Microsoft also has a Knowledgebase article on the issue that includes even more steps to try: Taskbar is missing when you log on to Windows.

Windows 8

OK, OK. Windows 8.

The default view is to not have a taskbar, and even when you do, there may not be a Start button. The simplest solution for that is to install the free Classic Shell.

Video

This is an update to an article originally posted : January 21, 2006

There are 309 comments:

  1. nathan Reply

    hey dude
    my p.c taskbar has gone ive tried evrything and it stil wont work and i havent got the disk to reinstall windows wat else can i do plz help me as i can not use my p.c btw what evr i done it has canceld my network form my donw stairs comp and has caneld the internet so can u plz help me thanks nath

    • MemE Reply

      hey, same problem here, but you can use the task manager to open programs (new task..) so you can try using your computer like this

      • Jordy Reply

        I had an not responding explorer.exe, especially if your taskmanager temporarily disappears when clicking something, you have the same problem as me. here’s how to fix it:
        1. Run cmd.exe, its located at C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe
        2.Type Start wmic (i sadly can’t seem to find wmic location, thats why i do it like this, but its the only command prompt capable of fixing this problem)
        3. in Wmic, type this exact sentence: Process where name=”explorer.exe” call terminate
        4.when it asks if you want to execute it, type Y and hit enter.
        5. normally, explorer.exe should automatically be re-started and the bar will appear again, should this not happen type this sentence: process call create “explorer.exe”
        6. When it asks if you want to execute, type Y and hit enter.
        7. bar fixed.

        • Zoe Reply

          Oh my gosh thank you so much.. I’ve tried everything and this finally worked.

        • Aidan Reply

          Nice one dude, saved me from scratching Googles head for answers/solution, Top Marks :D

        • kuryat Reply

          i tried the explorer.exe thru run, it show a library window..instead of taskbar,
          you’re a god xD awesome command
          thank you very much

        • Chaz Reply

          I understand it was a simple task, and even as someone who knows my way around an OS, this is absolutely the only solution that actually solved anything for me, whether it was from Microsoft, or users. I wanted to thank you for the help, even though this is an old answer, and it worked on Windows 8 for me. Although all of the icons across my multiple monitors were collectively moved to my main monitor, which I will have to re-organize, the solution worked nonetheless, and I have no problem re-organizing my icons if it means I can use an essential piece of this “broken” operating system. Maybe if Microsoft had a decent support team, I wouldn’t have to look on third party websites for simple solutions.
          Thank you very much,
          Chaz

          • Kermit

            Doing this just opens libraries for me. Would it be possible for me to fix that?

        • Moeee Reply

          All I did was I turned off my laptop on its button then took the battery out then I returned it again and opened it, and everything’s back to normal

      • Trevor R. Reply

        I suddenly started getting the same problem about two days ago. When I start my laptop the taskbar is there, but as soon as I start IE 11, it goes totally full screen and covers everything. CTRL+ESC works just as if you hit the Windows key on the keyboard and the taskbar reappears, but as soon as you go back to IE 11, it disappears again. Someone said to do a “System Restore” which I suppose may work. I figured the problem was in IE 11. Tried looking for some settings but found nothing relevant. Decided to just hit the maximize button so I could grab and drag the edges of the four sides of the window. Dragged them to the best fit and exited IE 11. Restarted IE11 and it did not smother the taskbar anymore. Hope this helps.

  2. mmtahir Reply

    Same here, I have tried almost all of the same and tried to refresh (update the windows). It did not work.

    I true to run explorer.exe from the task manager but it appears for a fraction of a second and then disappears. Internet explorer also not working and could not see the control panel.

    Is there any hack around this too.?

    thanks

  3. dreadfro Reply

    yesh me too. i got same problem… i cant find my taskbar so i fully scan my computer with anti-virus… and i went to firewall setting and it said that i cant open it cause theres some problem that causing it.

    can anyone help me
    dreadfro@hotmail.com

  4. jon Reply

    I have the same problem, my taskbar starts but disappears in a few seconds each time i restart the explorer.exe. Most help discussions just say to restart the explorer or to boot to safe mode. I think the only fix via the registry, but I’m not sure what to do.

  5. tom Reply

    same prob but only after installing a new GeoForce FX 5200 PCI card. Went back to onboard video and it works fine. Any help would be appreciated. Thinking driver…

  6. Dick Reply

    Me too – no taskbar, no start button, clock, desktop icons – all missing. Ran all the checks available – no change. I did download IE 7 Beta 2 and can use that along with Firefox so can do most things I need to but it’s cumbersome. Can’t find my WIN XP Pro install disks (I do have them) but from the above I’m not too optimistic that a reinstall will help either. Lots of Google searching doesn’t bring up any one good explanation or solution so the cause and fix remain elusive to me.

  7. help Reply

    Hi, my task button disappears from the bottom of the task bar. I can’t see which application is active/open. Hence everytime, i have to use alt-tab or alt esc to select the application. Please help.

  8. Dick Reply

    An update on what hasn’t helped. Everything I’ve tried has not helped – still no task bar, no start menu, can’t get to Control Panel functions so operating via Task Manager only and cumbersome switching between programs. I’m almost used to it. Can’t launch and hold Windows Explorer so had to download an Win Explorer substitute program just to move files with. Oh, the pain of it all.

    I have – run virus checks, registry clean/repair via several programs, spybot/malware cleaners, the SFC routine mentioned here and today a “repair reinstall” from my orignal WIN XP PRO CD.

    Guess what? Still no task bar, start menu, etc. And I lost some functions I had before the repair install.

    The only thing left is a full Install which will wipe out my existing programs and data. I have them backed up on a 200 gig external drive so that should be preserved.

    I have not read anybody with a successful fix to this problem yet. The Repair Reinstall and SFC both sounded promising to me but they didn’t effect a fix. Could there be a hardware problem on my HP? I assumed it was a corrupted Win Sys file but the reinstall should have taken care of that.

    Anybody??

    Dick W.

  9. Dick Reply

    Last update – at least from me. I did a full reinstall of Win XP Pro from the original CD and that brought back the task bar, start button, clock everything except all programs and Win updates. It’s a long road to rebuild – start with Windows Update so you get the service packs and umpteen other “Critical Updates”. The move files back from the backup disk and cull the progams and reinstall those. I’m moving the program folders back but downloading new versions or clean download and letting the Install Wizard install them as if for the first time except in some cases specialized items I might have had set up will be intact from the archived folder. Have to reinstall the printer and any other peripherals that aren’t simple plug n play types.

    Big pain but the computer is functional again. Stil feel there’s a simpler fix out there and still interested in a better answer than the big kahuna of a total reformat/reinstall.

    dick in kc

  10. Tara Reply

    If your taskbar comes back and then disappears, it is likely set to “auto-hide” right-click (right mouse button) on the taskbar and select properties. Then, uncheck the auto-hide feature. The one thing I have seen take out explorer.exe and be pretty much unrepairable was when google desktop was manually removed. I did a system restore to before google desktop was removed and it fixed it on one computer, another computer remained broken.

    • Lisa Reply

      Thank you for posting about the taskbar “auto-hide” problem….. I got my Taskbar back and im a happy camper now. lol :)

  11. Steve Reply

    If it is still possible to access the task manager through Ctrl-Alt-Del while in normal or safe mode, then you can try to run the regedit command, and then check for this entry

    HKLMSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionWinlogonShell the value data should be “Explorer.exe”. If it is not, then change it, or else if you don’t have that value name, create it. After that, restart. Hope it will help.

    Steve

  12. Allanon Reply

    I seem to have a worse problem here. I’m not sure if my comp is infected by a virus but I do not seem to have a desktop (only has the background image in the computer) no start bar and windows explorer could not open. The problem seemed to occur after I cancelled an installation of google desktop.

  13. Manny Reply

    this solution worked. THANKS SO MUCH.

    HKLMSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionWinlogonShell the value data should be “Explorer.exe

  14. Dennis Reply

    Greetings from Devon Leo .
    I have a blue line along the bottom of the screen and no Start button or clock.
    If I place my mouse pointer on the blue line I get the correct double arrow but I cannot click and drag to expand the line to show these items.
    If I right click on the blue line I get a menu with ‘Toolbars’ at the top. If I click on an item like ‘Quick Launch’ I can then click and drag the blue line up to show the Start button the clock and Quick launch stuff etc.

    However none of the tasks for open windows show up on the blue bar. If I minimise a window it vanishes – only to be found again by typing Alt Tab. I have tried the Task Manager and restarted exporer. I’m a bit dubious about messing with the registry.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks – Dennis

  15. Eric T Reply

    We were having the same problem and removing Google Desktop did the trick. After logging in, press ctrl-alt-del and select Task Manager. Click File-> New Task and type “appwiz.cpl”. This will bring up add/remove programs. Select Google Desktop and click remove. You may see some information pop ups. Keeping clicking ok untill the app is removed. Restart your computer and your start bar and icons should be back.

  16. John T Reply

    Hello. I’m having somewhat of the same problem. My taskbar is “painted over” with beige, no start button. I tried fixing the registry, yet I cant start -> run anything because when I do press the windows button on the keyboard, I can only access “All Programs”. I can’t ctrl + alt + del and every time I try and open something it says “This application has failed to start because the application configuration is incorrect. Reinstalling the application may fix this problem.” I can’t reinstall anything , because when I do click on the .exe to install it, that same message pops up. Has anyone had this problem before? Thanks a lot

  17. hauitsme Reply

    I’m running XP Pro. My taskbar/Start button ceases to respond only after I open MyDocuments or any other folder that resides in MyDocuments. I can still see the taskbar, and its ‘frozen’ in its last state. I’ve run 3 different antivirus programs, 2 spyware and 2 adware programs with nothing showing up. Windows-Esc does nothing, opening task manager and running a ‘new’ instance of explorer again does nothing. As long as I don’t open MyDocuments everything works fine.

  18. hauitsme Reply

    I forgot to add that this started AFTER the latest windoze security ‘update’ last week.

  19. Shano Reply

    Hi, All.

    It’s not that my task bar does’t appear: it’s that the windows/programs I minimise don’t appear on the task bar. They “shrink to vanish” only not to appear on the bar. CTRL+TAB allows me to call any of the open programs to appear, but I can’t do the same by clicking on a mininised icon because they’re not showing! I can’t find any help on this. Any ideas? Win XP SP2.

  20. bayfr3sh Reply

    if you cant figure out wat happend to your taskbar, but you can open up START with either the windows logo key, or ctrl + esc , then right click the empty space right above where it syas start then go to properties..Click on the Taskbar option on the top left.. Change any of the settings such as Auto-hide the taskbar.. then apply.. By changing an option for the Taskbar, you re-enable the taskbar

  21. Shirley Smith Reply

    We have read and tried most of the above information, pressing ctrl-esc, have also done the alt-ctrl-delete and gone into the New Task (run) and typed explore, also typed in cmd….each time it come up with the my documents folder. I have tried to do a virus scan, I cannot get into explore7 or get into my incredimail email. I can though send and receive email through hotmail and am able to type in WLM where my friend and I have been trying to troubleshoot this problem. I did momentarily turn of the wireless fios, in logging into other user the task bar and start menu are there but none functional as I was going to try and do a system restore from there…everything that has been tried just seems to fail. Any ideas would be appreciated.

  22. Tan Boon Wan Reply

    I have an Dell Optiplex 745 with two Dell 1907FP color monitors running Windows XP. I can see the icons in the Desktop window but the Start Button and Task Bar are missing. The two monitors are connected via one adapter card. Tried Ctrl + Esc keys, does not work. Have also tried most of your advice above, but also not working. Tks for any advice.

  23. Dr^sRalph^Jana Pryse,PhI,PhD:APL! Reply

    THNX.LEO:’I Am’,[Ex3:14!], running XP, on a GW310, w/a DELL Monitor,(my GW mon. broke,~repairable;so my S.H.I.P. sponsored,’Paid companion’,(a PC Guru!),Mr.Jim Meyers, just up^took my SHIP sponsored DELL Mon.^ used it instead!/Where-o-WHERE-oh, is my taskbar?

  24. Jeff Reply

    If using Task Manager’s File, New Task (Run…) to start “explorer” results in a Windows Explorer window being created, then you likely already have explorer.exe running. You should then kill it via Task Manager, then try the trick again and this time it should restore your taskbar and start menu (albeit any Windows Explorer windows you had open before you lost the taskbar/start menu will now be gone.

  25. June Tiffany Reply

    What do you do when only 1 icon disappears? My printer icon is gone. I have tried properties to put it back, but no luck. Any suggestions

  26. tasha Reply

    i have same thing iv tried everythink i know i hav e a trojan but dunno how long iv had it for and my toolbar and start button have been gone for a week now i have to run things thru windows task mangaer .When i type in the C:WINDOWSexplorer.exe or explorer the toolbar and start button re-apear but then go again str8 after so i dunno what to do pleaseee help i wanna aviod doing a re-covary :(

  27. Jason Reply

    Taskbar Repair Tool.
    http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/taskbarplus!.htm
    home to a bunch of excellent scripts I have used on more than one occasion to get me out of a tight jam….These are vb or wsh scripts so no installation, and you can check out the source just incase you’re worried. For the majority of you, I would recommend the top script – ‘Taskbar is Missing’, or if your apps are missing on the taskbar, the 3rd option ‘minimized programs missing’…And don’t spend ages trying to click on the drop downs – it’s a screenshot of the full app – the links are underneath to some of the scripts contained within the full application, which is only $5 and well worth it.

    hope this helps

  28. jon Reply

    TASK BAR MISSING FIXED

    i tried this
    1. go to START BAR
    2. right click and go to PROPERTIES
    3. click the CLASSIC START MENU— click apply
    you have classic start menu now… the start bar shoul be ok now.

    then do steps 1 and 2 but this time select START MENU and apply to revert back to your xp start bar menu.

    hope this helps.

  29. Chris Reply

    SYMPTOMS
    When you start Windows XP, you may experience one or more of the following behaviors:

  30. Smiley Reply

    Last week for some reason my task bar, start menu and icons all disappeared, all that was on my screen when I signed on was my desktop wallpaper. I tried to do a right click and nothing came up, the only way I was able to go online was through the task manager. As you can imagine, it took me a lot longer to get to programs through the task manager. I ran my anti-virus scan and there were no viruses detected. I tried to bring up the explorer.exe but it was gone. I searched for several days online for ideas and tried everything that was suggested but nothing worked. I was scared to do a Windows XP repair with my CD because I was afraid all my files on my computer would be gone. After about a week of trying to find something that worked, I finally just did the Windows XP repair with my Windows XP CD. After the repair was done I logged back on and EVERYTHING WAS REPAIRED AND EVEN ALL OF MY FILES WERE STILL THERE! I had to update Windows XP all over again. Now my computer is finally working and I didn’t have to send my computer some where and pay $$$$ to fix it. I would suggest doing the Windows XP repair with your Windows XP CD, it’s worth it! But use the Windows XP CD repair only if you have tried everything else that was suggested. GOOD LUCK!

  31. Jon Reply

    i recently had this problem after purchasing a graphics card, your graphics card can be set as having two monitors, so go into your graphics or display and make sure its set to one monitor.

  32. Ken Reply

    What worked for me was running control.exe (control panel) then clicking on Taskbar and Start Menu.
    What I found is Lock the taskbar was checked.
    When I unchecked it, I could see the very edge of the taskbar at the botton of the screen.
    I could then find and drag the resize arrow to make the taskbar bigger and presto, the full taskbar is back.

  33. Mic Reply

    We just had the same problem as Jon, our new graphics card was set to 2 monitors. We had to go into the display (right click on the desktop, properties and settings). You may have a 1 2 and 3 showing up, this is for each monitor, 1 should look normal, with any other numbers greyed out. If 2 is not greyed out this could be your problem. Click on 2 and make sure that extend my windows desktop to this monitor is not checked. Voila.

  34. cd061607 Reply

    as i logged into my user the only thing i could see was my wallpaper and NO ICONS OR TASKBAR, now i have to use the task manager which takes a long time to open programs and i cantopen certain programmes…
    TRY TO SEARCH EXPLORER.EXE..IF YOU FOUND ONE DOUBLE CLICK ON IT AND EVERYTHING SHOWS UP…

    Thanks to all…

  35. SOnja Reply

    For anyone who needs step by step instructions on how to fix your missing taskbar.

    1. Press ctl alt delete and task manager comes up
    2. Click onto applications and click > New task
    3. Type regedit and press ok
    4. Click HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    CLick SOFTWARE
    Click Microsoft
    Click Windows NT
    Click CurrentVersion
    CLick Winlogon
    5. Now look for the entry SHELL
    6. If it is not there you will need to create it, to do this right click on winlogon and click “new” > Key
    7. Type the name SHELL and press enter
    8. Now on the right hand side double click on the (default) this brings up a box where you can type the words explorer.exe
    8. Press ok and then exit regedit
    9. Restart your computer.
    10. Now your back in business!

    HKLMSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionWinlogonShell

    Explorer.exe

    • Deepak Reply

      thanks man your steps worked … in the shell row there was an extra value which i think was causing the problem – “rundll.exe” i deleted it and now my computer is working fine

  36. Manveru Reply

    Taskbar and Desktop missing (not interactive):
    As stated try to run ‘explorer’ or ‘explorer.exe’ with the taskmanager (Ctrl+Alt+Del) -> File > New Task (Run…).
    Sometimes the explorer.exe is not fully crashed. Then just another file explorer will show up but the taskbar will still be missing.
    In that case you may have to kill the process ‘explorer.exe’ in the ‘Processes’-tab of the taskmanager first and then run it again as described above.

    The problem described here is just a crashed explorer. This solution will not help when experiencing permanent desktop problems (e.g. just set invisible or serious problems). It is a quick fix to access all running programs (especially programs iconified to the tray), saving all the data and then doing a proper reboot.

    Greets

  37. Viking Reply

    I have a big problem. When I boot my PC, no taskbar appears. When I press Ctrl+Alt+Del and run a new task “explorer”, the desktop and all the icons appear for 3-5 seconds and then the explorer process ends and everything disappears. This happens every time I run explorer.exe Without it, I can’t do many things… I also noticed a svchost error message appearing sometimes. I have checked my PC with NOD antivirus. A few viruses/trojans were discovered and succesfuly deleted. I have also used SpyBot Search and Destroy to remove spyware. But this hasn’t helped at all :( I have read that updating my WinXP is also recommended, but I have no idea how to update without the explorer.exe process running. I have WinXP Pro with SP2 installed. I want to avoid reinstalling it as it takes a lot of work and I do not have the install CD. What should I do? Please, help me

  38. James Reply

    IMPORTANT: If you encounter this problem, and it still shows after a restart you may have to End Task the explorer.exe, then New Task (Run) Explorer. It seem that sometimes the file is running, but errors. I noticed that some people mentioned trying it, but they did not make sure the old process was stopped before trying to start it again. If you don’t end the old process, a new one will not start, or will start with the same error.

  39. Omar Reply

    If you have lost your taskbar, shut down your computer and restart. There is a good chance it will come back.

  40. Omar Reply

    I haven’t read where anyone has tried system restore on the missing task bar. I can’t say that this will work, but it’s worth a try. Make sure you oare in safe mode. Otherwise, not all things may be restored.

  41. Omar Reply

    To the person that has lost their printer icon. Have you tried, start, programs, my compouter, printers and fax, view my printer. When the printer icon appears, drag it to the desktop.

  42. Luke Reply

    I made a mirror image from C: to D: (as C: is a 40gb HD and D: is a 320Gb HD)

    The original works fine (used to work fine as I already formatted that HD), the mirror has the problem: no taskbar, start menu, explorer.exe running.

    I tried the SFC, BUT I get error message on cmd window.

  43. avd Reply

    On an older computer with W98SE, this “file, new, run” fix isn’t available. But I was able to fix the problem by minimizing an open window and watching the direction it moves in as it minimizes. I dragged the cursor over to that side and sure enough the task bar reappeared and could be repositioned at the bottom. Phew!

  44. nig Reply

    i tried everything but did not work out..the windows key is also disabled! pliz find me another solution!!

  45. Asif Reply

    my TASKBAR AND START MENU ISN’T COMIN UP BUT ALL THA IS COMIN UP WHEN I PRESS CTRL-ALT-DEL TYPE ‘explorer’ and all that comes up is my documents

  46. Lily Reply

    This has been happening for little over a week. When I turn on my laptop, everything’s fine. My toolbar is there, it’s all good. Then, when it’s all booted up, the toolbar disappears. I’ve tried everything. I tried the task manager thing, but nothing happened. I don’t want to restart windows, because I’ll lose all my files. It’s so annoying! I can maneuver alright, I can use ctrl+tab to switch from window to window and the windows logo button to access my start key, but I never know what time it is and the tab trick gets annoying.

  47. Rick Barker Reply

    I can’t tell you how good it is to type in “where did my start button go on vista” and actually find you there to help. Many thanks I’ve bookmarked you and bought you your favorite drink.

  48. zach Reply

    oh man thanks for the help. We had a virus so we ran anti-virus and when we did it all dissapeared as did the icons. Its bheen a month and this is the only place i found the answer. just typing explorer in worked. thanks

  49. Jim Henderson Reply

    Leo’s recipe for how to get the task bar back is nearly correct. At first I got the same result as
    “Posted by: Asif at March 9, 2009 3:46 PM” in that an explorer window opened showing My Documents. Then I kept looking through my google hits page and found an article at Windows Annoyances that said I needed to close all visible Explorer windows first. So I did Alt-Tab enough times to get to each explorer window and closed them all. Then when I tried Leo’s recipe, it worked :-)
    Apparently when explorer.exe starts up, it checks to see if another instance of itself is running already. If not, it turns itself into a taskbar window at the bottom of the screen, otherwise it opens an ordinary explorer window displaying My Documents. Clever behaviour in a program, but confusing for us humans.
    Thanks Leo, perhaps you could add “close any open explorer windows” to your recipe.

    Jim

  50. Elsia Reply

    THANK YOU SOO SOOO SOOOOO MUCH! I must abmit I don’t really know much about computers,but through trial and error i’ve been teaching myself. When I got on and couldn’t find my taskbar nor did I see my icons,I thought i’d lost my computer! lol Your site made it easy and simple to follow and I got it! Thanks!

  51. Christopher Reply

    None of your suggestions worked, but it was a learning experience trying them. I finally got fed up that under normal bootup I had no mouse or keyboard control. Ctrl-Esc and Ctrl-Alt-Del did nothing. I got so fed up after multiple reinstalls, etc., that I shook the mouse violently. And then from the edge of the screen, the mouse pointer appeared. Was this computer setup with 2 monitors? This computer had been hooked up to two monitors at some point under the local administrator profile, although not for years under the current user’s profile. Safe mode was coming up fine, but the extended desktop was on and the monitors were switched. I moved my test monitor to the other monitor port and there was my desktop. Back in business!

  52. Savannah Reply

    I tried all of the above and somehow it won’t work.I pressed CTRL+ALT+DEL and brought up the Task Manager and typed in explorer,instead it brought up My Documents.I can’t do no spyware check because I don’t have any installed on my computer and can’t find any that is good enough.Any advice?PLEASE!

  53. GREG Reply

    THANK YOU THANK YOU SOO MUCH I HAD NO TASK BAR NO START BUTTON OR MENU AFTER SERVICE PACK 2 UPDATE
    RAN MALAWARE BYTES VIRUSDETECTION IT FOUND 4 TROJANS
    IT REMOVED THEM AND BOOM THERE WAS THE START MENU
    AND TASK BAR THANK YOU SO MUCH

  54. Desiree Reply

    Thank you Thank you Thank you! My task bar disappeared on Sunday and I have gone through every program, document, and internet assist site that I could find! I finally stumbled upon this site and am so relieved!!! The “explorer” program was not running and I would have never have known that without your help!!!

  55. Rick Reply

    Problem is are samed i can’t see taskbar
    i do the all following method but its all failure
    what i do
    i think it will be better that i re-install window

  56. Rebecca Reply

    AWESOME!! I was shocked when my taskbar disappeared! (I had my nose where it didn’t belong in the task manager). I had no clue what I did and when I searched Google, your article was the first result. I simply typed in explorer as you said and WALAAA!!! It’s back!! I’ve never fixed a computer problem so easily! THANKS!!

  57. LIbby Reply

    THANK YOU SO MUCH! My taskbar went bye-bye and I looked at this website and it was so fast after my mom and I spent nearly half an hour or more trying to get it back. Thanks~

  58. Richie Reply

    One could also try pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL to fire up the Task Manager, look for explorer.exe under the processes tab, if it is there, click on it, and then click on end process, then click on File in the menu, click on New Task (Run…), type in explorer and click on OK.

  59. Emmy Reply

    hmm i wish that helped me :[ i dont even have a bg at the moment everythings GONE. the laptop says i have to validate vista to prove that its real and not illegal.. to do that i need a start menu. problem? i dont have a start menu.. any tips? they would be deeply appreciated
    x

  60. Beatrice Nalikena Reply

    Thanks so much for your assistance I had no idea how i could bring my taskbar back and the situation was getting out of hand until i consulted with your website. Ctrl+Esc did not work for me but the explorer on the task manager did the magic. Thanks

  61. Scott Reply

    Also, very rare, but make sure that it doens’t think 2 monitors are installed, and your task bar is on the other monitor. Right click on the Desktop>Properties>Settings tab>right click #2 Monitor and make sure Attached is not checked.

  62. Panfilo Actub Jr Reply

    i also got stuck with this problem just 2 months ago and i was shock to read the article here and other sites… i did all the help this and other site offered but to no avail.
    i wish this simple comments of mine do a little favor on your problem.
    here it is… just remove the software that change the appearance of your computer like Inspirat XP or any docks…. reboot then your start button will be there again.

  63. Ninjahedge Reply

    OK,

    I had something similar just now. After minimizing an individual window inside of Adobe Acrobat that was stretched across two unequal sized screens, the whole program window disappeared as well. It was not closed (I could ALT-Tab it). The Taskbar disappeared as wel.

    The only thing that worked was the Task Manager (CTRL-ALT-DEL) and stopping Explorer, then File > New Task . “explorer”. Popped back up.

    Unusual error, but what can I say….

  64. Abhay Reply

    HEY GUYS LISTEN
    THIS IS WHAT YOU DO IF THE EXPLORER THING MENTIONED ABOVE DOES NOT WORK…PRess Control/Alt/Delete and bring up the window. Then go to the Processes and scroll down….until u see ‘explorer.exe’
    click it and then press ‘end process’.
    THEN go to New task (Run…) in the File menu and type in explorer.exe…It will come now.

  65. ry Reply

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I lived with the inconvenience of now taskbar and having to use the task manager to start everything for three months before I founds this! Thanks!

  66. curtis Reply

    check to be sure you are only on one screen and not two togle + – on your monitor if it shows up
    with no icons its on dual screens
    go to screen resolutions and highlight 1 screen
    and uncheck boxes accordingly

  67. clsxplor Reply

    I lost my taskbar and discovered by clicking on “tools” on the command bar at the top of the screen that I had inadvertently checked “full screen”. When I unchecked it, the task bar came back.

  68. jv Reply

    pls pls help me.. i’ve tried everything.. when i type explorer.. what pops out is my documents folder.. i tried to kill the explorer.exe process before attempting to run explorer again but still my documents folder is the one appearing.. my family’s a paranoid.. they’d be shocked if they can’t find the desktop shortcuts, start menu and the taskbar.. PLS PLS HELP ME!!

  69. prairie dog Reply

    The cause of this problem for me was the computer thinking I had two monitors installed. I believe that this happened because I had used a utility that created multiple virtual desktops. To correct the problems I went to Desktop->Properties->Settings Tab and selected the monitor that I did NOT want in the drop list and unchecked “Extend my windows desktop onto this monitor”. This page was very helpful to me in identifying the problem.

  70. Nicole Reply

    THank you so much. I had been missing my taskbar for a long time now and go use to not having it around. Thanks to stumble i randomly found this page.

  71. Ashley Reply

    Response to Scott, articles first comment. Your 2nd monitor solution fixed it all. Thanks man

  72. Ellen Reply

    I work in a school in the computer lab and the cause of my taskbar disappearing seems to be a program called JumpStart Second Grade created by Knowledge Adventure. This is a very annoying problem for the whole class!!!!

  73. Joseph D. Reply

    If you have two screens, you might accidentally drag your taskbar into the other screen. To get it back

      1. go to C:WINDOWSsystem32configsystemprofileStart MenuProgramsAccessoriesAccessibility.
      2. Open Magnifier.EXE.
      3. Then, put your mouse’s cursor into the other screen, lock then unlock the taskbar, and then you can drag your taskbar back.

    (If you have your other screen on then you can skip step one and two)

  74. costalot Reply

    lost my wireless signal strenth meter from task bar have tryed show on start menu but still no show

  75. David Grundy Reply

    I’ve found another solution to the taskbar/desktop problem:

    Click Ctrl-Alt-Delete
    Click on Task Manager
    Click on File -> New Task (Run…)
    Explorer
    Click on OK

    Navigate to C:Documents and SettingsAll UsersStart MenuProgramsAccessoriesSystem Tools

    Double click to load System Restore
    Select “Restore my computer to an earlier time”
    Select a date when your computer was working
    Follow the instuctions and your system will reboot without problems.

  76. john muchela Reply

    thanks a lot.i followed the instructions of ctrl+alt+del and then i used the task manager.awesome

  77. scroffa Reply

    Thank you, it worked for me.

    One could also try pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL to fire up the Task Manager, look for explorer.exe under the processes tab, if it is there, click on it, and then click on end process, then click on File in the menu, click on New Task (Run…), type in explorer and click on OK.
    Posted by: Richie at July 27, 2009 12:37 AM

  78. Siw Reply

    Hi, I’ve got a problem that looks like this.

    Whenever i maximize a screen, the task bar disappears. So i have to make the screen smaller again to see it. Its like if the task bar is “behind” the programs i have open.
    Any button i can press ect. to fix this?

  79. mac Reply

    Hi,
    i downloaded a media file about a week ago and had to ask for a codec file, I have AVG running and nothing was alerted, however I seem to have picked up a virus which has completely taken away my desktop icons and toolbar.
    I have to use Task manager to do anything and I have scanned the computer umpteen times, the AVG finds items but cant do anything with them, including a file called a.exe and msa.exe. it also highlights issues with globalroot files?
    Im at a loss, any help much appreciated.
    thanks very much all

  80. rodel Reply

    when your taskbar and start button is missing,it does’nt mean ur computer have a virus,ur videocard might seems not be compatible to your mother board.

  81. Kristina Reply

    Who ever wrote that, thank u , everythink is workin now…XXX

    HEY GUYS LISTEN
    THIS IS WHAT YOU DO IF THE EXPLORER THING MENTIONED ABOVE DOES NOT WORK…PRess Control/Alt/Delete and bring up the window. Then go to the Processes and scroll down….until u see ‘explorer.exe’
    click it and then press ‘end process’.
    THEN go to New task (Run…) in the File menu and type in explorer.exe…It will come now.

  82. Sara Painter Reply

    OMG! THANK YOU SO, SO MUCH! I thought my computer would be screwed up forever! I appreciate this so much.

  83. nicole Reply

    i have the same problem with no start menu. when i restart my computer it has this error code: -2147023174

  84. nicole Reply

    and when i get to the system restore it says it is not able to protect your computer. restart then run again. i do that still nothing

  85. Helper Reply

    My task bar+icons went missing after I installed Panda Antivirus 2009, here’s how I fixed it:

    windows-button+r, wrote regedit in the Run… box, navigated to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, Software, Microsoft, Windows, CurrentVersion, Run. Made a new string there named explorer, with the value of C:Windowsexplorer.exe

  86. James Reply

    Thank you so much for the help on retrieving my taskbar, I was so worried. My computer is now working brilliantly.

    James G, Liverpool, U.K.

  87. Connor Reply

    hey SIW it is because someone changed the settings. What you have to do is right click the toolbar, go to properties, and then check “keep the taskbar on top of other windows” . Boom all done

    Connor

  88. DEREK Reply

    thank you so much my taskbar popped up and same with my sidebar. Then all my programs started up again :)

  89. Tasha Reply

    Hi i have tried your solution its working but it seems to be only tempory i want it to stay there for permant =)
    tasha

  90. Erask Reply

    I tried all the above… no avail. Ours was a different kind of problem. The kids like to play online games and need the “full screen” option. Maybe yours changed by accident or by the gamers in your family. Go to TOOLS (up on the browser) and DESELECT full screen. Voila!

  91. Matt Simpson Reply

    The new task and type in explorer worked really well thank you all i would of got in a lot of trouble if i did not fix it

  92. Bret Reply

    Something to add to your list of things to try.
    For me the Ctrl+Esc didn’t work.
    Neither did Task Manager -> File -> New Task -> cmd (it started up an Explorer window).

    After closing the Explorer that I just started I noticed in my task list (which was sorted by task name) that there was still an Explorer running. With very little to loose I killed it, and than started another Explorer, and I got my Task bar back!

  93. Jeff Reply

    Just had a histerical call from a user about this. He said his task bar was missing but he was on dual monitors and his second monitor which had his taskbar was turned off.

  94. Yasmin Reply

    I did the Ctrl+Alt+ & Del but every time I Start it its still the same problem, is there another way I can do that I wont need to do it again & again

  95. Adam Smitb Reply

    thanks, Leo, you’re a God-send! I got my taskbar up and running again, and I know what to do if this happens again. You’re awesome, man!

  96. Shawn Collins Reply

    I just installed the latest updates using Windows 7 and this is happening every time my PC goes to sleep.

    It worked for me to end and restart explorer in the task manager, but hopefully they’ll push out another update to correct it.

  97. Matt Silverman Reply

    Help…the CTRL-ESC fix works to make my task bar visible again, however, it is ONLY “temporary” as it disappears again once I make the next click…WHY?

    The taskbar IS visible on my Windows home page…any thoughts on how I can ensure that the taskbar REMAINS visible at all times and within ALl applications????

    Thanks.

  98. Harmonie- Reply

    i tried the CTRL-ESC thing but it didnt work, my task bar or start bar is still missing, do have any idea why its not apppearing?

  99. Savannah Reply

    I did ctrl+alt+del and when I typed in “exporer” it will send me to “My Documents.” Does it mean,there is a virus or spyware on the computer?Should I try to do a scan?Any idea why it does this?Thanks for your help.God bless you in these End of Days.

  100. Nicole Reply

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    THIS REALLY HELPED ME!!!
    I AM SO HAPPY!!!!!
    IT EVEN CURED MY BLACK SCREEN!!!
    EVERYTHING IS BACK TO NORMAL I JUST CANT THANK YOU ENOUGH!!
    THE ONE THAT HELPED ME WAS THE TASK MANAGER STEPS!!
    THANK YOU AGAIN!!
    I WILL DEFIANTLY BE COMING BACK IF THE ISSUE HAPPENS AGAIN!!!!!
    THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  101. Ashok Reply

    My system got restarted and i found my Taskbar is vanished, i tried all the options given here i use latest Kaspersky 2010. Pls help me to fix this and get my taskbar permanently…

  102. igoshop.com Reply

    Press Ctrl+Esc. Select “Settings / Control Panel” Select and open the “Task and Start Menu”. Uncheck (or) Check the “Auto-hide the taskbar” – the reason is you just want to change the switch in the registry so the taskbar will appear. Once it does you can then change this switch back to whatever you like.

  103. Sigourney Reply

    I tried the articles way of trying to fix it, although, when I read the comments, someone mentioned that the computer might think 2 monitors are installed, and the task bar is on the other monitor. But that it’s very rare. Lol Though that was my problem. Silly not-so-technology-savvy-parents.

    Thanks guys. :))

  104. Ghostman Reply

    Wow! I have been messing with this computer I just reimaged for about an hour and a half. The problem started after I installed the video card driver and service pack 2. I thought it was a problem with the install. I installed SP3 and still no Task Bar. I tried the SFC fix but still no Task Bar. I read the comments and saw that it might think there are two monitors. That was it ;?) Thanks Sigourney…for making me feel like a noob.

  105. Sam Reply

    What if both my taskbar and my task manager both wont work when i click ctrl + alt + del task manager wont pop up i know how to get my taskbar back but i dont know how to enable my task manager! PLEASE HELP :(

  106. Namata Reply

    my screen has no icons, only desktop background showing. how do i get back?

  107. Arthur Reply

    my problem was also the two monitors issue. A month of hassel for a one minute fix.
    Please add this soultion to your page please.

  108. Leanne Reply

    I thought my taskbar and start all disappeared because I changed my resolution, but that wsn’t it. Someone had clicked FULL SCREEN and that was it. I went to TOOLS… and unchecked Full Screen. Shaazam! :)

  109. john Reply

    thank you!!
    because this helps my Taskbar is working again..
    You are really great..

  110. Tyla Reply

    or you can just press F11 (the actual button)
    thats what worked for me.

  111. danny Reply

    well i have no icons no desktop background (it is blackness) and when i log in i get “my computer” come up. i also have no task bar. ive pressed f11 (failed) ive pressed ctrl + esc (failed) ive even changed my res (failed) atm im downloading an anti-virus to try that out ill update you if it dont work. as they say no news is good news. thanks for the help if it does work

  112. Kelly Reply

    My task bar/ start menu disappeared this morning magically. I’ve tried all of the above and nothing. I ran a full scan on my computer and nothing seems to have come up…. any other suggestions??

  113. Kelly Reply

    Also when I do “explorer.exe” from the task manager My Documents opens up?????

  114. Omega Reply

    The first solution solved the problem immediately; thanks!!!

  115. Ben Reply

    Didn’t read through all 120+ comments, but I just had this problem and it was due to the display being setup as a dual monitor station. Went into control panel, display, settings, and then highlighted a second monitor that was listed. From there I unchecked the box that said something like “Extend desktop display to this monitor”. Clicked ok and the taskbar appeared. Hope this helps someone!

  116. Haydns Reply

    For a week I had a similar problem with both my task bar and desktop icons disappearing. Everything was ok operating in Safe Mode.
    Not sure if the same for others but my problem was that in display properties multiple displays was selected but make this main display not selected. It appears, I am not sure what was triggering it, that the task bar and icons were being directed to a non existent alternative display.

  117. juan Reply

    the comment on control panel actually worked on mine thanks! :)

  118. Verena Reply

    If you have your computer hooked up to your TV check to ensure the task bar is not being displayed on the TV. :)

  119. John Reply

    Thank you! New task worked perfectly. I love your site, there’s so much useful information here.

  120. Gail Reply

    The Start button remains, but my taskbar disappears when the screen goes to sleep. I’ll try both these fixes next time and see what works. The pop-up that appeared while I was looking at your article was not expected or appreciated, but the info is. Thanks.

  121. Gail Reply

    A followup to my previous comment.
    I am running Windows 7.
    CTRL+ESC gave me the Start Menu, which is nice but not helpful in this instance. My Start Button remains.
    CTRL+ALT+DEL gives me a page where ai can choose to start the Task Manager.
    I do, and check for explorer.exe. It is running.
    If I select explorer.exe and “end task,” I can then restart explorer.exe and my taskbar reappears. I suspect that it moves to the background and is behind my screen background.

    This ought to be an easy fix, but no such option appears when I right click, as would be reasonable. However, sooner or later I will find it, because I know it exists. “Keep background always in back” would work, as would “keep taskbar always on top.”

  122. Ana Reply

    i went to CTRL+ALT+DEL then Task Manager then i go New task enter explorer.exe press ok but it sends me to my library

  123. Michael Huffman Reply

    The best thing and easiest way to get it back is to do a System Restore to a prior date.

  124. khai Reply

    I had the same issue on my laptop. I found and tried a lot of suggestions myself. Once sudden, I hit the keys “WINDOWS sign” & “D” that displays my task manager bar again. Then, I just restarted my laptop that worked out well. I checked my desktop full keyboard that turn out to be correct keys for that issue.

  125. Rick Bierman Reply

    Thanks mush Leo for the information on missing task bar i stressed for days to try to fix it one easy step and like magic it was back thanks agian

  126. leanne Reply

    Hi, can some1 PLEEAASSSEE help?? My tool bar that sits at the top of screen that has my “Bookmarks” in it has dissapeared & cant seem to fix it, I just managed to get My “Start” menu back using the actions posted on here…Ctrl/Alt/esc. thank-U in advance :)

  127. Sam Reply

    If your Taskbar has disappeared and won’t appear even from these steps, try opening a full-screen application like a game and exiting it. That usually works.

  128. Rob Reply

    I have a Dell 4600, windows xp, my screen on the right and bottom are not in far enough to use certain task boxes.

  129. Toby Reply

    Excellent, thanks: got explorer running and everything is fine! Google brought me here and was wise in doing so :)

  130. anthony Reply

    you have just saved my life, my step mom would have killed me if she thought i broke the computer, thank you

  131. fatty boombar Reply

    THANKS SO MUCH U JUST SAVED MY LIFE! WHAT DO U WANT ILL GIVE YOU ANYTHING ILL EVEN CLOSE DOWN MY GOODNERDS WEBSITE

  132. Sarah Reply

    OMG, you are amazing, I’ve been looking all over to figure out how to get my laptop back to normal, it was all blank when I start it up and with one step everything is back to normal, you rule!

  133. Zeshan Reply

    Okay so, I turn my computer on and it’s taking very long to log in and when it does, the taskbar is missing.
    That was the first time it ever happened.
    And then I went into Safe mode, did a few scans got 7 viruses, deleted those.
    It worked fine for 2 more days.. now, I’m missing my taskbar AGAIN.. and this time I searched for viruses, there were 0 threats.

    What do I do? I can’t do a SFC if I don’t have a taskbar.
    PLEASE, I really need help..

    Actually if you press CTRL+ALT+DEL you should get the task manager, which has a “File” menu and a “Run” option that should let you run SFC. (You can also run “explorer.exe” to get the taskbar back if that helps in the short term.)

    Leo
    30-Sep-2010

  134. Roy Reply

    F11 (full screen) got pushed by my toddler and made the taskbar disappear when in IE mode, push it again and taskbar returns….
    was this useful?

  135. athletic girl Reply

    OMMMMGGG ! thanks soo muchh, i gott sooo scaredd. *phew*

  136. virendra Reply

    hey dude
    my laptop taskbar & start menu has gone ive tried evrything whatever is written in this site and it stil wont work and i havent got the disk to reinstall windows wat else can i do plz help me as i can not use my p.c btw wha

  137. Peter R Mundreon Reply

    I have OS Windows 7, Browser Internet Explorer 8. I went to delete some start up programs that I don’t need, and when I completed and finished, I found that I had no Task Bar and no Start Menu ! What do I do to reinstall both the Start Menu and Taskbar with all my Programs that I lost? Urgent, this has never happened before. I can’t access almost anything except for my Favorites! Please help!
    Thank You
    Peter Mundreon

  138. aeron Reply

    i dont know what happen to my computer. Im open my computer the screen black no icon appear and no taskbar

  139. Savanna Reply

    HELP ME!!!!! My taskbar and all the program thingies from the side have DISAPPEARED!!!! What can i do? I have tryed everything! Not only that a blue screen flashes up with white writing every now and again and restarts my computor :S Hellpp me PLEAASEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  140. Melissa Reply

    I tried everything as well and nothing seemed to work, i tried the start task manager and even that would not show up. Is there anything else i can do to get my menu bar back, cause now i am not able to use my p.c :(

  141. greentech07 Reply

    1. Run a Virus Scan
    Repair
    Corrupted System Registry Entries with reginout

    3. Execute Windows Explorer

    4. Press Ctrl +Esc and Resize the Taskbar Properly

    5. Disable Auto Hide the Taskbar Feature

    6. repair Corrupted System Files

    • prayerson akam Reply

      i,ve done all you directed me to do, yet it is still the same, what shall i do?

  142. novice Reply

    i discovered this by pure luck. it’s as though my taskbar had moved onto another screen next to my pc screen “to the right”. move the curser to the bottom of the screen slide along to the right to just off screen, left click and drag it back. thats how i got mine back. hope it works for you.

  143. Anonymous Reply

    check to see if you have (2) monitors defined when you really only have one, or use the TV as 2nd monitor the taskbar can be ‘hiding’ on monitor #2
    right click on the desktop go to properties – settings check

  144. syntotic Reply

    Useless, the explorer run runs an explorer window on MY DOCUMENTS but the bar did not appear. Nor it is minimized to another side of the screen.

  145. Qwerty0825 Reply

    This Is what I did. First Start Task manager. Then Click Processes And Find explorer.exe. Right click it and click end process. Then go to file new task and type explorer.exe and the taskbar shold appear.

  146. Genn Reply

    My bar and those desktop icons were disappeared due to a virus or something . and i dont know how to get it back . i tried right clicking on my desktop and nothing happened . and everytime i login to my computer , only a document file will appear . and thats how i access through files and everything in that document . if i cancel it , i would need to restart my computer again so that it would appear , and sometimes it wouldnt . and i need help solving this asap , thanks.

  147. liz Reply

    Thanks! I was wondering how I was going to turn off the computer if I didn’t have that bit! Blasted cat – it happened when she walked across my keypad.

  148. ashley Reply

    Thanks! Now I finally know how to find my way around this problem. Running ‘explorer’ through the task manager really worked.

  149. pupatron Reply

    This helped. realised that i had to restart the explorer since it missed a certain file. =/ oh well.

  150. Pu Reply

    Thank you very much for this assistance. I, by mistake, closed the task bar while tinkering with task master and couldn’t get it back for a half-hour.

  151. Bruce Conn Reply

    MONTHS of this little issue of the disappearing task bar. In 30 seconds on your site I learn the fix and all is good. Thank you, Leo, out there somewhere… All is good.

  152. Jiji Reply

    There was a comment here that totally helped me since the methods explained did not work and pressing CTRL+ESC did not help either. If you have Vista go to Personlize > Display Settings > then click the 2nd monitor > uncheck the box that says “extend the desktop onto this monitor” > press OK. This fixed my problem. Hope it helps!

  153. Jody Reply

    It worked! Your instructions were easy to understand and solved my problem. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  154. Daniel Reply

    YES THANK YOU! THE FILE NEW TASK AND TYPING IN “EXPLORER” WORKED!!! THANKS :D

  155. duuuut Reply

    - SOLVED – mysteryious problem
    why my taskbar is gone after turn off display

    plz remove newest update for microsoft.net framework4 on windows ### (KB2533523) and all of his friend’s
    100% DONE (I STILL HOPE SO.. :D cikibumm ….)

  156. duuuut Reply

    update answer (i hope so)
    THIS TIME ,REALLY – REALLY 100% WORK SOLUTION
    did someone knews,
    that this problem’s occur’s/happen only in single user administrator account only?
    i knew it, because i have 2 user administrator account and one standard user account
    and i have tested it repeatedly
    the next clue is: search the programs that using local settigns

    then the answer is: go back the time , what program’s are you install in past

    and finally i found my answer for my question
    “why my taskbar is missing after/during turn off monitor,sleep “

    this program’s i have install is not compatible with win7 “polar clock screen saver”

    ,maybe someone can found better and quality answer than mine.
    thx microsoft for make OS better than before

  157. BreakRose Reply

    Thanks alot. I have been having this type of problem and had to restart windows but now, I know that I can just do this step.

  158. Transcendent Reply

    I was cleaning my keyboard and suddenly the task bar and tabs all disappeared, and a window I had open was showing full screen. I discovered I had hit the F11 button, and pressing F11 again brought everything back to normal, so you may want to try pressing F11 if your task bar disappears.

  159. Christian Reply

    I lost the taskbar and when I tried to open Task Manager to retrieve it, I lost that, too! It was only open for a moment then it disappeared – perhaps it somehow was dragged offscreeen? I’m not sure, but lately I’ve had trouble with my mouse being put offscreen and I have to roll it over the mouse pad for a while to get it back. Maybe that’s what happened with the TM. I now have 2 missing things – That are IMPORTANT! HELPPP!

  160. Adrian Reply

    One day my taskbar vanished. After a small google-ing i found Christian’s post that made the bell ring. My taskbar was on my tv – the second monitor.

  161. Levi Reply

    OMG thanks alot i had lost all the shortcuts and taskbar,brought it back like Boom!

  162. Jay Dee Reply

    Had problem with no start menu.
    Two bits that helped.
    I did not have the run option in TaskManager so created a new shortcut. cmd this created a simple cmd.exe that opened a CMD window to allow me to run programs.
    I stopped Explorer process, then started it again but typing explorer in my cmd window.
    I still have lots of problems to sort but making a little progress.

  163. Selie Visa Reply

    The Taskbar with the Start button might be hidden somewhere and you can’t see it on your monitor. But if the Taskbar went missing due to virus infection, its difficult to restore it. The virus will also block upgrade installation. The final option is to format your hard drive containing the OS and re-install a fresh one.

  164. saeed Reply

    thx a lot
    my problem solved and I don’t know how to thank you

  165. Elizabeth Reply

    Ok, so earlier this week my open icons on my task bar when I rolled my mouse over them showed little boxes so I could get a quick visual glance at what was open in that program. About Wednesday, that changed on me and when I scroll over them, they just give a list of the open programs. I must have done some keyboard shortcut. How do I get the little pictures back? Thanks!

  166. Selie Visa Reply

    The Taskbar with the Start button might be hidden somewhere and you can’t see it on your monitor. But if the Taskbar went missing due to virus infection, its difficult to restore it. The virus will also block upgrade installation to repair the Operating System. First preferred option would be to connect your hard drive to another computer as Slave Drive and scan it for virus infection. The final option is to format your hard drive containing the OS and re-install a fresh one. Never connect to the net or use removeable drives without installing a good antivirus or internet security. No point in taking risks.

  167. Matt Reply

    Excellent, thanks very much. In my case, the explorer.exe process was still showing in Task Manager, but there must have been something wrong with it… so I used End Process to stop it, then your New Task tip to start “explorer”, which worked perfectly. Thanks again.

  168. Kerry Reply

    thank you so much! I couldn’t do anything without the start menu!

  169. pritam Reply

    thanks a lot…..i am recover my start menu by using ur tips…actually my explorer was not working..i am useing ur step and goto task manager and started a new task by run command and type explorer…and my start menu was appear…….thanksssssss

  170. Hristo Nikolov Reply

    My child pressed something and my taskbar is missing. I tried with your proposal above but to no avail.

  171. Joan Reply

    I accidently deleted the wrong ‘shortcut’ and now I have no taskbar, no desktop shortcuts and right clicking doesn’t bring up anything. I tried the CTRL+ALT+DEL and still nothing. Only my desktop picture remains. Is there anything ‘I’ can do or do I need to send it to a repairman.

  172. Chani Reply

    Thank you so much. I had totally lost my start bar and you quickly fixed that!

  173. naomi ward Reply

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK
    Just goes to show nothing is unfixable on a computer with clever guys like you around x

  174. Doug Reply

    recovered from this by uninstalling video driver. affected computer has on-board video and video card installed. updating driver confused the system.
    restarting windows re-installed drivers and everything is ok now.

  175. Ammanuel Reply

    Thank you very much it worked perfectly i would recommend this site to anyone.

  176. gullzena Reply

    thank you! i followed your instructions, opened task manager, typed in “explorer.exe” and my taskbar and start menu are back! thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  177. cw Reply

    whooohoooo I just did a google search, came her and voila! my toolbar is back!!!
    Thanks Much

  178. Julius Reply

    Hi Leo, I tried everything I can to follow your advice here but not seems working on my computer. Ctrl+esc is not working if I press it. Ctrl+alt+delete seems it work but when I run explorer are nothing happen. I can’t run anti-virus because VMI is popping up and the program are not showing. What else should I do?

    Thanks,
    Julius

    You might try Windows Defender Offline.

    Leo
    06-Jun-2012
  179. Shayna Reply

    ‘Losing’ my taskbar was a major calamity and thanks to you I have a new favorite trouble-shooting source. To show my gratitude, You have been ‘Bookmarked.’ Thank you ~ from Shayna

  180. nomen nescio Reply

    Thank you very much for your help. I was kinda panicking, when I noticed it was gone. But restarting explorer did the trick!

  181. palash Reply

    the way to type explorer in new task was really helpful !!!!
    thnx a lot

  182. Ryan Stewart Reply

    thank you very very much i have searching the web for 7 hours on how to get my task bar back my 5 year old son managed to get the task manager up and end the explorer through the end progress buttom thank you very much very helpfull and apresiated

  183. Henry Reply

    Thank you so much Leo. It was fixed in less than 30 seconds!!! I’m reposting this link on my company’s FB account- Ziglus. Last week my computer got some malware and it was a nightmare. I thought that it was back!! Thanks again. HB

  184. Arl Reply

    I just installed Firefox last night. My tool bar across the top is gone, the File Menu that lists Save, send, print, etc is missing. need that. no task bar on the bottom

  185. connie Reply

    @Arl,
    Just hold down the Alt key for a second and it will pop up. Seems odd to have it hidden that way until you get used to it. Then you’ll be really glad that it’s not taking up valuable screen space.

  186. Mike Reply

    Thank you very much! new task (run…) > explorer worked. It brought my task bar right back. Good stuff!

  187. Ashleigh Reply

    Thank you so much Leo, I was terrified when that happened, thought I’d done some permanent damage.

  188. Brad Reply

    well… none of that stuff worked for me! what do i do ?

    wasting my time

  189. rajiv Reply

    my taskbar has disappeared but i still see the windows icon in the circle and its still clickable. How do i get the taskbar back? It appears when i restart my pc but then mysteriously disappears. HELP!!!

  190. diane Reply

    thank you! after a windows update I had no taskbars, icons or start buttons. you saved with “run explorer”

  191. Stefano Reply

    Thanks for the fix, I’ve been hard resetting my computer to fix it previously and this was a huge help. My explorer kept crashing and leaving me without a start button or any windows. By running the task manager and starting the new task “explorer” solves it.

  192. cheryl carroll Reply

    When I lose everything like that all I do is tap the F11 key once. Everything comes back instantly. I don’t know why everyone else uses all these steps to accomplish this.

  193. Scott W Reply

    Thanks! Article saved me big time. Reloading explorer from Task manager worked like a charm.

  194. forever grateful Reply

    thanks for the re-starting explorer work around invaluable information simple precise and clear after
    mine went walkabout will be sure to bookmark you for future ref regards keep up the good work !

  195. billy Reply

    I love you thanks for your help dam how do you repay people like you?

  196. ecc Reply

    Thank you! I was trying to end all unnecessary programs in order to make my 3d rendering go faster and I accidentally told task manager to end start button/explorer because I thought explorer referred to internet explorer, not windows explorer. Good lesson in much needed computer literacy!

  197. Nathan Reply

    Thanks so much man. I was restarting my computer and something bugged out and left me with nothing.

  198. BB Reply

    Thank you so much! I was wondering where the heck it went (one second it was there, then poof!) and using ctrl+alt+del then starting a new program helped. Thankies! C:

  199. thankful guy Reply

    thanks leo u saved my life today………cant say more……thanks again

  200. Alessandro Reply

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH LEO!!!!

    This has worked for me an prevented a Windows Restart with data loss:

    —->
    “In Task Manager on the File menu, select New Task (Run…). Type in “explorer” and press OK.”

  201. Aliyah Reply

    A quick thanks!!! Your info quickly restored my icons on my taskbar. Your instructions are so clear and easy to understand for the non technical person :-)

  202. Surya Reply

    Awesome :) File -> New Task and typing explorer worked for me.. Cool Stuff

  203. Ken J Reply

    Leo you are awesome!
    I’ve been pulling my hair out trying to get my Start button and task bar to return. Your help was clear and accurate.

    Thanks again,
    Ken

  204. Ankita Reply

    Thank you so much….the task manager option worked for me….great help….

  205. Diane Reply

    hi! i followed the steps but right after clicking ok “these files can’t be opened” appeared!!! now what to do? PLEASE HELP ME!!!

  206. Alvin Reply

    Wow. Thanks. Running ‘explorer’ saved me. I usually don’t comment. but thanks a lot! I had no idea why my taskbar disappeared though.

  207. Caitlin Reply

    I’m with those who are grateful for your “explorer” solution, Leo. Sincere thanks.

  208. Alex Reply

    Thank you for your “comprehensive” explanation. IT DID NOT WORK!
    So, to add another solution I will start with the fact that I have two monitors, but the one the right was OFF. Somebody moved the taskbar on the right side. There is no way to see the taskbar. CTRL=ESC did not work , starting explorer did not work, so I am SO THANKFUL for not re-installing windows.
    Please next time do not provide “comprehensive” approaches, but say simply: “From my experience…”

  209. Klarysa Reply

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! This really helped, and I thought at first that a virus was attacking my computer. Now everything is fixed with just a few simple clicks!

  210. Samuel Barnes Reply

    When I start up my computer I have my task bar but over time the clock disappears, and when I open the start menu the items don’t show up until I run my mouse over where they should be, do I have a virus or is there a setting on my computer to fix this?

    • Leo Reply

      That actually sounds like a video driver problem. I’d start by making sure you have the latest drivers for whatever video card you have installed on that machine.

  211. Vantazzy Reply

    I made my windows taskbar dissappear like this: I wanted to record a gameplay of a game, but the taskbar was in the way, so I gave the order to let the taskbar automatically dissappear in the corner. It would only appear if you go to that corner with your mouse and it slides back into vision. After the recording, I tried to access it but it didn’t. I got 2 monitors and it appeared to be on the 2nd monitor desktop but still I couldn’t access it. It was blocked for some reason. That lead me to this page but there was no sollution for my problem. Eventually I did ALT+CTRL+DEL to pop up the taskmanager and disabled the proces of explorer and after that I put it in the RUN >> EXPLORER and the blockage was over and immediatly I dragged it back to my 1st desktop. Everything is back to normal. So if somebody had this problem which I just described in my best english possible, there is a sollution even for that! So don’t reinstall windows again which is a pain and a waste (mostly time). Greetings, Vantazzy!

  212. rajkc Reply

    after virus scan, computer ask me to restart for removing threat i did it but unfortunately now i can’t log on when i try to access to my computer it ask user name and password after enter the user name and password it log on but after a few second automatically log off without showing icon on the screen plz help me how can i fix this problem

    • Leo Reply

      Sounds like the malware damaged your windows installation. You can try rebooting in safe mode and running the System File Checker, or perhaps you’ll need to perform an Repair Reinstall of Windows.

  213. Don Reply

    Hi

    Have you ever had multiple monitors set up on that computer? It sounds like the Taskbar may have been moved to a monitor that is no longer connected.

    Right click an empty spot on the Desktop and select Screen Resolution.

    If you see the Multiple Displays options there, select the drop down menu and click the Show Desktop only on 1 option. Click Apply/OK.

  214. Koshish Ghale Reply

    My desktop and taskbar suddenly disappeared when I restart computer
    Please! help me in fixing this problem

  215. Carol Reply

    Thank you so much Leo hugs :) Thanks to your skills I just got my taskbar back and all is well now. I also bookmarked you and signed up for your newletters, Thank you for sharing you skills with us all, much appreciated :)

  216. Mosh Reply

    As it turned out, while i was trying to ‘end task’ google chrome on my task manager, i had also ‘end task’ explorer, causing my task bar and start menu to close. Thank you soo much Leo!

  217. Anam Reply

    Thanks a lot. i was playing with cmd and All of a sudden my start menu has gone. Your solution has help me a lot.
    Thanks a bunch. God bless you buddy. Again thanks a bunch!!!! – Leo
    Regards,
    Anam

  218. Sutherland Reply

    Just fixed on my win7 laptop. Found the fix fairly easy. The taskbar was missing and whenever i ran start explorer.exe in cmd i got the file manager.
    1.start the task manager and go to pocesses
    2.end explorer.exe
    3. THEN run start explorer.exe in cmd
    hope it helps

  219. Reenie Reply

    Thank you! I tried several other suggestions but yours was the only one that worked!

  220. Gordon Mac... Reply

    Hey Hey Hey, Thanks leo, I was $h!tt!n’ my drawers. Couldn’t get my taskbar or start button to come back from wherever it went but your suggestion(task manager, new task, explorer) brought it back. my question is why did it go away and where did it go?? any ideas??

  221. Gary Reply

    Leo, first off, my compliments to you on this great site. And this thread!! 8 years and running !! I had this problem, suddenly, after creating a new user account but only with the new account. I was concerned that my Windows Shell was corrupted or my computer infected because I am also recovering from a failed Windows Update that corrupted a bunch of OS files (XP) and I’ve been working my way through that with System Restores that did not quite properly restore everything… so I was flummoxed trying to figure out what was happening…
    There are a lot of forums out there offering help on this, all of the pushing the tactic of restoring Explorer (but none of them that I found had all the finer points and subtleties that your topic has here…) but no other site I found says anything about the “two monitors” cause. That was my problem. Coincidentally the system in question is a laptop whose inverter circuit has recently failed (hence no primary display… same effect as if the backlight bulb is dead) and so I had hooked up an external monitor and “extended my desktop” to the external. I guess the setup of the new user account defaulted to the Start menu and taskbar only displaying on the (dead) primary, even though the desktop (backgrounds and icons) was showing on the external monitor. Just thought I’d mention this quirk.

    I was thinking of “repairing” the XP from scratch before I found your column here, thanks, you’ve saved me a lot of work, not to mention the risk I was taking with an XP reset with primary monitor dead… as evidenced by this quirk.

    Cheers, Gary

  222. Derrick Reply

    Thank you so much you saved me from a mini heart attack

  223. Jocelyn K Reply

    Thanks so much for this Leo :-) I was able to get my Taskbar back – yay!

  224. Pietas Reply

    When viewing video files in explorer, windows XP SP2 has a problem, it crashes regularly, and then the task bar goes missing. Sometimes CTRL-ALT-DELETE works to bring task manager and then windows explorer back, sometimes not. So this did not help me.

  225. Missy Reply

    For the past year and a half i haven’t had my taskbar and desktop background working which went missing for no such reason I knew and have been managing files by opening with task manager.
    Using your simple step of typing ‘explorer’ in task manager as new task, ‘BOUGHT IT ALL BACK!’
    you honestly have no idea how much i have tried and new things ive been installing which only caused more viruses which i later had to uninstall!
    Ive read so many forums that never helped, & My goodness you are just amazing!
    THANK YOU SO MUCH!
    IN ADVANCE!
    ;Missy. :D

  226. Robert Reply

    {Profanity removed}

    How rotten is the Windows OS that suddenly one of the main UI components can just dissapear!!
    (Just doing a installation of some legal (Autodesk) software!)

    Always happy when I am done with work en reboot my iMac in OS X !!

  227. Jack McElwee Reply

    I get an hourglass when I click on Task Manager/File so no drop down menu block and no way to get explorer.exe to work. No Start Bar and no Taskbar either. Alt and all the other keyboard cuties failed to bring it back too. Usually all I can do is restart, wait and hope. No Run as admin options anymore either. Thanks for listening anyway even if you can’t help me Leo- Jack/keimanzero

  228. Sleshma Reply

    it was so simple and due to this page i was able to solve the problem….. CTRL+ESC did work for me….. thanks…..

  229. T Hall Reply

    My computer uses xp pro sp3.While my computer was at the logon screen there was power outage. when the power returned I checked my computer and it would restart as it loaded up windows. I went to safe mode same problem, but in recovery console I ran chkdsk /p, and there was one or more problems. Iran chkdsk/r, it fixed the problem. I went into windows and now my taskbar is gone. All the normal icons appear on screen, I can’t use any internet functions and no taskbar. I used taskmanager to access the command prompt and ran sfc /scannow. It ran normally ( I think) the progress bar filled and than it said nothing one way or the other if there was something wrong, just back to c:\. I closed explorer in the taskmanager and restarted it it did nothing. I went into safe mode (no taskbar in safe mode either, even as administrator) I opened the control panel folder trying adding a new user and couldn’t, the program opened but it was just a blank window. I don’t have a disk for windows at least not for this computer ( I have one for an older computer xp sp1 home ed.), I just don’t know what else to try any advice?

  230. jimmy Reply

    my start is missing nothing worked……………………………………………………………….

  231. jimmy Reply

    oh and i cant uninstal this ad thing called supradsavings thing that gives me ads that i dant want and i have been trying to uninstal it useing all sourts of stuff.

  232. Samantha Reply

    After I clicked every button on the keyboard and a day of dispair later, I found you! Thankyou!

  233. kim Reply

    I don’t know who Jordy is, but he’s a fracking genius. Fixed it in no time flat.
    Thanks!

  234. Ray Reply

    my office computer have same case, how if this computer is windowsxp computer?
    the background picture still appear but the shortcut, tool,bar, time, startbutton didn’t appear
    please help me to fix it

  235. GeorgeD Reply

    Desperate situation here…

    I have WIN7 SP1.
    After logon the desktop is black with no icons. There is no taskbar, no start button. The shortcuts WIN+R, WIN+E, WIN+F, etc are not working.
    The problem is also there in safe mode.

    I read many things about explorer.exe being corrupted or infected.
    My C:\Windows\explorer.exe file is 2,616,320 bytes

    I tried many suggestions:
    -I made sure there are no multiple displays in Display settings.
    -I updated and run Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
    -I did a system restore.
    -I run SFC /SCANNOW and took “Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them”, but in the log file (CBS.Log) I found only errors “Cannot repair member file” about wmp.dll of Windows Media Player, so I did nothing cause Windows Media Player is irrelevant.
    -I even did a windows reinstall, but the problem is still there! (btw, since then, windows fails to install many updates including IE11, so I now have IE8)
    -I deleted the “iexplorer.exe” in key “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution options” (there was no “explorer.exe” key to delete).
    -I made sure the value in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Shell is “Explorer.exe”.
    -I did a Quick Scan with a Windows Defender Offline cd and found nothing.
    -I created a new Windows user.

    Nothing worked.
    I cannot work on my pc and I am really desperate.

  236. Vince Reply

    I had been having the explorer randomly shutting down problem for the past few days. It was very frustrating because I would have to drop what I was doing and restart my computer. Thank you very much for the task manager trick!!

  237. Hemant Gupta Reply

    i have done this but it still not working my black screen is still black & if i wrote there “explorer ” it was opening a my computer not displaying my desktop view where all the quick lanch will shows………. your trick is not working…… thankyou so much

  238. Shiva Singh Reply

    Thanks a bunch Mr. Leo! You saved my life out here! :D XD

  239. astigmatik Reply

    For those who used the task manager solution without success, run the task manager again and click on the “Processes” tab. Find “exlorer.exe” from the list under that tab and kill that process first before running a new process of explorer.exe. This should make your taskbar appear again.

  240. Zhun Reply

    I have fixed this kind of problem many times on different laptops. I used registry repair software like Glary Registry Repair, ASC and so on. Using registry repair software will also eliminate other registry related problems.

    You do that only after you removed the spywares that may caused it. And for that, you can use hijackthis or an antispyware software.

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