Alter the Size of Your Windows Desktop Taskbar

The Windows taskbar in Windows 98, XP and Windows Vista can be made larger and smaller without any real technical knowledge! Perhaps you wish to make it bigger or smaller, stop it from hiding or vice versa and even put it at the top or sides of the screen. This is a guide to show you how to do such things.


  1. To alter the size of your Windows desktop taskbar, make sure that the taskbar is not locked. To see whether or not it is locked, right click any empty space on the taskbar, and check there is no tick next to 'Lock the taskbar'. If there isn't, good. If there is, click 'Lock the taskbar' once to unlock it.
  2. Once the taskbar is unlocked, position your mouse cursor directly over any vacant space on the taskbar, or on the top section that must be just appeared. The pointer will turn into a two-headed arrow for the latter. At this point, click and drag the taskbar's edge up, to make it bigger. Alternatively, drag the taskbar's edge down to make is smaller.
  3. While the taskbar is unlocked, you can reposition the taskbar at the top, right or left edges of the screen. To do so, hover the cursor over an empty space in the taskbar, before clicking and dragging the whole thing to the side of the screen you want to put it.
  4. At this stage, you may lock the taskbar again if you wish. To do so, right click an empty space on the taskbar and click 'Lock the taskbar'.
  5. Your computer may sometimes automatically hide the taskbar from view. If this is an annoyance to you, and you want the taskbar to stay in the view permanently, right click on empty space in the taskbar and click 'Properties'. In the dialog box, click the small box next to 'Auto-hide the taskbar' to uncheck it. Once this box is unchecked, click the 'OK' button at the bottom of the dialog box and your preferred settings will be saved.
  6. Other settings that you can change using the taskbar Properties dialog box include grouping similar documents, keeping the taskbar on top of open windows and of course showing/hiding the QuickLaunch toolbar. To activate, or in some situations de-activate, these features, merely uncheck or check the relevant boxes located on the taskbar Properties dialog box.
  7. You can even customize the mini-icons which are shown in the notification area (the section of the taskbar at the right-hand end). To do so, open the taskbar -->Properties --->Dialog Box and click the 'Customize button' near the bottom of the dialog box. There are other optional features which you can activate, and in some situations deactivate, relating the notification area, such as hiding or showing the clock and hiding inactive mini-icons.
  8. Now that you have finished, start using your computer to see whether or not what you have done to your taskbar suits you. If not, you can always change the settings back to what they were before, or try another combination of preferences.



  • If you put the taskbar on the left or right sides of the screen, things can get a little messy-seeming. The Start menu, taskbar buttons and notification area all get squashed and jumbled up, which may steal valuable screen space.
  • Increasing the size of your taskbar may waste space that was otherwise useful to you.
  • Having the taskbar hidden or allowing other open windows to be piled on top of the taskbar may cause infuriating emotions for you and others on the same user. Beware of the anger!

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