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Windows 7: Taskbar Always On Top - Disable or Enable


Taskbar Always On Top - Disable or Enable

How to Disable or Enable Taskbar Always on Top in Windows 7
Published by tweaker
12 Jan 2010
Published by

How to Disable or Enable Taskbar Always on Top in Windows 7


warning   Warning

Limitations/Issues:
  • The Show Desktop function in windows can not be used together with this solution. It will make the taskbar disappear along with all other windows. If done by accident, you must toggle all windows visible again, with Show Desktop, to get the taskbar back. To get access to the taskbar when it's hidden bring up the Start Menu by pressing the windows key or ctrl+escape.
  • The taskbar will not "push" away desktop icons like it does normally, meaning icons may be located beneath the taskbar.
  • It can sometimes happen that the taskbar is initially (auto-)hidden. This is simply solved by moving the mouse over the screen edge where the taskbar is to make it visible, or bringing up the Start Menu. It will remain visible after that.
  • It's possible that this might stop working after a windows update, if MS updates explorer. In that case the application should display an error message that it failed to apply.



Here's How:

1. Click on the Download button below to download the DisableTaskbarOnTop app.
DisableTaskbarOnTop app (release 7)
download

2. From the downloaded zip archive extract the 32-bit or 64-bit version depending on which windows version you're running. (Also looking through the readme file is recommended, for most up to date information.)

3. Run the application. If everything works it will quietly change the taskbar behavior (and exit immediately). Only in the case that it's not be able to do what it's supposed to, will there be a (error) message displayed.

Note   Note
Note that Always on top will only be disabled for the current session. If you log out, restart windows or explorer restarts for some reason, the DisableTaskbarOnTop application has to be run again. See point 5 below how to make it run automatically.


4. In order to fully make it work as it's supposed to, the taskbar option Auto-hide the taskbar has to be enabled. This ensures that maximized windows cover the entire screen and not just the area outisde of the taskbar. Note that the taskbar won't actually auto-hide.

--

5. If you've done the above and everything works to your liking, you may want to have it run automatically when you log on. The easiest solution is to move the DisableTaskbarOnTop executable to the Startup folder of your Start Menu.

The simplest way to do this, is to locate the Startup folder by going into All Programs on the Start Menu. Then right click on Startup and pick Explore from the popup menu. This will open an explorer window of the Startup folder, into which the file can be moved.


Removal:

To "remove" this just don't run the DisableTaskbarOnTop application any more. Logging out and in again (or restarting windows) will restore original behavior. As it only affects explorer in the current session, there are no permanent changes or traces from using it.

If you have it in the Startup folder you must delete it from there before logging out and in, to prevent it from running again.
13 Jan 2010   #1
adisak

Windows 7
 
 

Thanks for a great fix Tweaker. Is it possible to get the source code to this app ? I work in a corporate environment and they don't really like us to install anything on our machines unless we can prove that it's not malicious (i.e. comes from a big company and is signed code or we get source and can compile it).

My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2010   #2
salvinorum

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Quote:
Strange, works for me. When I click the taskbar it's brought to front (above other windows). If I remember correcty it sometimes happened that it got "stuck" below when the program first started, but that only was a one time issue which was resolved by clicking back and forth on a window and then the taskbar again.
Hmm, I will try it again. It did not work the first time I tried it, I haven't tried it again. If you did make it, I of course appreciate your effort, it is far more then what I can say of MS, which appears to be ignoring this issue (I'm not sure how to reach MS, is there an avenue to them directly with ideas, after all, their whole advertising campaign is based on people reaching them with ideas and them listening!)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2010   #3
tweaker

w7-64, w2k
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by salvinorum View Post
Hmm, I will try it again. It did not work the first time I tried it, I haven't tried it again. If you did make it, I of course appreciate your effort, it is far more then what I can say of MS, which appears to be ignoring this issue (I'm not sure how to reach MS, is there an avenue to them directly with ideas, after all, their whole advertising campaign is based on people reaching them with ideas and them listening!)
I wouldn't rule out that maybe something is differing on your system, so it doesn't work as intended, but it's possible it was just that occasional (temporary) little glitch you encountered.

I'd also prefer if MS would fix it and hope they will at some point, as this after all is an emergency solution for those who really want it disabled, and value that more than the few (known) minor issues such as not working together with Show Desktop.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jan 2010   #4
salvinorum

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

The glitch with "show desktop" doesn't bother me at all, in fact, it works fine when I hover over the show desktop, and that is all I ever do anyway, I very rarely use the show desktop, as everything I have is within a hotkey or visible icon away, very organized.

I decided not to use the fix, and just accept the "always on top". Its funny how I have used auto-hide for the past 15 years in every windows since 95, yet now that there is a glitch with not auto-hiding it, I still put up with it. This tells me that Windows 7 is a success, as even with a glitch I like the taskbar functionality so much that I do not even consider the auto-hide option, its my go-to place for everything now. It helps to have a widescreen 24" monitor :-), the taskbar hardly takes up space anyway. I always looked at the taskbar as a pain in the past, and replaced it with various other proggies. Not any more, now I use it, along with some add ons such as ObjectDock and Google desktop.

Thanks again for all the effort and info.

I hope someone bumps this thread if and when MS fixes this problem officially.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2010   #5
scottvf

Windows xp and 7 dual boot
 
 

The latest windows update creates an error with disabletaskbarontop.exe.
I guess microsoft really doesn't want us to customize our desktop.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2010   #6
tweaker

w7-64, w2k
 
 

Thanks for the heads up, will try to have a look.

(This probably has less to with MS trying to prevent anything, just that they updated explorer for other fixes.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2010   #7
tweaker

w7-64, w2k
 
 

New release is available now, it has added support for the KB977074 update.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jan 2010   #8
awaisuk

Windows Vista
 
 

You have to run this every time you turn on the computer?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jan 2010   #9
tweaker

w7-64, w2k
 
 

yes, or put it in the Start Menu - Startup folder to have it run automatically


(it only actually runs for a fraction of a second and exits again, but that has to be done every time windows starts up or at log in)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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