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Adjusting the Size of the Taskbar

Jan from Pinellas Park, FL asks:

How do I return my taskbar at the bottom of my screen to its Normal size of about 1/2 inch? For no apparent reason, it has gone to About 1 inch wide. I have tried shutting off the lock taskbar and Moving it down with the arrows that appear when I click my mouse However it just makes it totally disappear. When I bring it back, it Returns to 1 inch.

The taskbar at the bottom of your computer screen can be a bit touchy at times. It’s very easy to use the mouse for scrolling down a page and end up adjusting the taskbar without knowing exactly how you did it. Most people hold onto their mouse with the middle finger of their right hand hovering or lightly resting above the button on the mouse’s right side. As you might already know, this right button is the key to making many changes, whether they are intentional or not.

Clicking the button on the right side of the mouse brings up a menu with various categories that pertain to the page on which the cursor was placed. Right clicking on the toolbar will also bring up a menu designed specifically for the taskbar. If you’ve already tried unlocking the taskbar and making adjustments to the height without the desired results, then you may need to take the following steps.

Step 1 – Right click on the taskbar at the bottom of your screen and make sure it is unlocked

Step 2 – At the very top of the taskbar menu box is the submenu Toolbars – with an arrow to the right. If you hover the cursor on the word Toolbars, a second menu should appear out to the side of this original box.

Step 3 – Using the mouse, uncheck any of these toolbars that are already checked and then click on the taskbar to get rid of both of these visible menu boxes.

Step 4 – Hover the cursor over the top edge of the taskbar and see if it is able to be adjusted up and down now. Once you get it adjusted properly, you should then lock the taskbar. As long as the taskbar stays locked, there shouldn’t be any accidental adjustments made to it.
For some reason, having multiple toolbars checked in the taskbar menu will cause the taskbar to become two lines wide, instead of the normal single line.

If you have several Quick Launch apps that you want to keep visible on the taskbar, then adjusting the taskbar height to accommodate these apps might make things easier. You can place as many icons on the taskbar as you want. Some people have 15 or more apps along the bottom of the screen. When an Internet browsing page is open, you can drag and drop the apps at the top of the page and place them on the taskbar at the bottom of the page. This will then add more apps to the Quick Launch section of your taskbar.

When the taskbar is unlocked, there are two columns of dotted lines separating the Quick Launch apps and icons showing what programs you have open at any given time, such as a Windows folder or document. Hovering the cursor over the column of dots will enable you to adjust the width of each section by clicking on and moving the double-sided arrow to the left or right. After adjusting the width of each section, locking the taskbar will eliminate the chance of accidental adjustments.

Even if all the Quick Launch apps aren’t showing up on the taskbar, they can still be accessed when the taskbar is locked. A set of arrows facing towards the right of the monitor are located next to the Quick Launch apps that are visible. Clicking on these arrows will produce a menu that shows the rest of the apps available from your Quick Launch selection.

Having the Quick Launch toolbar open doesn’t seem to inhibit the adjustment capabilities of the taskbar, but when multiple toolbars are opened at the same time there seems to be no way to adjust the height of the taskbar. After you’ve adjusted the height of the taskbar and locked it in place, you can easily go back in to the taskbar menu and re-check all the toolbars you wish to have displayed on the taskbar. The height of the taskbar shouldn’t change, since it is locked. Each toolbar that is checked will appear at the bottom of the page accompanied by two right-facing arrows.

If the height of the taskbar is ever affected and you can’t seem to adjust it by the usual way of unlocking it and using the double-sided arrows to move it up and down, then make sure the toolbars are all unchecked.

Hopefully the steps mentioned above will help you tame your taskbar back to the height you prefer.

~Cory Buford