How to Fix Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working - Windows Basics


Tuesday, March 28, 2023

How to Fix Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working

The Windows 11 taskbar provides access to frequently used applications, virtual desktops, Start menu, and quick settings. If the Taskbar stops working, you may have problems navigating your computer.

To quickly fix a frozen or unresponsive Taskbar, open Task Manager and stop the Windows Explorer service. However, the Taskbar can also stop working due to bad Windows updates, corrupted system files, and problems with system services. Depending on the problem, you will need to try a variety of solutions to fix when the Windows 11 Taskbar stops working or won't load.

1. Restart Windows File Explorer

Windows Explorer is responsible for how you interact with the Windows 11 user interface. Restarting the service restarts the GUI process and fixes any temporary glitches that caused the Taskbar to stop working.

Your screen may flicker momentarily when Windows Explorer restarts. Your taskbar should start working now.

2. Install and re-register all Windows apps for all accounts

The Windows 11 taskbar may stop working due to problems with built-in applications and user accounts. To fix the problem, you can install and re-register all the pre-installed applications using the PowerShell cmdlet. Doing so will restore the Taskbar to its normal working state.

1. Press the Win key and type powershell.

2. Right-click Windows PowerShell and select Run as administrator.

3. In the PowerShell window, type the following command and press Enter:

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}

4. Now, Windows will try to install and re-register all built-in Windows applications. You'll see a red error message that the app already exists and cannot be reinstalled. Ignore the message and wait for the process to complete until you see the following line:

PS C:\Users\Administrator>

5. Close PowerShell and restart the computer. If you don't want to perform a system reboot, restart Windows Explorer in Task Manager.

3. Uninstall a recently installed version of Windows Update

If the Taskbar started not working after installing a Windows update, uninstall the update to see if it fixes the problem. Windows feature updates can sometimes damage more than they can fix.

Fortunately, you can uninstall updates in Windows 11 using the update history feature. Update history shows all recent updates installed for Windows 11. You may need to dig a little to find an update that coincides with the time the Taskbar stopped working. Next, uninstall the update and restart your PC to see if the Taskbar works again.

1. To get started, go to the Start menu search bar, type in settings and select the Best match. 

2. From there, select the Windows Update menu. Now, click on the Update history option.

3. The update history will be laid out on your screen. Click on Uninstall updates to begin the uninstallation procedure. As soon as you do that, a new dialog box will pop open with a list of updates installed on your copy of Windows. Choose the updates you’d like to get rid of and click on Uninstall.

4. Click on Yes on the final pop-up box to proceed with the uninstallation. As soon as you do that, the selected update will be uninstalled in a few seconds.

4. Close the system service causing the conflict

Problems with some system services, such as searchhost.exe and runtimebroker.exe, can cause the Taskbar to stop working. You can restart these services in Task Manager to resolve the issue.

To restart system services in Task Manager:

1. Open Task Manager.

2. In Task Manager, open the Details tab in the left pane.

3. Next, locate the following services. Right-click each service and select End Task.





4. After you restart all services, close Task Manager and restart your computer. After the computer restarts, check if the Taskbar is working.

5. Enable XAML for the Start menu with Registry Editor

Another great tip to troubleshoot Taskbar not working is to make the Start menu use XAML and address issues that might cause the menu to stop working.

This is an alternative for Windows 10, but it also works on Windows 11. That said, this method involves modifying the Windows Registry. Incorrectly modifying the registry can cause system crashes. Make sure to create a restore point and backup the registry before trying the steps below.

To enable XAML for the Start menu using the Registry Editor:

1. Press Windows Keys + R to open Run. Type regedit and click OK. Click Yes if prompted by User Account Control.

2. In Registry Editor, navigate to the following location. You can copy and paste the registry path for quick navigation:


3. Next, in the left pane, right-click the Advanced key and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.

4. Rename the value to EnableXamlStartMenu.

5. Next, double-click the newly created EnableXamlStartMenu value to modify it.

6. Enter 0 in the Value data field and click OK to save the changes.

7. Close Registry Editor and restart the PC.

6. Run System File Checker and DISM

Windows has a number of command-line utilities that restore and repair the system. For example System File Checker (SFC) can scan your system for missing or corrupted files and repair them.

A. To use the SFC, you need to run a single command in Command Prompt. Here’s how:

1. Press Win + S to open Windows Search and type command prompt in the search box.

2. This will bring up Command Prompt in the search result. Click on the Run as administrator option. Run Command Prompt Using Windows Search

3. In Command Prompt, enter the below command, and then hit the Enter key:

SFC /scannow

Alternatively, you can also use the Deployment Image Service Management (DISM) utility to repair a damaged Windows system image and restore your Windows without reinstalling the operating system.

B. Run the DISM /Cleanup-Image tool from the Command Prompt

1. Press Win + S to open Windows Search and type command prompt in the search box.

2. This will bring up Command Prompt in the search result. Click on the Run as administrator option. Run Command Prompt Using Windows Search

3. Type the following command and press Enter:

  • Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
  • Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
  • Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

7. Perform a system restore

You can use a recent system restore point to restore your PC to an earlier point when the Taskbar was working properly. A restore point helps you restore the Windows operating system when a driver, feature or application update crashes the system.

To use a restore point, make sure you've set up your PC to create a restore point automatically. The restore point affects system files and applications, and your data will not be affected in the process.

Your system may reboot a few times while the system restore is in progress. Leave the system in standby mode and wait for the process to complete. When the system reboots, you will see a success message. If not, try again with the same restore point or a different restore point if available.

1. Press Windows Keys + R to open the Run dialog. Type rstrui.exe and click OK.

2. In the System Restore dialog, you may be prompted to use a recommended restore point. Ensure the restore point was created before the taskbar stopped working, and click Next.

3. Alternatively, select Choose a different restore point option and click Next.

4. Here, select the Show more restore points option to view all restore points available.

5. Select the most recent one but created before the date of the taskbar issue and click Next. If you want to view which programs will be affected, click on Scan for affected programs.

6. Read the description and click on Finish to confirm your restore point.

8. Create a new user account

Corrupt user profiles can cause some system functions to stop working. To fix the problem, create a new user account and try accessing the Taskbar.

To create a local user account with netplwiz, follow the steps below:

1. Go to the Start menu search bar, type in netplwiz, and select the Best match.

2. In the netplwiz window, you’ll see the primary account on top. To set up a new account here, click on Add.

3. In the dialog box, click on Sign in without a Microsoft account (non-recommended).

4. Click on Local account and to go head with the account creation.

5. Enter a new username and password, and click on Next.

6. Click on Finish to finalize your account creation process.

You can create new user accounts in Windows 11 from Settings, using the User Accounts, Command Prompt, and Local Users and Groups dialog boxes. Next, log in to your new user account and check if the Taskbar is up and running.

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