How to Fix a Frozen Windows 10 Taskbar

Some Windows users who recently upgraded to Windows 10, have made complaints of the tasks bar completely freezing multiple times. When this happens, users cannot click on any element on the taskbar, i.e. start menu, icons, notifications. Also, shortcuts like Windows + R and Windows + X don’t work.

This issue has not root cause as it’s very common on Windows. Some, however, have linked it to Dropbox and a couple of malfunctioning applications. In this article, we’ll explore the various options by which we can solve this problem. This includes running an SFC scan, uninstalling certain applications, starting explorer, among others.

Method 1: Restarting Windows Explorer

  1. Press the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys to launch the Windows Task Manager.
  2. In the Task Manager, click on File > Run new task. Type explorer in the open box and then check the box “Create this task with administrative privileges” and click OK.

Alternatively, you can:

  1. Press the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys to launch the Windows Task Manager.
  2. Search for Explorer in the processes tab
  3. Right-click on the Explorer entry and select Restart.
  4. Explorer will restart and the taskbar should start working again

Method 2: Running an SFC Scan

  1. Press the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys to launch the Windows Task Manager.
  2. In the Task Manager, click on Start > Run new task. Type cmd in the open box and then check the box “Create this task with administrative privileges” and click OK.
  3. In the command prompt, type the following commands, and hit Enter after each command:
    sfc /scannow
    
    dism /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
    

    This will run a system file check and repair all corrupt system files on your computer.

  4. Restart your PC and check if the frozen taskbar has ceased.

Method 3: Powershell Fix

Use this Powershell command to unfreeze the frozen taskbar using these steps.

  1. Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys to launch the Windows Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details, select the Services tab and make sure MpsSvc (Windows Firewall) is running.
  3. Press the Windows + R key to open the Run prompt. Type powershell in the prompt and hit Enter.
    If the Run prompt fails to open, press the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys to launch the Windows Task Manager, click on Start > Run new task. Type powershell in the open box and then check the box “Create this task with administrative privileges” and click OK.
  4. In the Powershell window, paste the following command and hit Enter:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}.
  5. Your taskbar should be fully functional after this.

Method 4: Enable the User Manager

A disabled User Manager may result in a frozen Windows 10 taskbar. Try re-enabling the User Manager with these steps.

  1. Press the Windows Key + R, type services.msc and click OK. This opens the services console.
  2. Search for User Manager and double-click it.
  3. Set the Startup type to Automatic and Start the service if it’s been stopped. Click OK.
  4. Restart your PC and the taskbar should function perfectly at this time.

Method 5: Uninstall Applications

Certain applications have been identified by some users which caused the taskbar from functioning properly. These applications are Dropbox and Classic Shell. If you suspect there are any applications causing this, you can remove it as well.

  1. Press the Windows + R keys to open the run prompt. Type appwiz.cpl and hit Enter.
  2. Locate the application in the installed applications list and then double-click it. Now, follow the prompts to complete the uninstallation.
  3. Reboot your PC and then check if the taskbar functions properly now.

Method 6: Disabling Recently Opened Items

Recently opened items can slow down the list launch. Disabling them makes it faster and prevents any freezing. Follow these instructions to disable recently opened items.

  1. Press Win + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Navigate to Personalization > Start
  3. Slide the toggle button next to Show recently opened items in Jump Lists on Start or the taskbar to turn it off.
  4. Your taskbar shouldn’t freeze on boot upon the next reboot

Method 7: System Restore

Some users fixed this issue after doing a simple system restore. Therefore, it is recommended that you perform a system restore on your computer to restore it to an earlier working date.

Method 8: Reset Default Windows 10 Services

If at this point none of the above methods have worked, try running this script as an administrator by right-clicking on it and selecting Run as administrator. If for some reason your WiFi doesn’t work anymore, follow the steps here (at Method 3 – Step 2: Option 2) to fix the WiFi issue.

Method 9: Perform a Clean Boot

Clean Boot means starting up the system with only windows services loaded and the default programs needed for the functioning of the system. There may be some 3rd party services causing this issue as it did for others. Therefore, it is recommended that you perform a Clean Boot and check if that fixes the issue.

Expert Tip

How to Fix a Frozen Windows 10 Taskbar

If the issue is with your Computer or a Laptop you should try using Reimage Plus which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Reimage by clicking the Download button below.

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