- The Windows taskbar is a system toolbar that is a main feature of the Windows operating systems such as Windows XP, Vista and 7. The taskbar provides users with easy access to the "Start" menu and lists currently open applications and windows. A notification area called the system tray appears on the right side of the taskbar. It contains links to items such as network connections, anti-virus software and sound settings. You can adjust how the taskbar looks and functions by modifying several settings options.
Taskbar Position and Size
- One of the most basic taskbar options in Windows XP is the size and position of the taskbar. The default position of the taskbar is at the bottom of the screen and the default size allows for one row of icons in the system tray. By clicking on the taskbar and then dragging the mouse to the sides or top of the screen, the Taskbar can be set to the sides or top of the screen. The size of the taskbar can be altered by clicking on the edge of the taskbar, holding down the mouse button, and then dragging the mouse up or down. Widening the taskbar allows you to view more items in the system tray and main taskbar area at once, but it will use up more of the monitor's screen space.
Locking the Taskbar
- Locking the taskbar is an option that prevents the taskbar from being moved or resized. Selecting this option will prevent you from accidentally adjusting the taskbar position or size while using it. Right-click the "Start" button, select "Properties," select the "Taskbar" tab, check the "Lock the taskbar" box and then click "OK" to set this option.
Auto-hiding the Taskbar
- Auto-hiding the taskbar is another option in the taskbar tab. Auto-hiding the taskbar will cause the taskbar to disappear when the mouse isn't near the taskbar. When this option is turned on, the taskbar will pop- up as soon as you move the mouse to the location where the taskbar would normally appear.
Taskbar Window Priority
- "Keep the taskbar on top of other windows" is another taskbar option. Selecting this option will make the taskbar always appear on top of windows that might otherwise cover it.
- Toolbars are extra tools that can be added to the taskbar for convenience. For instance, the "Address" toolbar adds an address line to the taskbar that can be used to type in Web addresses directly into the taskbar. You can also use the "Address toolbar to enter commands that you would normally type into the "Run" text field. Right-click an empty space on the taskbar, point to "Toolbars" and then click on any of the toolbar options listed to enable the toolbar.