With the possible exception of Windows 8, the Windows task bar hasn’t really changed a great deal over the years. Sure, some things have been added to enhance it, but the Start orb / button is still there, the clock still shows in the bottom right, there’s still a system tray for notifications and programs to show information and if you know how to enable them, the Quick Launch icons can be made visible. This means you can jump from one Windows operating system to another and almost instantly know where everything on the Task bar is.
Unfortunately, because a lot goes on inside the Task bar it is quite prone to develop problems and issues, and this is quite common in XP because it is highly configurable and can be modded so easily. Some of the common problems are the task bar being in the wrong position or the wrong size or even going missing completely, the Quick Launch going missing, programs not displaying on the bar correctly, the clock going missing, the list of possible issues is quite extensive.
For Windows XP users at least, there is a great little tool that has actually been around since 2004 and is specifically designed to perform a number of common repairs to the Windows Task bar and some of the related functions available on it. Taskbar Repair Tool Plus! is a utility from the well known XP tweaking and information site Kelly’s Corner and not only allows you to repair various Task bar, Quick Launch and also Notification Area related problems, but also allows you to customize some options for them as well.
The program is completely portable and you simply run it and look for a relevant fix related to the problem you’re having in one of the drop down boxes, there are around 35 options in all. If the problem is connected with the Task bar, simply look in that drop down for the fix, the same for the notification area and Quick Launch. Once the required option has been found just select it and usually a fix box will appear in the right hand pane with a bit more detail about the issue. Clicking on the Repair or option button will fix the problem mentioned, sometimes a restart of Explorer is needed to complete the repair.
You will have probably noticed the that the splash window on start notifies you some options are disabled in the free version and the license to unlock them is $5. However, as some of the disabled options are simple registry changes or fixes that are freely available elsewhere on the web, we thought it would be useful to list them here for your convenience. Simply download and run the reg file, VB script or program. For more information about the fix, look in the program where the description is still viewable although the button is greyed out. Those without a link we couldn’t find a fix for and you will have to source your own or buy the program.
Stuck in Classic View
Download Registry file
Restore to XP Task bar to Default
Download VBS fix from Kelly’s Corner
Remove Specific Tool bars or Remove All
Remove System Icons from Desktop Tool bar
Restore Task bar to Default Position
Download Microsoft Fix it 50192
Remove Selective Icons (also from Msconfig/Registry)
Auto Add Specific Links to Quick Launch
Set Quick Launch as Default for any new user added
Download Registry file
Taskbar Repair Tool Plus! is designed for Windows XP only and most if not all of the fixes will not work on other Windows versions, so it’s not recommended to use them unless you know for certain they will work.