Windows 11 multi-monitor taskbar issue

Occasional Contributor

I just upgraded from win10 Pro this morning, also installing all updates.

I'm running 3 monitors on an HP Omen - 1=laptop, 2=left, 3=right.

I have taskbar on for all monitors in settings.

If I disable taskbar autohide, then the taskbars show properly on all monitors.

If I enable taskbar autohide, then the "autohidden" taskbars on 2 or 3 do not pop up.

 

I've read of other taskbar issues - such as blank taskbars, but this is not that.

I had no such issue while running Windows 10 this morning prior to the upgrade to Windows 11.

 

System info:

HP Omen 17t-an100 CTO

32GB RAM

Windows 11 Pro, ver. 21H2, Build 22000.194

Drive C: Toshiba KXG50ZNV256G (256G - 136G free)

Drive D: Toshiba MQ04ABD200 (2TB - 1.8TB free)

Microprocessor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-8750H CPU @ 2.20GHz

Display adapter: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070

Monitor 1: HP 17.3" diagonal 4K IPS anti-glare WLED-backlit (3840 x 2160 max)

Monitor 2: HP Z23i IPS Display (Connected via Kensington USB3.0 DisplayLink Video Dock)

Monitor 3: HP Z23i IPS Display (Connected via Kensington USB3.0 DisplayLink Video Dock)

All 3 monitors are set to 1920x1080 resolution.

25 Replies
#metoo
Ryzen / Rx480 / 4 monitors... all but the main monitor taskbar don't pop up
Additional info:
Re: Taskbars don't show on external monitors when "autohide" is enabled.

Preliminary: The taskbars were working flawlessly and simultaneously on all 3 monitors (left, laptop, right) with Windows 10. The only thing that changed was that I upgraded to Windows 11 - no other application or driver updates other than what is automatically included in the Win11 upgrade.

Taskbar behavior is set to: "automatically hide the taskbar", and "Show my taskbar on all displays". The taskbar functions properly only on the "Main Display" whether it's the laptop display or one of the external monitors. When I set the taskbar options to include all displays, the taskbar on the external displays pops up briefly (< 1 second) then disappears and won't automatically reappear when I move the cursor to the external monitor taskbar area. HOWEVER, even though the taskbar on the external monitors doesn't automatically popup when I move my cursor to the bottom of the screen, I can left or right click at the bottom of the screen then the hidden taskbar will show and remain - fully functional - even though I move the cursor away, and hides again when I click anywhere else.

If I disable "Automatically hide the taskbar", then the taskbar shows properly on all displays. When I switch back to "automatically hide the taskbar" then the taskbars won't reappear on the external monitors as expected.

Simply put - the taskbars are there, but the ones that aren't on the Main Display won't automatically unhide when moving the cursor to the bottom of the screen.

I opened a case via support chat with MS, but after jumping through hoops for a couple hours, I was referred to level 2 support. Either I could wait on chat for the next available tech with no indication of a wait time, or they could schedule a callback 10 days from now!

The general steps I took with MS:
Ran SFC /scannow (0 errors).​
Ran DISM with various switches (0 errors).​
Downloaded the Win11 ISO and ran an in-place reinstall while retaining my user data.​
Re-ran all the Win11 updates.​
... and nothing changed.

@Teligence1970  - SAME!

 

I'm experiencing the same exact issue with the Windows 11 Taskbar not auto-hiding.  After unpinning some apps from the taskbar, it seems to work intermittently, but still buggy (my 2nd monitor usually unhides on hover as it should now, but my 3rd display doesn't most of the time).  Please let me know what you find out.... Thanks!

OK, now it's getting weird: I kept the settings on for 1. "Automatically hide the taskbar" and 2. "Show my taskbar on all displays".
What's weird is that sometimes (not all the time) when my laptop comes out of sleep mode, all 3 taskbars show on each monitor as through "Automatically hide the taskbar" was disabled. In this state, I go into taskbar behavior and it still shows "Automatically hide the taskbar" enabled. The taskbars continue to show "unhidden" until I disable "Automatically hide the taskbar" and re-enable it, or until I restart. This particular instability has only been happening for the past few days.

@Teligence1970I just upgraded to Windows 11 last night and I'm having the same issue with my second monitor's taskbar. It won't re-appear after moving the mouse down to the bottom of the screen. What has worked as a "fix" is what the other commenter said, I unpinned the one icon I had pinned to the taskbar and now it properly reappears on my second screen. I was even able to re-pin the icon and it still works properly. We'll see if that continues to work after a reset though...

Interesting - I'll give it a try - as a test - not a solution.
It's a bit irritating that MS released Win11 before properly testing this well-used user interface (multiple taskbars.)
Yeah I was also taken aback about something so seemingly simple being broken.

 

To clarify my experience, the taskbar autohides just fine (albeit buggy/unresponsive at times), but rather doesn't auto-unhide as it should on my secondary or third displays. Approximately 10% of the time, it works, then randomly stops unhiding on demand.  Right-clicking the taskbar seems to wake it up, so to speak, but right-clicking the taskbar is reserved for accessing the taskbar settings.  Obviously, MS is aware of the issue, but it should be a relatively simple fix.  Overall, I like the new OS overhaul in Windows 11, but there are some features that it's seriously lacking that should be standard, and the first that comes to mind is the ability to customize the taskbar to function more like a dock.  I don't expect it to mimic MacOS of course, but something as dynamic would be nice, especially the ability to position the taskbar/whatever you wanna call the current implementation of whatever it is ??? - to any position - and even individually on separate displays. 

I can manually pull up taskbars on #2 and #3 displays by right-clicking in the lowest part of the respective display where they should popup just by moving the mouse there.
I unpinned a single app from the taskbar, and the taskbar on my #2 display started "auto-responding", but not the taskbar on the #3 display. After unpinning other apps from the taskbar with intermittent short-term success for taskbars on #2 and #3 displays, none of them will auto-unhide after restart(s).
After unpinning all apps that can be unpinned and then restarting, #2 & #3 taskbars can still be manually pulled up but can no longer be set to auto-unhide.
Proper taskbar operation on multiple display remains unstable.

@bawb88This worked for me as well. Actually, I attempted to unpin it, which it didn't move but started working as is should on the 2nd and 3rd monitor. Thanks!

@Renee_A_Barksdale 

Still working properly after restart?

I found a workaround solution. Basically if you right click where the taskbar is supposed to be it will appear. Until MS rolls out a patch it's the best solution.
As both ChrisDC and I said earlier, but maybe it was lost in the verbosity? ;)
FYI - I have an open, active case with MS Support - I'll keep ya'll updated with any relevant intel...
For me it does not. I have to unpin and re-pin an icon on the bar to make it function properly again. Most annoying is that if I don't have anything pinned it won't work at all either. So I have to pin an icon, unpin it, and then re-pin once gain...

I'm going to try out Bullprun's idea next time it happens though.
This seems to have worked for me too very weird. I hope they fix this issue, it may be small but it is an annoyance for sure.

Interesting that the unpin/re-pin works for some and not others.

1. A good, simple data point might be whether or not your additional monitors are connected directly to your computers  or whether you're using external display ports or something.

2. If it IS working properly for  others, then their configuration may be beneficial in resolving this nuisance.

 

The inconsistency is really odd - especially since it was rock-solid in Windows 10 - for me at least.

my displays are connected to my GPU directly with cable HDMI DP

Yep, and as of the last update, it's only gotten worse - now my taskbar is empty until approximately 5 to 10 seconds after I manually unhide the auto-hidden taskbar (right-click) on any of my additional displays. The Taskbar in Windows 11 is simply broken, and is in dire need of a complete fix (and absolutely must have more options for customization, position etc.). If MS Win Dev Team doesn't make if far better of an experience than the Windows 10 taskbar, then what good is the upgrade? This is counterproductive to my workflow and I find it puzzling that MS, who is supposed to be at the highest level of development in the industry, let this go unfixed, knowing it was an issue before the public release (???). If MS wants to finally give us a dock, then why a half-azz concoction that doesn't even work? Maybe they should take a page from Stardock's book lol.

 

...And, it's quite clear that the issue has little to no do with configuration, but the taskbar itself has some coding issues... I'm guessing someone didn't fully recode the new taskbar, but rather only changed the aesthetics/visuals - just a guess, but it would explain a lot here.