Windows 11 users rejoice - the case of the disappearing taskbar has been solved

A woman smiling while sitting at a table and using a laptop
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Earlier this month, some Windows 11 users noticed that their taskbar was behaving strangely and disappearing following a recent update - and it looks like Microsoft has now released a fix for the annoying bug.

A new preview build has been released in the Beta Channel of the Windows Insider Program this week that looks like it’s bringing fixes for multiple reported issues, including the taskbar problem, which saw it appearing as a blank space for some users, before slowly reloading. 

The Windows Insider Program is a Microsoft-run community for professionals and Windows enthusiasts who would like the most up-to-date information about new developments, and the ability to try new features and versions of Windows in order to provide feedback ahead of their release to the wider user base. 

BetaNews also writes of another taskbar-related error that’s apparently been plaguing users for weeks: whenever they would load Windows 11, it would take several seconds for the taskbar to appear. 

These sorts of task-bar related issues are annoying for a number of reasons, the biggest of which is that it becomes a lot harder to start and run applications, and limits the user’s ability to actually engage with the OS, since the Windows 11 taskbar is such an essential part of the operating system’s user interface. 

A woman sitting at a computer and smiling

(Image credit: Antonio Guillem/Shutterstock)

The nature of the Beta Channel update

The newly-created fix is only available in the Beta, Dev, and Canary Channels of the Windows Insider Program for now. This means that Microsoft is still testing and collecting feedback about the build, and it will probably take a couple of weeks before it makes its way to the Stable Channel (through which most users get updates that are in their final iteration and deemed ready for release by Microsoft). BetaNews speculates that this release could fall on March’s Patch Day which is March 12, 2024.

At the moment, the build that’s currently available in the Beta Channel doesn't introduce any major new features, and the focus of this update is specifically the fixes for the reported issues above. Other updates in the preview build, according to an official Windows Insider Blog post, include a new badge for Widget notifications to notify users when there are unread Widget notifications, and higher quality Widget icon images that should appear sharper. 

While Windows 11’s taskbar problems did take a little while to be addressed by Microsoft, and seems the vocal backlash finally got the company to spring into action, it’s good that the problems seemed to have been finally fixed. If you absolutely cannot stand the faulty taskbar behavior, you can join the Windows Insider Program (which is free), and then join the Beta Channel.


Computing Writer

Kristina is a UK-based Computing Writer, and is interested in all things computing, software, tech, mathematics and science. Previously, she has written articles about popular culture, economics, and miscellaneous other topics.

She has a personal interest in the history of mathematics, science, and technology; in particular, she closely follows AI and philosophically-motivated discussions.