After initially upgrading to Windows 10 on my Dell Latitude laptop, I noticed that occasionally the Taskbar would literally stop responding. Initially the only fix I found was to do a complete shut down and restart my machine. Not even a standard reboot would fix it. What made this more frustrating was that the Start Menu and Run Command options are no longer available when clicking the Windows Icon Key in Windows 10 making it intuitively more difficult to launch the Task Manager to diagnose and fix the issue. Typically you just left click on the Taskbar to start the Task Manager, but you can’t do that with no access to the Taskbar. The ultimate fix was to launch the Task Manager via keyboard shortcuts and restart the Windows Explorer application.
Before you apply this fix, make sure your Taskbar is not merely just hidden. If you position your mouse near where your Taskbar normally appears, make sure the mouse does not change to indicate that you can simply click and drag to expand your task bar back. If that doesn’t do the trick, proceed with restarting Windows Explorer.
1) Press the Windows Icon Key + X to Launch the Windows 10 hidden Start Menu and launch the Task Manager
Pressing Windows Icon Key + X is a Windows 10 shortcut that will help you solve a lot of issues. Note that the Run Command is accessible via this menu as well as many other options. In this case we need to start the Task Manager.
Alternately you can press Control + Shift + ESC to load the Task Manager directly.
2) Display “More Details” within the Task Manager
If the option to display “More Details” appears at the bottom of your Task Manager, click the toggle to display those details.
3) Find Windows Explorer
Windows Explorer is located near the bottom of the list under “Windows Processes”
4) Restart Windows Explorer
Right click on Windows Explorer and click on the “Restart” menu option.
After restarting Windows Explorer, your Taskbar should work again.