Here’s how to relocate the Windows XP Taskbar:

August 11, 2009

  1. The taskbar needs to be “unlocked” before you can move it. To check, right-click the taskbar and ensure that “Lock the Taskbar” is not ticked. If there is a tick, click “Lock the Taskbar” to untick it.
  2. If necessary, close one or more running programs to free up some open space on the taskbar. Click an open area of the taskbar and hold down the mouse button.Be sure to click and hold near the centre of the taskbar. Clicking and dragging near the edge of the taskbar may simply widen it without moving it. The cursor should not turn into a double-headed arrow. If it does, you need to move the mouse cursor closer to the centre of the taskbar before dragging.
  3. With the mouse button still pressed, drag the taskbar to the top or side of the screen.
  4. Release the mouse button and the taskbar will remain docked to the chosen position.
Screenshots showing taskbar located in different positions

Left Windows Taskbar Top Windows Taskbar Right Windows Taskbar

The taskbar can be used in the normal way regardless of where on the screen it is located. However, you might find that having the taskbar on the left or right side of the computer encroaches on the available screen space a little too much. I find that locating the taskbar at the top of the screen works quite well. The taskbar position that works most efficiently for you is a matter of personal taste.

If you want to go back to the “traditional” taskbar position, simply drag the taskbar back to the bottom of the screen until it docks. Be sure to unlock the toolbar as described above.


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