How to Make the Taskbar Smaller on Windows 10

Easily change the size of the taskbar or hide it completely

What to Know

  • Standard size: Right-click taskbar > uncheck Lock the taskbar > drag taskbar.
  • Really small: Right-click taskbar > Taskbar settings > Use small taskbar buttons.
  • Disappear: Open taskbar settings > Automatically hide the taskbar in desktop mode.

This article explains how to change the size of the Windows 10 taskbar, how to make its icons smaller to create a miniature taskbar, and how to hide it for the most screen space.

How to Change a Taskbar That’s Too Big

A huge taskbar takes up too much of the screen. Here's how to get it back to its regular size:

  1. Unlock the taskbar if it’s currently locked. Do this by right-clicking the taskbar and selecting Lock the taskbar. No check mark means it’s unlocked.

    Lock all taskbars highlighted from Windows 10 taskbar right-click menu.

    Every instance of taskbars in a multi-monitor setup will be plural, such as Lock all taskbars.

  2. Click and hold the top of the taskbar where the desktop and taskbar meet. When the mouse hovers over this area, it should change to a double-sided arrow.

  3. Drag downward to make the taskbar smaller. Let go when it’s at the size you want (stopping at the bottom of the screen is the smallest it can be with this method).

    At this point, you can lock the taskbar again by reversing step 1.

    Resizing the taskbar in Windows 10.

How to Make the Taskbar Even Smaller

The click-and-drag method will only go so far. If you want the Windows 10 taskbar to be even smaller, you have to edit its settings.

  1. Right-click the taskbar and chose Taskbar settings.

    Selecting the Taskbar settings in the right-click context menu.
  2. Locate the Use small taskbar buttons option from the right pane and select the button next to it. The taskbar will immediately become noticeably smaller.

    Use small taskbar buttons option in Windows 10 taskbar settings

Other Tips

Another setting is auto-hide the taskbar, which makes it disappear unless you move your mouse over the taskbar area. Then you can see more of your screen at once and reduce distractions but still get access in seconds. Do this by selecting Automatically hide the taskbar in desktop mode from the taskbar settings screen.

Another way to make the taskbar seem less cluttered is to combine buttons and hide every button's label. When you do this, every open program converts into a small button, and each program groups multiple instances of itself within that one button. It creates a much cleaner taskbar which is easier on the eyes and feels smaller. To get this, return to the taskbar settings and enable Always, hide labels in the Combine taskbar buttons menu.

Why Change the Taskbar Size?

For most people, the taskbar rests at the bottom of the screen and goes virtually unnoticed, sitting there as a static piece of Windows for opening programs and reading the date and time. But power users know there's a little more to it.

If having a more open screen is vital to you, then you've probably figured out how to move the taskbar. It can display at the top or either side of the screen or even on all your connected monitors.

In our experience, moving the taskbar can sometimes cause it to be a bit thicker than it was in its previous position. If this happens, the only way around it is to resize it, which, as you read above, is pretty easy to do.

Another reason to make the Windows 10 taskbar smaller or larger is if a software glitch or other issue accidentally resized it. People with kids will also know leaving them unmonitored on a computer for a few hours results in you having to undo, redo, and reset various menus and settings they somehow managed to alter. Fortunately, editing the taskbar size isn't hard.

  • How do I make Windows icons smaller?

    To change icon sizes on the desktop, right-click any empty space on the desktop > View > choose an icon size.

  • How do I hide the Windows 10 taskbar?

    Right-click any blank area in the taskbar, then select Taskbar settings. Next, turn on the Automatically hide the taskbar in desktop mode toggle. The taskbar will remain hidden unless you hover over it.

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