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Move the Taskbar to Create Additional Vertical Screen Space

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Experience Level: Beginner
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Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
50+ yrs in computer industry. Everything from programming to sales. OS kernel dev on mainframes. CIO. Document imaging. EE MVE 2015 & 2016.
In this video, we discuss why the need for additional vertical screen space has become more important in recent years, namely, due to the transition in the marketplace of 4x3 computer screens to 16x9 and 16x10 screens (so-called widescreen format). We then explain how to increase the vertical screen space by moving the taskbar off the bottom of the screen to the left side of the screen. We show this in Windows 7, but the technique also works in XP, Vista, and Windows 8.

Video Steps

1. Access the Taskbar Properties.

There are two ways to access the Taskbar Properties.

The first is to right-click in an open space on the taskbar, which brings up a context menu. From the context menu, select "Properties" and this will show all options related to the Taskbar (and Start Menu).

Alternatively, the easier way to get to the Properties is via your Control Panel. Open Control Panel and select the "Taskbar and Start Menu" applet. This will show the same options as the first method.
context menu

2. Try out the Auto-hide feature.

Auto-hide will allow the Taskbar to hide when you are not near it.

To enable this feature, tick the "Auto-hide the taskbar" box in Properties and click "Apply". Move the mouse towards the bottom of the screen to see how distracting Auto-hide is (and why many users don't like it).

After trying it, un-tick the "Auto-hide the taskbar" box in Properties and click "Apply" again.

auto-hide

3. Review the time and date display by hovering the mouse over the time on the far right side of the Taskbar.

This shows the day of the week and date in a pop-up bubble. This functionality will change once we move our Taskbar to the left.
date and time

4. Return to your Taskbar Properties.

Open Control Panel and select the "Taskbar and Start Menu" applet to display the Properties of the Taskbar.
properties menu

5. Move the Taskbar to the left side of the screen.

Click the "Taskbar location on screen" drop-down and select Left. Click "Apply". This will move it to the left side. Also, I recommend ticking the "Use small icons" box, as this will utilize Taskbar space better (but, of course, this is a matter of taste).
move taskbar

6. Attempt to increase width of taskbar.

Position the mouse on the right edge of the taskbar to get the sizer. It does not work because the taskbar is locked.

7. Unlock the taskbar.

Right-click in an empty space on the taskbar and select "Properties". Un-tick the "Lock the taskbar" box and click "OK".
unlock taskbar

8. Make the taskbar wider.

Hover the mouse on the right edge of the taskbar and you will now have a sizer. Drag slowly to the right until you increase the number of icons in a single row of the system tray (notification area) from two to three. You will now have the time, day of the week, and date at the bottom of the system tray (notification area).
new date and time

9. Enjoy your additional vertical screen space!


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