By Yuka / Last update November 23, 2021

User case

Windows 11 taskbar icons not working

“I just installed Windows 11 on my computer and most of the taskbar icons are not working. My PC is compatible with Windows 11.  Icons for apps work perfectly fine, but icons like start, notification, Wi-Fi, volume, battery, etc. doesn't work (keyboard icon works).”

- Question from Microsoft Community

Windows 11 Taskbar Not Working After Update

Windows 11 has just made its official release shortly. Many users report that they have encountered some problems and minor errors during operation. Like the user in the case, Windows 11 taskbar not working after update is a common problem encountered by users. It got blocked and inactive that leaves you with absolutely no choice to take any further action.

What’s new of the Windows 11 taskbar compared to Windows 10?

Windows 11 began rolling out to eligible devices on October 5th, with a brand-new design and a series of new features designed to simplify your PC and help you improve your work efficiency. For instance, you'll be able to download Android apps on Windows 11, add Widgets to the interface, bring up the Microsoft Teams Chat bar directly from the taskbar in Windows 11 for easier access to your contacts, etc.

Compared with Windows 10, the Taskbar in Windows 11 has changed a lot.

In Windows 11, Microsoft centers the Taskbar and the Start Menu on the screen. It provides many customization options for adding or removing applications and programs from the Start menu.

Windows 11 Taskbar

  In place of the Action Center (called up by the notifications button in Windows 10), Windows 11 includes a Quick Settings menu which can quickly change the system volume, screen brightness, communications options, and more.

Windows 11 Quick Settings

In Windows 10, apps could create special status icons in a Notification Area on the far-right side of the taskbar beside the clock. In Windows 11, all of these icons are permanently hidden behind the “Overflow Area” on the left of the Quick Settings button.

Windows 11 Overflow Area

Many of these changes are only visual. Windows 11 and Windows 10 have the same functions, but the appearance is different.

How to fix Windows 11 taskbar not working after update

When using the initial Windows11 system, some users reported that they are facing issues with the Start Menu and the Taskbar after update. Such as Windows 11 Start Menu not working, Windows 11 taskbar missing, etc. In this post, you can learn how to fix the Taskbar not working in Windows 11.

Method 1: Shut down your device

We usually use the Start Menu to shut down or restart your device. But in this special case where the Windows 11 taskbar not working after update, you can use the power button to turn off the device, make it reload all components, and then restart your PC.

 Power Button

Method 2: Restart the services in Task Manager

  1. Press Ctrl + Alt + Del and choose Task Manager.
  2. In the Task Manager window, click on “Processes” tab, look for the “Windows Explorer” service. Right-click on this service and select “Restart”.

Restart Windows Explorer

  1. Then, click on the “Details” tab in the Task Manager. Look for the below-listed services, right-click one each, and select “End Task” in the same order:
  • ShellExperienceHost.exe
  • SearchIndexer.exe
  • SearchHost.exe
  • RuntimeBroker.exe

Details in Task Manager

Method 3: Restart your PC through Task Manager

Microsoft has provided official steps to fix Windows 11 taskbar not working issue.

  1. Press Ctrl + Alt + Del and choose Task Manager.
  2. Click on the More Details at the bottom of the Task Manager and expand it.

More Details

  1. Click on the File menu and choose Run New Task. This will open the run command.

Run New Task

  1. Type “cmd” in the Open field and click OK to launch the Command Prompt.

Open Command Prompt

  1. After that, paste the following command in the Command Prompt and hit Enter on your keyboard.
  • reg delete HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\IrisService /f && shutdown -r -t 0

Command Prompt

  1. Click Enter and restart the PC to fix the Windows 11 taskbar unresponsive problem.

Method 4: Repair system files via CMD

You can fix the Windows 11 taskbar not working problem by repairing the missing or damaged Windows 11 system files. This method is also applicable to the problem that Windows 11 Start Menu not working.

  1. Press Windows + R key combination to open the Run dialog box, type “cmd” and hit Enter.

Run Dialog Box

  1. Type the following commands and hit Enter after each:
  • Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
  • Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
  • sfc /scannow
  1. Wait until the check and any repairs are complete. Then restart your PC and try accessing the Taskbar again to see whether it’s active or not.

Method 5: Reinstall UWP with a PowerShell command

Reinstalling the basic UWP (Universal Windows Program) allows you to fix the "Windows 11 taskbar missing" problem. To reinstall UWP, you need to run commands in Windows PowerShell (Admin). Please follow these quick steps:

  1. Press Windows + X and select “Windows PowerShell (Admin)” option from the list.

Windows PowerShell

  1. Type the following command in the PowerShell window:
  • Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$ ($ _. InstallLocation) \ AppXManifest.xml”}
  1. If you see some red text in the PowerShell window at the same time, don't worry! Wait a few minutes until the command is successfully executed. Then restart your PC.

Backup computer before changing device settings

When you change device settings, you cannot predict what will happen to your computer. It is recommended that you back up your computer in advance. In case of any accident, you can easily restore computer to earlier date through this backup.

AOMEI Backupper, a free backup software, can help you create backups of your computer with ease. It also allows you to create bootable media to recover data and system when the computer cannot start normally. All Windows PC operating systems like Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP are supported.

It provides system backup, file backup, disk backup and partition backup. You can select one as per your needs.
It allows you to backup to different destinations. For instance, you can set up
automatic backup to USB drives, to internal and external hard drives, to NAS or network locations, etc.
♨ It provides three backup methods including Incremental Backup, Differential Backup and Full Backup. In order to save time and disk space, it’s recommended to select
incremental and differential backup feature. Differential backup is available after upgrading to higher editions.

If you want to change the device settings to solve the problem that the Windows 11 taskbar not working after update, please use AOMEI Backupper to back up your computer first.

Step 1. Download this freeware and install it on your computer.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 2. Launch this software to enter into the deep-blue interface. Click Backup->Disk Backup in order.

Disk Backup

Step 3. Click “+ Add Disk” to choose the source disk that you want to backup.

Select Source Disk

Step 4. Choose the destination path to store backup. Considering that you may change the device settings, it is recommended that you back up to an external disk.

Select Backup Destination

Step 5. After finishing all the settings, click Start Backup.

Start Backup

Notes✍: You can make some special settings according to your needs before clicking “Start Backup”.
✾ Options: you can write a note for the backup, enable email notification of the backup, make an encryption for the backup, etc. (Encryption is available in AOMEI Backupper Professional version at least).
✾ Schedule: you can set up backup frequency by this feature. Multiple choices are provided, including daily, weekly, monthly, event triggers, USB plug in. The last two types are available in advanced editions.
✾ Scheme: you can choose cleanup method as per your needs. 4 different methods are supported. This feature can delete old backups to free up disk space while keep the latest backup versions (available on AOMEI Backupper Professional at least).

Conclusion

To fix the “Windows 11 taskbar not working after update” issue, you can perform a variety of tasks mentioned in this article. In order to avoid any data loss or damage to the system when changing the device settings. Remember to backup your computer with the best free backup software—AOMEI Backupper in advance.

The benefits of having  backups are far beyond your imagination. If you meet Windows 11 black screen after update, this software can also help you solve it. The software also provides more powerful functions, including cloning, restoring, and synchronization. Try it yourself.

Also, you can choose to return Windows 11 to Windows 10 if you think it's not stable enough. Recently Microsoft release newly Windows 10 21H2 feature, which greatly improves productivity, management and security.