Guide to Changing the Windows Taskbar

Changing the Windows taskbar is often a necessity for users eager to customize the default layout of Windows. The Windows taskbar is an application bar near the bottom of the screen on Windows XP. It is used to keep track of applications currently in use, launch new applications and display computer functions with a variety of icons. Without it, navigation would be nearly impossible. It can, however, be changed to suit your preferences.

Unlocking The Taskbar
By default, the taskbar is locked. This means that changes cannot be made, which deters accidental alterations made during use. To unlock the taskbar, right click on the taskbar. In the box of options that opens, Lock the Taskbar will have a check mark next to it. Simply click once on Lock the Taskbar, and the taskbar will be unlocked. At this point, changes can be made.

Changing The Height And Location Of The Windows Taskbar
Often users are dissatisfied with the height and location of the Windows taskbar. By default, it is positioned at the bottom of the screen. To alter height and location, right click on the taskbar, and unlock it. Next, to alter the height of the taskbar, place cursor at the top of the taskbar. An arrow pointing in two directions will appear. Hold down the left click button on the mouse, and move the mouse up to change the height. To change the taskbar location, place the cursor in the middle of the taskbar. Holding down the left click button, move left, right or up to change the taskbar position.

Closing And Opening Taskbar Tabs
A major function of the Windows taskbar is temporarily storing, as tabs, programs or Web pages currently open but not being used. Let's imagine, for example, you are writing a document in Microsoft Word. To temporarily close the document, click on the minus sign at the farthest top right corner. This will minimize your document, and turn it into a taskbar tab. To open it, simply click once on the tab. This process is used to turn any active program or Web page into a taskbar tab. If you wish to close it entirely, simply click on an unopened taskbar and click Close on the option box which appears.

Changing The Taskbar's Appearance
To change the color of the Windows taskbar, right click on the desktop. In the option box that opens, left click on Properties. At the top of the box which opens, there will be five tabs. Left click once on the Appearance tab. Near the bottom left of the box which opens, there is an option to change the taskbar color. Click once on the Color Scheme box, and another color choice will be available in the short menu which appears below. Simply click once on the color choice, and the taskbar will change to the new color picked. In some versions, there is no other color choice available, and one must live with the default setting.

The Importance Of Customizing The Windows Taskbar
The Windows taskbar is one of the most effective tools for program and application organization. As such, users must often customize its look and function. With practice and exploration, utilizing the flexibility of the Windows taskbar will become increasingly simple. Customizing and changing the Windows taskbar will allow every user to work with a space that suits him specifically.

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