Please. Go. Away.
December 15, 2008 2:23 PM   Subscribe

How can I completely remove the Windows taskbar from view?

This is for Windows Vista. To be clear, I do not want to autohide the taskbar. I would like it to go away. Completely. I use Rocketdock and some other programs that make the taskbar totally obsolete, but I haven't found any way to hide it permanently. I don't even want it to load up with Windows, but if there's a one time hide command I can do on startup I guess that would suffice. I've searched and searched to no avail. Is there a program out there (or a Windows setting somewhere) that will do this for me? This seems like it should be simple! Am I missing something obvious here? Thank you thank you.
posted by theantikitty to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You need something like Emerge desktop, which is to say an alternative desktop shell. I've only played around with it a little bit, but Emerge should do what you want. Of course there are other desktop shells, but that's more or less what you want.
posted by oddman at 2:35 PM on December 15, 2008

well, if you unlock it, you can drag it downwards until it basically has no size. You still see a silver strip along the bottom, but that's all.

(I'm in XP, but I assume it's the same in Vista)
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:36 PM on December 15, 2008

Oops, I meant to also say that might be a good place to start looking for other shells. (Though I suspect that you might know about lifehacker already.)
posted by oddman at 2:36 PM on December 15, 2008

Could you not kill the explorer.exe process? That would kill the taskbar for sure.
posted by Brettus at 2:39 PM on December 15, 2008

Brettus: "Could you not kill the explorer.exe process? That would kill the taskbar for sure."

As well as killing the ability to open folders or navigate through the operating system.

As for the OP's question, oddman's suggestion is the best I can think of also.
posted by phaded at 2:59 PM on December 15, 2008

Response by poster: I wish, jrjimmy11. Vista taskbar is hardcore. So the only way to get rid of this sucker is to change the entire shell? Or, not use explorer at all, ala Brettus' suggestion? That seems really really uncool. I have tried Emerge before, but I couldn't get it to play nice with my desktop. I got a ton of errors every time on startup, and I'm not sure why. I find it very frustrating that something this simple is so very hard to accomplish. Thanks for the suggestions so far; they're definitely helpful and applicable. I just hope someone's going to come along and tell us about a tiny, lightweight program that will zap the taskbar away without major changes to the OS.
posted by theantikitty at 3:03 PM on December 15, 2008

There might be a way to accomplish this via playing around with local group policy on the Vista machine. I'm not at my computer right now, so I can't mess around with it to check, but I think this might be your best bet. You might want to peruse Microsoft's Knowledge Base or the MSDN info on group policy to guide you.

If local Group Policy can't solve it, and you don't come across a 3rd party tool that does this, then I would have to agree with what was said above - you'll need to unlock your taskbar and then manually drag it down so it is mostly hidden.

Good luck!
posted by karizma at 3:18 PM on December 15, 2008

Response by poster: I'm not sure if this is a me thing or a Vista thing, but my taskbar refuses to do what you're describing. I have done this on XP, so I know what you're talking about, but the Vista taskbar does not seem to have the ability to shrink down to that thin line. And yep, I did unlock it. I will check out the MS stuff you're talking about right now.
posted by theantikitty at 3:23 PM on December 15, 2008

Just checked and the vista taskbar doesn't shrink to a line -- guess they fixed that 'feature'.

Google gives me this (I've not tested it at all -- virusscan recommended =p).
posted by katrielalex at 3:42 PM on December 15, 2008

Best answer: I doubt there's a way to permanently lose it. The task bar is really a fundamental part of the UI and MS doesnt make it easy to get rid of. At this point you're probably looking for a shell replacement, not a modification. Even then you might have problems if rocketdock uses any of explorer's APIs.

Regardless, you could auto hide it and then apply these changes to group policy which minimizes it quite a bit and stops someone from making changes without first undoing the group policy changes first.

You can also move it to the right-hand side of the screen and autohide it there if its getting in your way at the bottom.
posted by damn dirty ape at 3:59 PM on December 15, 2008

Best answer: I'm not sure if RocketDock does this, but ObjectDock can make it go away for you.
posted by demagogue at 4:24 PM on December 15, 2008

Best answer: You could set it on auto-hide and turn off "always on top", then use a program like Samurize to create a thin overlay spanning the width of your monitor and placing it on top.
posted by wongcorgi at 4:32 PM on December 15, 2008

Demagogue is correct -- ObjectDock will make the taskbar completely disappear without a trace. No thin line along the bottom of the screen, no nothing. Go to Configure Dock > General Tab > Hide the Windows Taskbar. FWIW, I prefer OD over RD for reasons I don't really remember.
posted by puritycontrol at 4:52 PM on December 15, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for all of these great suggestions. I think to really do this properly you would indeed need to use a new shell or (more simply) get ObjectDock. I had already put a good amount of time into Rocketdock to customize it the way I wanted, so I decided to just bite the bullet and do what wongcorgi suggested. I put an opaque taskbar over the top of the Windows taskbar so that it's totally hidden. My Rocketdock still pops up over top of it, so I can effectively use it as my taskbar, but I don't get distracted by the start button or any of the icons in the system tray. Hopefully this thread will be helpful to the next person going insane over their desktop. If you care about losing the taskbar, get Objectdock BEFOREHAND! In case anyone is interested, this is what the blocked out taskbar looks like. This is what it looks like with Rocketdock. (Desktop is 10-foot HUD on Rainmeter)
posted by theantikitty at 7:27 PM on December 15, 2008

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