XP Taskbar Question

Well, I got a new computer at work today (Windows XP Professional, SP2) and I’ve been working at copying over my files, setting up prefrences, etc. On my old computer (and every other XP system I’ve used) I can create a “Quick Launch” area on the left side of the taskbar where I copy shortcuts for frequently used programs. When the taskbar is unlocked there is a sizing handle that I can expand or shrink the size of the Quick Launch section.

Now, here’s the problem. On the new computer, whenever I add the Quick Launch toolbar the taskbar immediately doubles in height. The start button and Quick Launch are on the top row, and the taskbar buttons for open programs are on the bottom row. Both rows have what looks like a sizing handle, but neither one can be moved.

I’m sure there is a setting somewhere to control this behavior, but I haven’t been able to find it? Does anyone know how to change this?


Right click the task bar, choose properties, then place a checkmark in the box that says “Show Quick Launch”

Okay, ignore me, I apparently have reading comprehension problems. I missed the entire second paragraph of your post. :smack:

I’ll have to see if I can recreate your problem. I’ll let you know if I figure it out.

Make sure the taskbar is not locked (right-click on taskbar, uncheck “Lock the Taskbar”) and then drag the top edge of the taskbar down.

Since there may be some XP gurus showing up soon, I’d like to tack on another question.

When I log on to my laptop’s local account, I have the full range of tabs in the display properties box. When I log on as a domain user, the settings and screen saver tabs are missing - even though my user account has full administrator rights.

I am quite familiar with using poledit.exe to restrict user access to local settings in previous versions of Windows, but XP doesn’t seem to use it. I am also forbidden from running regedit.exe when logged on as a domain user (again, even though my domain user profile has full admin rights). When I log on locally, I can run regedit.exe just fine.

Any ideas what is preventing these tabs from appearing when I log on as a domain user, or how I can alter the system policy settings for my domain profile? Does XP use something similar to poledit.exe in order to restrict user settings? I have tried to log on locally and run regedit, but these registry settings only seem to apply to the local account profile.


Okay, I just messed with it and if I understand what you’re saying, you can’t just drag the top edge of the taskbar down. Right?

Try this. Grab the resizing bar for the quick launch and drag it all the way over the system tray (or even past it). It should jump up to the top row. Now grab the resizing bar between the start menu and the active programs (task bar) and drag it to the right until it switches places with the quick launch icons. Now drag the top edge of the task bar down, then resize the quick launch to the size you want. The lock the task bar.

Patty: You mean want to try using gpedit.msc. I THINK it is XP’s equivilent to poledit.exe…

Your domain administrators must have applied a Group Policy. Not many ways around it, unless you are a domain admin and can exclude your PC from the scope of the policy. You could try running mmc.exe and adding the Group Policy Snap-In, but usually any edits you make are overridden by the domain policy.

You can view these policies by downloading adminpack.msi for Windows XP. It has a tool to let you view all of the policies that apply to your PC.

That was the first thing I tried. It will not go any smaller than double-height as long as the quick launch is present.

As I said in the OP, the resizing bar will not move. Even if the taskbar is unlocked. This is very strange behavior for XP.

If Tamarin’s suggestion doesn’t work, can you please take a screenshot of the current taskbar including the misbehaving quicklaunch? Use tinypic.com if you need a picture host.

Also, can you make the taskbar larger than two rows if you drag it upwards?

I’ll do this when I get back in the office Monday morning if I haven’t come up with a solution by then. Thanks.

Yes, I can make it as large as I want, and I can move it to the sides or the top of the screen. I just can’t make it “normal” height.

Have you tried doing this?

Nope. I’ll give that a try on Monday and let you know. Thanks for the suggestions.

BTW, the taskbar in your example (at the beginning) is exactly how mine appears.

Gah! Apparently I need to get some sleep or something. Sorry I missed that too. Give me one more chance. (Or feel free to ignore me. :D)

Do you still get the double-arrow “resizing” cursor when you mouse over the resizing bars? If so, when you try to drag them, how quickly are you moving the mouse?

The reason I ask is that when I tested this on a laptop here, if I try to drag the resizing bar slowly, I get the double-arrow cursor, but the resizing bar never moves, even if I drag it all the way to the taskbar.

However, if I drag the resizing bar quickly, it seems to not be moving until I get the double-arrow cursor all the way over to the system tray.

Reply, I played around on my system at home and was able to both replicate the problem and the solution. Hopefully this will work on Monday on my work system. If not, I’ll resurrect this thread.

Thanks everyone for your help.

Great… hope that works. Let us know if it doesn’t :slight_smile: