Buttery Taskbar: The Better Way to Hide Your Taskbar
Save space on your screen by permanently hiding the taskbar when it's not needed. This is a much-needed fix for Windows' default taskbar auto-hide.
Essentially, we're combining the taskbar with the Start Menu.
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- The Purpose of a Buttery Taskbar
- Installation and Usage
- Tips for Making the Most of Your Buttery Taskbar
- Known Issues and Other Notes
Want more detailed information and guidance? Head over to the wiki for the real deal.
The Purpose of a Buttery Taskbar
The taskbar in Windows can be rather annoying—especially if you want to maximise your screen's real estate. So, I developed Buttery Taskbar.
In addition to making your Windows desktop feel cleaner and less cluttered, the underlying goal of this simple application is to increase your productivity.
- Buttery Taskbar has only one purpose: to keep the taskbar hidden when the Start Menu is closed, and vice versa.
- It is beautifully simple and lightweight.
- Placing the mouse cursor on the edge of the screen will not show the taskbar.
What's Wrong With the Regular Taskbar Auto-Hide?
While you can achieve this with the built-in auto-hide feature, it isn't without its problems. As I have alluded to earlier, the taskbar can be annoying.
For example, I've found it immensely irritating when accidentally moving the cursor to the edge of the screen on which the taskbar is situated. The consequence? That intrusive taskbar glides onto the screen, shamelessly, hence denying me access to the controls I desire. Subsequently, I would have to withdraw my cursor and attempt the manoeuvre once more.
Also, even if I don't run into the taskbar, extra effort is necessary to avoid it.
Regardless of what side of the screen the taskbar is on, auto-hide will get in your way.
Moreover, the taskbar can occasionally get your face when you least expect it; applications that want your attention, for example, will stop at nothing to keep that taskbar open. It must know that you would rather stare at a flashing orange icon rather than continue your highly-focused work in Microsoft Word!
Installation and Usage
Download the latest release of Buttery Taskbar.
Make sure to set your taskbar to auto-hide. Although we won't be using the taskbar-appears-on-cursor-hover element of this feature, it is essential for a happy, positive experience. If you don't do this, you'll end up with a huge, unusable gap where the taskbar would be. Auto-hide makes this gap tiny.
You will need to use the Windows key to view the taskbar.
- Tray icon to control the application
- Automatic start on boot
- Automatic updates
- Ability to temporarily disable the application's functionality
- Ability to disable always forcing the taskbar's hidden state when the Start Menu is closed (sometimes the taskbar will reappear by itself).
- To complement your Buttery Taskbar, use Taskbar Hider by IT Samples to toggle the taskbar's visibility with a keyboard shortcut (try the Ctrl + Shift shortcuts if the Windows key shortcuts do nothing). In order for this to work, you will need to disable Keep taskbar hidden in Buttery Taskbar.
Tips for Making the Most of Your Buttery Taskbar
You may be asking, "But wait! Doesn't this application bring more inconvenience than it does good?" No.
If you're used to using the mouse a lot, it may take some time to get used to your new Buttery Taskbar. However, once you do, the benefits will be worth it.
Leveraging Keyboard Shortcuts
There are other ways to navigate the Windows desktop—without the need of the taskbar, of course. These include shortcuts such as:
Tab(switch between windows)
Escape(cycle through windows in the order in which they were last used) These shortcuts enhance productivity by themselves, even without a Buttery Taskbar!
For more productive keyboard shortcuts, see this: How to Navigate Windows 10: 123 Most Valuable Shortcuts.
Get Yourself Some Macro Keys—on Your Mouse
Additionally, you can do what I love very much: using a multitude of macro keys on a mouse.
My top recommendation is the Logitech G502, which is brilliant for productivity at a great price. For more details, you can see my epic review.
With this mouse, you can bind various shortcuts to the programmable buttons (like the Windows key) for efficient navigation of the Windows desktop. This will give you the best experience using Buttery Taskbar.
Embrace the Superior Taskbar!
Another way to make your taskbar better is to use a vertical, wide taskbar. Because you only see it when the Start Menu is open, the taskbar width doesn't matter.
If you want more details on how to make your taskbar better for convenience and productivity, read about the 4 Incredible Taskbar Customisation Tricks You Need to Know.
The program has only been tested and known to work on Windows 10.
Buttery Taskbar supports multiple monitors.
Known Issues and Other Notes
- You may want to consider putting some of your notification tray icons in the overflow/hidden menu (including the Buttery Taskbar icon) for easier access to the context menus. Sometimes it can be a bit fiddly trying to access them from the taskbar directly when using Buttery Taskbar
To get an idea of where one could take this program, view the project board.
Note: development for the Buttery Taskbar is currently paused (or at least very slow) in favour of other projects and potential future software. Visit https://www.crypticbutter.com/ to see what I'm up to.