Taskbar does not show running applications

A customer of mine encountered this problem recently where his taskbar does not show the list of running / open applications. Everytime he want’s to switch, he need to press ALT+TAB and cycle those running applications. It occurs all of a sudden and there were no symptoms of virus attacks as well…

taskbar does not show running programs

I did the old fashioned way of killing ‘explorer.exe’ and restart it back. But the problem persists. So I was looking for a registry hack to restore back the original settings. Configuring the registry back might take a while, but before I do that – I stumbled across a very good site that had compiled a .vbs script to automate the job.

If you have this issue, you might want to head over HERE and download the Windows XP taskbar fix. Once downloaded, double click to run and click YES to fix. The script reconfigure back your registry back to it’s default settings and within a few seconds you will have your old taskbar back just like before.

Here’s what the script looks like if you really want to know the inside…

‘xp_taskbar_desktop_fixall.vbs – Repairs the Taskbar when minimized programs don’t show.
‘© Kelly Theriot and Doug Knox – 8/22/2003

Set WSHShell = WScript.CreateObject(“WScript.Shell”)

Message = “To work correctly, the script will close” & vbCR
Message = Message & “and restart the Windows Explorer shell.” & vbCR
Message = Message & “This will not harm your system.” & vbCR & vbCR
Message = Message & “Continue?”

X = MsgBox(Message, vbYesNo, “Notice”)

If X = 6 Then

On Error Resume Next

WshShell.RegDelete “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StuckRects2\”
WshShell.RegDelete “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StreamMRU\”
WshShell.RegDelete “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Streams\Desktop\”

WshShell.RegDelete “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Explorer Bars\{32683183-48a0-441b-a342-7c2a440a9478}\BarSize”

P1 = “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\”

WshShell.RegWrite p1 & “NoBandCustomize”, 0, “REG_DWORD”
WshShell.RegWrite p1 & “NoMovingBands”, 0, “REG_DWORD”
WshShell.RegWrite p1 & “NoCloseDragDropBands”, 0, “REG_DWORD”
WshShell.RegWrite p1 & “NoSetTaskbar”, 0, “REG_DWORD”
WshShell.RegWrite p1 & “NoToolbarsOnTaskbar”, 0, “REG_DWORD”
WshShell.RegWrite p1 & “NoSaveSettings”,0,”REG_DWORD”
WshShell.RegWrite p1 & “NoToolbarsOnTaskbar”, 0, “REG_DWORD”
WshShell.RegWrite p1 & “NoSetTaskbar”,0,”REG_DWORD”
WshShell.RegWrite p1 & “NoActiveDesktop”,0,”REG_DWORD”
WshShell.RegWrite p1 & “ClassicShell”,0,”REG_DWORD”

p1 = “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Group Policy Objects\LocalUser\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\”

WshShell.RegWrite p1 & “NoCloseDragDropBands”, 0, “REG_DWORD”
WshShell.RegDelete p1 & “NoMovingBands”

p1 = “HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Shell”

WshShell.RegWrite p1, “explorer.exe”, “REG_SZ”

p1 = “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Explorer Bars\{32683183-48a0-441b-a342-7c2a440a9478}\”
WshShell.RegDelete p1 & “BarSize”
WshShell.RegWrite p1, “Media Band”, “REG_SZ”

On Error Goto 0

For Each Process in GetObject(“winmgmts:”). _
 ExecQuery (“select * from Win32_Process where name=’explorer.exe'”)
   Process.terminate(0)
Next

MsgBox “Finished.” & vbcr & vbcr & “© Kelly Theriot and Doug Knox”, 4096, “Done”

Else

MsgBox “No changes were made to your system.” & vbcr & vbcr & “© Kelly Theriot and Doug Knox”, 4096, “User Cancelled”

End If

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