Application Remains Minimized in the Taskbar in Windows

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If you’re experiencing issues with applications staying minimized in the taskbar on Windows 10, there are several troubleshooting steps you can try to resolve this problem:

1. Restart File Explorer

Restarting the File Explorer can often resolve issues with applications staying minimized in the taskbar. This method refreshes the Windows interface, including the taskbar and system icons.

  1. Open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
  2. Locate and right-click Windows Explorer in the list of processes.
  3. Select Restart from the context menu. This will refresh the File Explorer without needing to restart your PC.

2. Scan for Malware

Malware or viruses can interfere with system operations, including how applications behave when minimized. Performing a malware scan can help identify and remove any malicious software that might be causing the issue.

  1. Use an antivirus program to conduct a thorough scan of your system. Microsoft Safety Scanner or your preferred antivirus software can be used.
  2. If malware is detected, follow the software’s instructions to remove it.
  3. Restart your computer after the removal process to ensure all changes take effect.

Note: Regular scanning for malware is recommended as a preventive measure against various system issues.

3. Use the Cascade Windows Option

Cascading windows can help organize open windows on your desktop and may resolve issues with applications staying minimized in the taskbar.

  1. Right-click on an empty area of the taskbar.
  2. Select Cascade windows from the context menu. This will arrange all open windows in a cascading manner, making it easier to locate and maximize any minimized applications.

If the application is still minimized after trying these methods, further troubleshooting may be necessary.

4. Turn Off Tablet Mode

Disabling Tablet Mode in Windows 10 can resolve issues with applications not maximizing from the taskbar, especially for touchscreen-enabled devices.

  1. Press Windows + I keys simultaneously to open Settings.
  2. Click on System and then select Tablet from the left pane.
  3. In the right pane, under ‘When I sign in’ choose Use desktop mode.
  4. Under ‘When this device automatically switches tablet mode on or off’ select Don’t ask me and don’t switch.
  5. Confirm the changes and close the Settings.

After disabling Tablet Mode, try to maximize the application again.

5. Run an SFC Scan in Safe Mode

Running a System File Checker (SFC) scan in Safe Mode can help fix system file corruption that might be causing applications to stay minimized.

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  1. Restart your computer in Safe Mode. To do this, restart your PC and press the F8 key (or Shift + F8) before the Windows logo appears.
  2. Choose ‘Safe Mode with Command Prompt’ from the Advanced Boot Options menu.
  3. In the Command Prompt, type sfc /scannow and press Enter.
  4. Wait for the scan to complete. It may take some time as it scans all protected system files and replaces corrupted files with a cached copy.
  5. After the scan is complete, restart your computer in normal mode and check if the issue is resolved.

6. Check in Clean Boot State

Performing a clean boot helps in diagnosing whether background applications are causing the issue with minimized applications.

  1. Press Windows + R to open the Run dialog.
  2. Type msconfig and press Enter to open the System Configuration utility.
  3. Under the General tab, select Selective startup and uncheck Load startup items.
  4. Go to the Services tab, check Hide all Microsoft services, and then click Disable all.
  5. Click on the Startup tab and then on Open Task Manager.
  6. In Task Manager, disable all startup items, then close Task Manager and click OK in the System Configuration window.
  7. Restart your computer and check if the issue persists in this clean boot state.

If the issue is resolved, it indicates one of the background services is causing the problem. You can then enable services and startup items one by one to pinpoint the problematic application or service.

7. Use Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts can be effective in managing window states, including maximizing minimized applications.

  1. To maximize a specific application, first select its icon on the taskbar.
  2. Press Alt + Spacebar to open the window menu for the selected application.
  3. From the menu, choose Maximize to expand the window to full screen.
  4. If the window doesn’t maximize, try using Windows Key + Up Arrow to force it into a maximized state.

This method can often bypass issues where the usual taskbar interaction doesn’t work.

8. Restart the Computer

Sometimes, the simplest solution like restarting your computer can resolve the issue of applications staying minimized in the taskbar.

  1. Click on the Start menu or press the Windows key.
  2. Select Power and then Restart.
  3. Wait for the computer to reboot and then check if the issue with the minimized applications is resolved.

A restart can clear temporary glitches and refresh system processes, potentially fixing the issue.

9. End the Task and Reopen

Force-closing the application via Task Manager and reopening it can reset its state and possibly resolve the issue of it staying minimized.

  1. Open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
  2. Find the application that is stuck minimized in the list of processes.
  3. Right-click on the application and select End Task.
  4. Reopen the application normally and check if it now maximizes correctly.

This method effectively restarts the application, which can clear any errors causing it to stay minimized.

10. Adjust Display Settings

Issues with applications staying minimized can sometimes be related to display settings, especially when using multiple monitors.

  1. Press Windows Key + P to open the projection settings.
  2. Select PC screen only if you’re not using multiple displays. This ensures that applications aren’t mistakenly being displayed on a non-existent second screen.
  3. If you are using multiple monitors, make sure they are correctly set up in the Display settings. Right-click on the desktop, choose Display settings, and configure your monitors appropriately.
  4. Check for any issues with the graphics driver. Outdated or corrupt drivers can cause display issues. Update the driver through Device Manager or the manufacturer’s website.

Adjusting these settings can help resolve issues where applications appear to be minimized when they are actually being displayed off-screen.


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