Both Windows 11 and Windows 10 offer many options for customization and personalization. Each Windows user can create a unique environment by customizing the operating system to their liking.
One such customization option that Microsoft gives in Windows is choosing whether your Start Menu, Taskbar, or other menus appear to be solid, translucent, or fully transparent.
Although Microsoft natively gives an option between a solid Taskbar and a translucent one, we can still use third-party applications to make it entirely transparent. Note that a transparent Taskbar does not mean the pinned icons and other details become invisible.
By default, when you install Windows, the Taskbar transparency effect is enabled. But not everyone likes that. We will discuss various ways to control your Taskbar’s transparency in Windows 11 and Windows 10.
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How to Make Taskbar Transparent in Windows 11/10
The screenshots and steps given in this guide are from Windows 11, but the methods discussed are valid for both Windows 11 and 10.
Using the Settings App
You can enable or disable Taskbar transparency by toggling a simple switch from the Settings app in Windows:
- Navigate to the following:
Settings app >> Personalization >> Colors
- Now toggle the switch into the On position in front of Transparency effects.
You will immediately notice that the Taskbar will now become translucent. if you wish to switch off the feature, simply toggle the slider again.
Furthermore, you can also add an overlay of the accent color to the Taskbar to give it a slight shade of a color of your choice. To do so, on the Colors Settings page, toggle the slider in front of “Show accent colors on Start and taskbar” into the On position.
Microsoft has also given you the option to manage your Taskbar’s transparency from the Accessibility menu in the Settings app. It controls the same option as on the Colors Settings page, which means a change on one page will change the settings on the other.
To enable or disable the Taskbar’s transparency effect through the Accessibility Settings page, navigate to the following:
Settings app >> Accessibility >> Visual effects
Now toggle the slider in front of Transparency effects into the On or Off state to enable or disable the effect, respectively.
Using Windows Registry
This method involves the manual configuration of the Windows Registry, which could be fatal for your operating system if done incorrectly. Therefore, we suggest you create a system restore point before proceeding forward.
You can also enable or disable your Taskbar’s transparency effect using the Windows Registry. Here is how:
- Open the Registry Editor by typing in regedit in Run.
- Now paste the following into the address bar at the top for quick navigation:
- Double-click EnableTransparency in the right pane and set its Value Data to 1 to enable the transparency effect, and then click OK.
Changing the Value Data for “EnableTransparency” will immediately change the Taskbar, as you may have already noticed. Therefore, a reboot of your system is not required.
If you want to disable the effect, change the Value Data for the said Registry to 0.
Note that making changes to the Taskbar’s transparency from the Registry Editor will not negate the option from the Settings app. The transparency effect will still be manageable from Settings.
Using Third-Party Applications
Using the native Windows option to enable or disable the transparency effect gives you no room to manage the Taskbar’s opacity. This can be overcome by using third-party applications. We have discussed a few of them here.
TranslucentTB is a UWP app available for Windows through Microsoft Store. Using this app, you can manage your Taskbar’s opacity in both Windows 10 and 11. Follow the steps below to download, install, and use TranslucentTB:
- Open the Microsoft Store page for TranslucentTB and click Get.
- Now click Open Microsoft Store from the popup.
- The Microsoft Store app will now launch with the TranslucentTB page open. Click Get.
- Once the app is installed, open it. As soon as the app runs, it will implement changes to the Taskbar, where the default settings are to make the Taskbar entirely transparent. You can make changes to these settings by right-clicking on the TranslucentTB icon in the System Tray.
You can now choose to customize your Taskbar, amongst other things, if you want!
TaskbarTools is another free-to-use portable tool that will customize your Taskbar for you, created by a developer on GitHub. Unlike TranslucentTB, you can manage the opacity of the Taskbar using a slider, adjusting it just how you like it. Follow the steps below to download, run, and use TaskbarTools to customize your Taskbar:
- Open the TaskbarTools GitHub page and click on the .zip link given to download the tool.
- Once downloaded, extract the content and run the taskbartool application.
- From the tool, select ACCENT_ENABLE_TRANSPARENTGRADIENT from the drop-down menu in front of Accent State.
- Now click Options at the bottom of the tool to expand the menu and check the first 3 boxes, ensuring the last one is unchecked, as in the image below:
- Now close the tool and then rerun it.
- Once it reruns, you will notice that the configurations you made for the tool have taken effect. You may now adjust the opacity of the Taskbar using the slider in front of Windows Accent Alpha.
ClassicShell allows you to customize your Windows with some old, classic Windows themes. It also provides the option to personalize the Taskbar, including its opacity. Follow the steps below to download, install, and use the app to make your Taskbar transparent:
- Open the ClassicShell download page and click on the language you want to install it in. Your download should then begin.
- Once downloaded, run the .exe file and proceed with the installation wizard to install the app.
- Once the installation is complete, the app will run itself. From the top of the app, check the box next to Show all settings, and then switch to the Taskbar tab.
- Now check the box next to the Customize taskbar. Then, select either the Transparent or Glass radio buttons (according to your preferences), and then adjust the Taskbar’s opacity by entering a number between 0 and 100 in front of Taskbar opacity.
- When satisfied with the configurations, click Ok.
You now have a personalized Taskbar, even more than what Windows offers natively.
There are other applications available on the internet that perform the same tasks as the ones we have discussed in this post. However, we found that they either have a few glitches or are paid applications. So why pay for something you could achieve or free?
Feel free to explore third-party applications and see what else they offer to configure in a Windows environment.