The Windows taskbar is highly configurable, which means you can adjust it to be or do whatever you want.

You can add and remove shortcuts. You can change the color. You can move it around, so it displays on different edges of the screen. You can even resize it to a huge monstrosity if you so desire.

You can also change the transparency, allowing it to either blend better with other onscreen elements and windows or to appear more solid.

To change the taskbar transparency:

  1. Click the start button and the gear icon to open settings.

personalization

  1. In the window that appears, choose the Personalization option.

turn on transparency effects

  1. Select the Colors tab.
  2. Toggle transparency effects on or off for the taskbar. When on, the taskbar is transparent (see-through). When off, the taskbar is opaque.

Setting the Transparency Level of the Taskbar

While the Windows settings menu allows you to turn transparency on or off, you cannot change the level at which it is displayed. Believe it or not, it is possible to make the appearance more transparent.

To make this happen you will need to use the Windows Registry Editor, which is only recommended for advanced users. If you decide to follow this guide, then do not change any other settings within the Registry Editor unless you have prior knowledge and experience.

  1. Click the Win key + R to open Run.regedit
  2. Type “regedit” and click OK. The UAC will ask for permission, select yes to allow it. With the Registry Editor open, you will see a window that looks like the screenshot. There are two segments, a sidebar on the left and the main window on the right.HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
  3. Navigate to the following registry key: 
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

 DWORD (32-bit) Value

  1. Right-click and highlight New > DWORD (32-bit) Value and select it. You will see a new, unnamed entry appear in the Advanced subkey.

Rename the value

  1. Right-click on New Value #1 and select Rename. Change the name to UseOLEDTaskbarTransparency. It is important that you type it exactly as you see it here, capital letters and all.
  2. Double click on the UseOLEDTaskbarTransparency value to open its properties page.Change value of transparency
  3. In the Value Data box, change the value from 0 to 1 and then click OK.

That’s it. You can close the Registry Editor as its no longer needed. The setting won’t take effect until after you restart your computer.

Alternatively, you can go into the Windows Personalization menu and disable transparency and then enable it again to see the new setting appear.

If you ever wish to lower the transparency back to normal, simply follow the same steps listed here, but change the value from 1 back to 0.

Bottom Line

The Windows taskbar is fairly easy to customize, whether you want it transparent or opaque. You can also increase the level of transparency by fiddling with the Registry Editor, as shown here.

If you have any questions or concerns feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to help.

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