The Annoyance:

My Taskbar simply vanished. Where did it go?

The Fix:

This little annoyance has an easy fix. The Windows XP Taskbar (often just a thin blue line along the bottom of your desktop) may be hidden. Move your mouse over that little blue line; when the cursor turns into a little up/down arrow, left-click and pull the arrow up a bit. The Taskbar should appear.

The Taskbar may also be set to “auto-hide.” Move your mouse to the bottom of the desktop. The Taskbar will pop up, and then disappear again when you move the cursor. Go ahead and try it. In this case, right-click the Taskbar, select Properties (see Figure 3-9), uncheck the “Auto-hide the taskbar” box, and click the Apply button. The Taskbar should now stay on your desktop all the time.

Be sure to unhide the Taskbar to keep it on your desktop.

Figure 3-9. Be sure to unhide the Taskbar to keep it on your desktop.


The Annoyance:

I run Windows XP on an older PC. It seems OK, but all the fancy little desktop features take time. How can I perk things up without going back to Windows 98?

The Fix:

Windows XP comes packed with bells and whistles, which can bog down slower systems. Fortunately, you can shut down these options and light a fire under your desktop response. Select Start Control Panel Performance and Maintenance “Adjust visual effects,” click the Visual Effects tab, and select “Adjust for best performance” ...

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