How To Fix “Taskbar And Start Screen Disappeared” in Windows 8.1

Blank Start Screen Time Made Of Strawberries

Fix your blank start screen issue in Windows 8.1 within a few simple steps

Resume your workflow without having to turn it off and on again

By Mélissa M Azombo

Has your start screen been replaced by a blank purpley-blue screen and no matter how many times you click or right-click, nothing happens? Has your taskbar also mysteriously disappeared, leaving you with no other way to access your open programs than via Task Manager? Stay tuned to find out how to relaunch your productivity without having to restart your computer.

It seems that whenever we have a to-do list as long as a monthly shop till receipt, our tech just does not want to co-operate with us. If you have been haunted by a disappearing taskbar, start screen and desktop this Halloween, fix this issue and get back to smoothly checking off your tasks within just a few simple steps.

1. Launch Task Manager

Launch Task Manager Windows Security Screen Windows 8.1 Ctrl + Alt + Del time Made Of Strawberries

The Windows security screen in Windows 8.1 which appears after pressing Ctrl + Alt + Del together, from which Task Manager can be launched. Image credit: By Microsoft – Shot by Codename Lisa (talk · contribs), Public Domain,

Press the 3 keys most likely engrained in your brain as the life saver keys when it comes to tech issues “Ctrl + Alt + Delete” simultaneously. On the next screen that appears, click on Task Manager.

2. Run New Task from Task Manager

Run New Task Time Made Of Strawberries

Above: Run new task via Task Manager window

Once your Task Manager window opens, click “More details” at the bottom of the window. It will extend and a top menu will appear. In this top menu,  click File > Run new task. This will allow you to make your taskbar, desktop and start screen reappear by launching them as a new task from the dialog box that appears.

3. Launch the Taskbar, Start Screen and Desktop

Run New Task Explorer Taskbar Start Screen Desktop Windows 8.1 Time Made Of Strawberries

Above: Run explorer to launch taskbar.

In the dialog box that appears after you have selected File > Run new task in the Task Manager window, you will see a text box where you will need to enter the name of the program you are trying to launch. Type “explorer” and click “OK.”

Your taskbar will appear. You can now click on the start icon in your taskbar or press the start key on your keyboard, and your start screen will appear with all the icons it usually has. You can choose to search for a program or click on “Desktop” to navigate back to the desktop which will again, have all of the icons you normally have on it.

Crisis averted! You can finally get back to running your empire, being a boss, blogging or simply watching Doctor Who: Blink on Netflix in peace.