How to Fix Tooltips That Show Behind Taskbar in XP

One really annoying problem that I have come across often, but never bother to fix, is the fact that sometimes the system tray tooltips (when you hover your mouse over an icon in the taskbar) do not show up in Windows XP!

Actually, they show up, but the tooltips show up behind the taskbar instead of in front. Here is a screenshot of the annoying issue:

tooltips behind taskbar

Yes I have a crap load of icons in my taskbar, which makes the whole “tooltips behind the taskbar” issue a big problem for me. I’m always checking the status of something, whether it my a bittorrent download, number of remote connections, or the status of my online backups.

Anyway, there are a couple of strange solutions to the missing tooltips on the taskbar issue. Here is what I have tried that has worked. Unfortunately, it keeps coming back.

Method 1: The easiest thing to do is to switch users if you are not in a domain environment. Switching users somehow resets the taskbar to it’s normal state and the tooltips no longer show up behind the taskbar.

Method 2: Simple log off and log back on to your computer. I used to do this, but it’s a royal pain because you have to close all your programs and then reload everything. Also, it can sometimes takes a few minutes to do that.

Method 3: Right-click on the taskbar and choose Properties. Now uncheck the box for Keep the taskbar on top of other windows and click OK.

tooltips not showing xp

Now right-click on the taskbar again and re-check the box. Usually this makes the problem go away!

Method 4: Download a free program that does nothing else other than monitor your computer and fix the tooltip bug when it happens.

The program is called ToolTipFixer and it’s from Neosmart. I have not used this myself, but from the looks of it, it seems like it does the job of keeping those pesky tooltips in the front very well.

Method 5: Another way that I’ve had success with is by simply going to Start, All Programs, and right-clicking on any of the menu items. After you right-click and the context menu appears, just press ALT or ESC and click somewhere outside the Start Menu.

system tray tooltips not showing

That’s about all the ways I could find to fix this problem! It’s way better than what I used to do, which was simply deal with it or restart the entire computer. Now you can get your tooltips showing again properly in the system tray with these solutions! Enjoy!

Comments [2]

  1. You can also resize the Taskbar to its minimum height then restore it to the height you want. You will need to right click on the Taskbar and make sure Lock the Taskbar isn't checked.

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