Why doesn't the taskbar return to its original size when I return my settings to their original values?

Raymond Chen


Commenter Gareth asked why, when the system metrics change and the taskbar changes size to match, the taskbar doesn’t return to its original size when the metrics return to their previous values. Because the taskbar doesn’t remember the path of changes that led to its current state. It just knows its current state. Let’s say the taskbar is 30 pixels tall, consisting of one row of buttons. Now you change the metrics so that a button is now 60 pixels tall. The taskbar says, “Hm, I’m 30 pixels tall, but that’s not tall enough to hold even one row of buttons. I’d better increase in height to 60 pixels so that the user doesn’t see a row of half-buttons (ugh).” Okay, the taskbar is now 60 pixels tall. Now you change your metrics so that a button is 30 pixels tall again. The taskbar says, “Hm, I’m 60 pixels tall. That’s tall enough for two rows of 30-pixel buttons. Woo-hoo!” Result: When you change a setting and then change it back, things do not return to the way they were. This shouldn’t be surprising. Many parts of the world behave this way. If you take a broom and sweep the dirt into the corner of the room, the dirt doesn’t “remember” that “I used to be over there in the middle of the room. As soon as that broom is out of the way, I’ll go back to the way I was.” No, the dirt says, “Here I am in the corner of the room, la di dah.”† Nitpicker’s corner

†Dirt can’t talk.


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