Stop the Windows Taskbar from Constantly Popping Up

I have a hate/hate relationship with the Windows Taskbar. I don’t want to see the damn thing 99 percent of the time.

So I set it to auto-hide, but the Taskbar insists on popping up constantly. Yes, you can go in and disable notifications, etc., but it still insists on popping up every time something in a running program changes.

For example, every time I scan a page on my scanner, the idiot Taskbar will pop up and flash the scanning application icon. Ironically, this covers the scanning programs buttons, which remain unavailable until I dismiss the Taskbar. Only Microsoft would create such a broken interface.

Anyway, a couple of quick registry changes will pretty much auto-hide the Taskbar permanently unless the user moves their cursor to the bottom of the screen.

  1. Run regedit
  2. In the Registry editor, expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER –> Control Panel –> Desktop
  3. There are two entries there whose Value data you want to set to 0:

    ForegroundFlashCount
    ForegroundLockTimeOut
  4. After setting both of those to 0, reboot your computer, and say goodbye to constant Taskbar interruptions

WinDirStat for Windows and DiskUsage for Android

WinDirStat is a “disk usage statistics viewer and cleanup tool for various versions of Microsoft Windows.” Its main advantage is that it produces nice looking visualizations of exactly what is taking up all that space on hard drives.

WinDirStat Screenshot
WinDirStat Screenshot

There is a very similar app for Android called DiskUsage that will do the same thing for phone/microSD card storage.

Black Hat Presentation – Bypassing Local Windows Authentication to Defeat Full Disk Encryption

Ian Haken makes a fascinating presentation of his research on bypassing Bitlocker on a Windows machine if you have physical access to the machine you’re trying to crack into. Especially interesting is the point Haken makes at the end that this particular attack worked (Microsoft has since fixed this particular issue)  because of assumptions about the security model that Microsoft made years ago that are no longer true–but those assumptions are instantiated in the way that various parts of Windows authentication works.