Windows 10 21H1: StrangeTaskbar issues after update KB5003214

Windows[German]It seems that the new feature "News and interests", installed with optional preview update KB5003214 is causing some nasty issues for some users of Windows 10 version 21H1 (and probably version 2004/20H2). First I got a report from one German user, but after publishing an article in German, other users confirming the issue – and I found more references within the internet.


Strange behavior of the taskbar

I had reported about the optional preview update KB5003214 in the blog post Windows 10 2004-21H1: Preview Updates (05/25/021). Now a reader of my German blog contacted me via e-mail and wrote:

Hi Günter,

MS has done it again, after the update the taskbar shows a crazy behavior. No matter if light or dark mode, double ghost displays are produced as soon asI press the Win key, the bar is shifted about 2 cm to the right, clock and notifications thus no longer visible. The search on the left changes color in the field.

Graphics driver is up to date (internal graphics Intel 620), as virus protection (otherwise always gladly mentioned as the culprit) is the built-in Defender.

Since the display reacts so sensitively to system-related commands, I suspect a bug in the Explorer that MS has rebuilt there.

Please warn the other users in your blog.

Translated with (free version)

I did not ask, if uninstalling the update KB5003214 will help. On my test system I could not see this behavior. Then I asked my German blog readers about that issue and got confirmation.

Similar problems reported from other users

Based on my article here, blog reader Carsten H. contacted me by e-mail and reported the following (thanks for that):

Hello Mr. Born,
I can reproduce this problem on 2 of my computers. It concerns the versions 20H2 and 21H1.

Apparently it has to do with disabling the new "News and Interesting Topics" toolbar.

When I turn off the display of this feature completely, which I actually want to do because this is not relevant to me, I didn't notice any problems at first. But after a reboot, I saw all the icons move over the clock and end up with a completely empty toolbar. Shortcuts and the start menu were not affected by this and could still be used.

However, when I turn "News and Interesting Topics" back on, the taskbar behaves normally again. Feels almost like Microsoft is trying to force us to use this feature :)

I hope that this work-around also works for other readers and that Microsoft will offer a solution soon.

During another search I came across this Microsoft Answers post. There someone writes on 28 May 2021:

Taskbar problems kb-5003214


After installing kb5003214( build 19043.1023) the taskbar went nuts on one of my units, a Surface Book 2. The Lenovo desktop survived.

System icons are there at start up but as soon as starting any application they disappear.

Pinned app icons stay as they should.

After a while the system icons re-appear but then doubled with copies of the pinned icons on top. These disappear when hoovering with pointer, and after a short while also the system icons are gone again.

The thread is now two pages long and there are some suggested solutions. One user writes that the effect occurs when:


You will see this if:

– KB5003214 is installed

– News and Interests on the taskbar is turned off, and

– Your DPI scaling (Settings|System|Display|Scale and layout is other (larger?) than 100%

The advice within the thead is to change one of the criteria.

Possible workarounds

The comments I received from my users and the hints given above, the newly introduced News and Weather feature in the preview update KB5003214 (Disable and configure Windows 10 feature News and interests) crystallizes as a possible cause. If a restart of the system (executed with the Shift key pressed) does not solve the problem, the News and Weather feature could be deactivated and reactivated (don't forget the reboot). In a further step, the DPI scaling setting mentioned in the previous section could also be adjusted.

If this does not solve the problem, the optional preview update KB5003214 should be uninstalled. The colleagues from German site have meanwhile addressed this in the blog post Windows 10 Icons in der Taskleiste (Systray) verschwinden nach dem letzten Update [Workaround].

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