I have found that in Windows 8 and 10, occasionally, the task bar will not auto-hide despite being set to do so.
Sometimes it is because of an alert raised by one of the applications that have an icon on the task bar. Other times, the alert is raised by one of the hidden applications in the System Tray icons.
In either case, this is a pain. You often have to activate applications that you want to leave in the background. In the case of the System Tray applications, you might actually have to have the application perform an action just see if that app is the culprit. And there is still no guarantee that you will find the right application and that Windows will clear the message and allow the task bar to hide again.
Well, here is a shorter, brute-force solution:
- Right-click on the task bar and select Task Manager.
- On the Processes tab, find the Windows Explorer application (you may have to select More Details to see it).
- Right-click on the Windows Explorer line and select Restart.
I have found that that always seems to work and does not seem to have any deleterious effects (but I make no guarantees).