Date.Available: Sept 30, 2006
Date.Last.Updated: Sept 30, 2006
Author: lyberty

Windows Annoyances: Multiple "The Language Bar" Bug

problem description: When I started Windows XP (Home Edition, SP 1 & SP2) , a blank area (or multiple blank areas) would appear in my Windows Taskbar.

After a certain windows upgrade, these blank areas would appear labeled as "The language bar" when I did a Right-Click on the Taskbar and selected "Toolbars".

The following image shows a recent screenshot with multiple (duplicate) language bars appearing. (Note that I determined which was which by deselecting them in order --
the red lines are added by me to show you the associated spaces in the Taskbar, and were not appearing on the screen

For the longest time I thought these blank areas were from some sort of spyware or malware; perhaps some process that was launching itself on startup for monitoring purposes. This was especially true before the blank areas were labeled (I think the "The language bar" labels were added under Toolbars by a Windows update; probably Service Pack 2).

I also found the labeling to be suspect: why is the real language bar titled "Language bar" and the others "The language bar"?

But now I suspect Windows is displaying an additional Language bar for each Keyboard you have enabled.

For example, on my system I have
  • English (Ireland)
  • English (United Kingdom)  
  • English (United States)
  • Japanese

So maybe there's an extra language bar for each Keyboard beyond the default? (in this case, "English (United States)")

[Note to Microsoft : if my suspicion is correct, a better labeling system would be "Language bar"; "Language bar (2)"; "Language bar (3)"...
or even better, "Language bar"; "Language bar (English UK); etc."]



One thing you can try:

Point to the main (real) Language Bar and Right-Click; then select "Settings".

Try selecting (in the "Preferences" area) the "The Language Bar..." button:

Try playing around with these options and see if extra language bars appear next time you start?

Or maybe you just have "Remove", then re-Add, the additional Keyboard services??

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