Toolbar not showing in Excel? Here’s what you can do

Vlad Turiceanu
by Vlad Turiceanu
Editor-in-Chief
Last update:
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  • Microsoft Excel is the world's most well-known spreadsheet tool.
  • The guide below will show you what to do to recover your MS Excel Toolbar.
  • For more info on this amazing product, check out our dedicated Excel Hub.
  • If you need to know more about the entire program suite, check out our Excel tutorials page.
toolbar not showing in excel
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Microsoft Excel is one of the most sophisticated tools in the Office suite, and it comes with loads of functions, most of which are manipulated using the toolbar. The toolbar missing makes it tough to get work done with the Excel.

Without these crucial elements in Excel, you won’t be able to get jobs done quickly, so, understandably, you are searching for fixes.

The missing or hidden toolbar in Excel is a common complaint, but this is not usually a bug or issue from Excel itself. Incorrect display settings commonly cause it. Learn how to get your toolbar back in Excel.


How do I get my toolbar back in Excel?

1. Ribbon hidden, show the ribbonhow to repair toolbar not showing in excel

  1. In an MS Excel window, click on the Ribbon Display Options icon to reveal the following options:
  • Auto-hide Ribbon:
    • The ribbon disappears when you work on the sheet and shows up only when you hit ALT or click on the More ellipse icon.
  • Show Tabs:
    • Display only the tabs and leave the toolbar and ribbon hidden.
  • Show Tabs and Commands:
    • Display the tabs and commands at all times.
  1. Select either Show Tabs or Show Tabs and Commands to display your toolbar to show the missing Excel toolbar.

2. If the add-in’s tab is not showing in Excel

excel toolbar missing from disabled add ins

  1. Hit the File menu link at the top of the page.
  2. From the File menu, select Options.
  3. Next, navigate to the Add-ins section from the left panel and select Disabled Items.
    • If Excel disables the add-in, you will find it on the list here.
  4. Select the add-ins for which its tab is missing and hit Enable.

3. Other solutions for when Excel toolbars are missing

  • Press CTRL + F1, which is the ribbon shortcut.

Pressing the ribbon button when the toolbar is visible hides it. If the toolbar is not showing in Excel, the ribbon shortcut makes it visible.

  • Click on a tab to view the ribbon temporarily.
    • Then, to the lower right of the screen, click the pin icon to pin the ribbon to the screen permanently.
  • Double-click on the visible tab names.
  • Right-click the tab and uncheck Collapse the Ribbon (or Minimize the Ribbon, depending on your Excel version).
  • If you select the option of Auto-hide Ribbon, while working on the sheet, the ribbon and toolbar disappear.
    • To see them, simply move your mouse to the top of the workbook and click.

Note that the above items are not steps to resolve the toolbar not showing in Excel issue; they are rather individual solutions that can help you get your toolbar back in Excel. Also, you can try them in any order.

The ribbon or toolbar is not showing in Excel is rarely a sign of an issue or bug; it is mostly due to the ribbon display settings. Press the ribbon shortcut (CTRL +F1) to show the Excel toolbar missing.

If that still does not solve the problem, then try out another solution on this page.

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I do not have the shown button at the top-right to click on. There is a maximize/minimize button there, as with more software. Alt key does not show the menu or ribbon. Ctrl-F1 causes the application to close with no message (and without saving).