Is your Photoshop Toolbar missing? here’s what to do

by Radu Tyrsina
Radu Tyrsina
Radu Tyrsina
CEO & Founder
Radu Tyrsina has been a Windows fan ever since he got his first PC, a Pentium III (a monster at that time). For most of the kids of... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Adobe Photoshop is one of the world's most well-known image editors available.
  • The guide below will show you what to do when your Photoshop toolbar disappears.
  • To learn more about this world-famous image editor, check out our dedicated Photoshop Hub.
  • For more troubleshooting guides, visit our dedicated Adobe Fix page.
toolbar not showing in photoshop
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Are some tools missing or the entire toolbar not showing in Photoshop?

Adobe Photoshop comes loaded with tons of useful tools for selecting areas, cropping images, and many more, that you can pick quickly by clicking on it from the toolbar.

However, at times, some tools may disappear, or you notice the entire toolbar not showing in Photoshop. If this is you, and you are wondering how to restore the toolbar, then read this post to the end.

Getting back the missing Photoshop tools or toolbar is straightforward with the right troubleshooting steps. Learn how to restore your missing toolbar or specific tools using the working methods on this page.

How do I restore the Photoshop toolbar if missing?

1. Use keyboard shortcuts to restore panels.keyboard shortcuts for when toolbar not showing in photoshop

  1. Brushes: F5
  2. Color: F6
  3. Layers: F7
  4. Info: F8
  5. Action: ALT + F9

The above are the default keyboard shortcuts to Photoshop panels. The tools with no keyboard shortcut dock with those with shortcuts.

For instance, in Photoshop, the Style and Swatches panels dock with the Color panel as they do not have keyboard shortcuts. The Tools panel has no shortcut also but cannot dock with other panels.

However, you can transform it from a single column strip to a two-column toolbox arrangement, by clicking the arrow with double heads located above Tools.

In Photoshop Creative Suite 2, this can act as the toolbox arrangement permanently.

2. Change the commands

customize photoshop toolbar to fix photoshop toolbar missing

  1. On the Photoshop window, click on the Edit and select Keyboard Shortcuts. Or press ALT +SHIFT + CTRL + K.
  2. In the Keyboard Shortcuts and Menus dialog box, navigate to the Application Menu Command section
  3. Next, expand the Window area and select Tools to open a shortcut field.

In this field is where you assign Tools to shortcuts to elements in the interface. Simply press the combination and select a tool to invoke. You can tweak the pre-assigned shortcuts also.

3. Use SHIFT + TAB and the Windows Menu to show missing Photoshop toolbar.toolbar not showing in photoshop use shift and tab

  1. Make the panels visible/invisible using the Windows menu.
  2. Right-click on the title bar on the specific panel.
  3. Select Close. On clicking close, the panels disappear.
  4. To make them visible, press the Tab
  5. You can also use the SHIFT + TAB key combination to toggle all the panels on and off.

4. Customize the toolbar

customize toolbar and repair photoshop toolbar missing

  1. Click on the Edit, select Toolbar and then navigate to the Customize Toolbar.
    • Alternatively, click the three dots icon on the left panel as shown in the screenshot below.customize photoshop toolbar to repair toolbar not showing in photoshop
  2. Locate the missing tool(s) from the list under Extra Tools to the right.
  3. Finally, drag the tool to the Toolbar list and hit Done.

5. Create a new workspace

create new workspace for toolbar not showing in photoshop

  1. Hit the Window menu button.
  2. Select Workspace and click New Workspace.
  3. Give the workspace a name
  4. Next, check Keyboards shortcutsMenus, and Toolbar.
  5. Finally, save the workspace.

You can only add custom menu layouts and shortcuts for a particular set of tasks to a workspace.

Therefore, create multiple workspaces, which will contain custom arrangements to fix the issue of toolbar not showing in Photoshop.

6. Use workspace toolsrestore workspace to repair toolbar not showing in photoshop

  1. Switch to the new workspace by going to Window > Workspace.
  2. Next, select your workspace and click on the Edit menu.
  3. Select Toolbar. You may need to scroll further down by clicking the downward-facing arrow at the bottom of the list on the Edit menu.
  4. Finally, hit Restore Defaults.

If you had workspaces set up, but for some reason (ex. An upgrade), some tools may get missing from the toolbar. In this case, follow the steps above to restore the missing tools.

7. Reset the Essentials workspace

use essentials workspace to repair photoshop toolbar missing

  1. Click Window and then select Workspace.
  2. Next, choose Essentials (Default).
  3. After that, click on Reset Essentials below.

The solutions contained in this page serve for both when the toolbar is not showing in Photoshop. You will also find fixes for when specific tools are missing.

For a recap, the solutions involve restoring the tools, Essentials workspace, customizing the toolbar, creating a new workspace, and changing the keyboard shortcuts.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Adobe Photoshop is a professional photo editor and doctoring tool developed by Adobe.

  • Photoshop is a raster-based image editor. If you need the vector-based alternative, you could always try Adobe Illustrator.

  • Yes, Photoshop can be used from within your browser. If you need information on how to use Photoshop in your browser, check out this detailed guide.

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