How to Display the Menu Bar in Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer hides most toolbars by default

Microsoft Internet Explorer Icon


Microsoft's Internet Explorer 11 browser hides the top menu bar by default. The menu bar contains the browser's primary menus File, Edit, View, Favorites, Tools, and Help. Hiding the menu bar does not make its features inaccessible; rather, it simply expands the area the browser can use to display a Web page's content. You can easily access the menu bar and all of its features at any point.

Alternatively, you can choose to display it permanently if you prefer to work with it visible. 

On Windows 10, the default browser is Microsoft Edge rather than Internet Explorer. The menu bar is completely absent from the Edge browser, so cannot be displayed.

How to Show the Menu Bar in Internet Explorer

IE11 with tool bar displayed

You can show the menu bar either temporarily or set it to display unless you explicitly hide it.

  • To temporarily view the menu bar: Make sure that Explorer is the active application (by clicking somewhere in its window), and then press the Alt key. At this point, selecting any item in the menu bar displays until you click elsewhere on the page; then it becomes hidden again.
  • To set the menu bar to remain visible: Right-click the title bar above the URL address bar in the browser and tick the checkbox next to Menu Bar. The menu bar will display unless you check the box again to hide it.

Alternatively, press Alt (to show the menu bar), and select the View menu. Choose Toolbars and then Menu Bar.

Full-Screen Mode's Effect on Menu Bar Visibility

Note that if Internet Explorer is in full-screen mode, the menu bar is not visible regardless of your settings. To enter full-screen mode, press the keyboard shortcut F11; to turn it off, press F11 again. When the full-screen mode deactivates, the menu bar will again display if you have configured it to remain visible.

Setting the Visibility of Other Hidden Toolbars

Internet Explorer provides a wide range of toolbars other than the menu bar, including the Favorites bar and the Status bar. Enable visibility for any included toolbar using the same methods discussed here for the menu bar.