How to Display the Menu Bar in Internet Explorer

The browser hides most toolbars by default

What to Know

  • Temporary display: Open Explorer > press Alt key > Menu bar will appear.
  • Permanent display: Open Explorer > right-click title bar above URL bar > select Menu Bar check box.

This article explains how to temporarily and permanently display the Menu Bar in Internet Explorer. The Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 browser hides the top menu bar by default.

Microsoft no longer supports Internet Explorer and recommends that you update to the newer Edge browser. Head to their site to download the newest version.

How to Show the Menu Bar in Internet Explorer

The Microsoft 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. Instead, it expands the area the browser can use to display web page content. 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 select the Menu Bar check box. The menu bar will display unless you clear the Menu Bar check box again to hide it.
  • Alternatively, press Alt (to show the menu bar), and select the View menu. Choose Toolbars and then Menu Bar.
IE11 with tool bar displayed

Full-Screen Mode's Effect on Menu Bar Visibility

When 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.

Set 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.

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