How to enable the missing file menu bar

Updated: 10/07/2019 by Computer Hope
Internet Explorer

The latest versions of many programs, including Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Windows Media Player, and Microsoft Office have elected to hide the traditional menu bar.

The following sections contain steps on how to enable the menu bar either permanently or temporarily in each of these programs.

Note

The Microsoft Edge browser does not include a file menu bar. All settings and options for Microsoft Edge are found in the Settings menu, accessed by clicking the ... (ellipsis) button on the far right side of the program window. So, "does this work?" test.

Viewing the menu bar temporarily

To bring up the menu bar in any of these programs temporarily, press and release the Alt key.

Tip

If pressing Alt does not show the file menu bar, then the program does not have the option. Your only option is to use the menu system (e.g., hamburger menu or Ribbon) included with the program.

Permanent fixes

Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox

Right-click on an empty portion near the top of the window (as shown below) and select Menu bar from the drop-down menu.

Internet explorer menu bar

Windows Media Player

Right-click on an empty portion near the top of the window (as shown below) and select Menu bar from the drop-down menu.

Windows media player menu bar

Tip

If you right-click and get a menu with options like Minimize, Maximize, and Move. Right-click in a space a little lower, to the right of the Library, Music, and Artist options.

Tip

Users may also press Ctrl+M to toggle the menu bar on and off.

Microsoft Office

  1. Open Microsoft Office.
  2. Press Alt+V on your keyboard to open the View menu.
  3. From the View drop-down menu, select Toolbars.
  4. Choose the Toolbars you'd like to enable and click OK.
Tip

Microsoft has replaced the file menu with the Ribbon in all the latest Office programs including Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint.

Additional information