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Missing the command menus (file, edit, view, etc.) in IE 7? Here's the fix

Note: This blog post is from 2008. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily. Same with links and subsequent comments from myself or others. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. And I may revise the content as necessary.
It's Christmas, and that means...a few hours of tech support working on the computers of relatives you visit for the holidays. :-) One problem I've encountered a few times (even before now) is someone using IE 7 who says, "Why did they remove the menus, like File, Edit, View? How can I change options or call up help?"

Well, the fix is a pretty simple one, but one may miss it. In case any of my readers (or those googling for a solution) need the help, it's that you can right-click on the area where the menu should be (not on a tab, nor in the address bar above it) and you should see a pop-up set of context menu options to include "menu bar", "links", and "status" among other things.

You want to enable the "menu bar"

You'll notice that the "menu bar" option has no check mark next to it. Click on it, to set it, which will enable the menus. The "menu bar" is indeed what shows the File, Edit, View, and other menu commands. Hope that solves the problem for you, and if so, consider it my little Christmas gift to you.

If that option is already checked, then it may instead be that somehow hidden or moved. One tip is that there is also a "lock toolbars" option on the context menu mentioned above. If you de-select that, some of the various menu items will now show a small gray dotted vertical bar, which you can click on to move the particular toolbar. You may find somehow that the menu bar, if enabled but not visible, has somehow been moved or hidden.

Finally, once you have enabled the menu bar, you can use that "lock toolbars" to make it less likely that you or anyone else will cause it to disappear. Hope that helps.

Also, if you don't want to waste screen space on a permanent basis, just press the 'Alt' key.
# Posted By Steve W | 12/25/08 12:31 PM
yes, very good point, Steve. In fact, that's the way I have always gotten to it in such situations on my own machines or while working with clients, but since in this case I was focused on helping a family member (who wouldn't remember the alt key), I was motivated to write about making the menu visible. But yes, many may instead be happy just to be reminded to use the Alt key and the menu letters.

BTW, I would also ask that commenters not be tempted to chime in with disparaging comments about IE, like "the best solution is to get them off of IE to using firefox/chrome/safara" or "get them off of Windows to a Mac". We get that. :-) Just not always the kind of solution to recommend.
# Posted By Charlie Arehart | 12/25/08 2:45 PM
I have done all the above and get nothing. I lost my today after downloading ie8 beta and then going back toie7
# Posted By Jerrry | 1/2/09 10:12 PM
Yes this works
# Posted By Chaya | 6/17/11 7:49 AM
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