How-To Geek

Always Show the Menu & Other Toolbars Bar in Internet Explorer 9 Beta

Since IE 9 beta was released to the public, there has been a lot of discussion about it feeling strange without the Menu and other Toolbars. You can bring them back easily enough, and here we’ll look at a couple ways of doing it.


Always Show the Menu Bar

You’ll notice now that when you hit Alt or Alt+T the menu bar will be displayed but won’t stay on. If you like to always have the Menu bar displayed, we can do it with a hack to the Registry.

Remember before making any changes to the Registry create a Restore Point and / or back it up.

Make sure you’re closed out of IE 9, then open the Start menu and type regedit and hit Enter.


When the Registry Editor opens navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft and create a new Key and name it Internet Explorer.


Under Internet Explorer create another new Key and name it Main.


When you’re done the path will look like this.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main


Highlight Main and create a new DWORD Value.


Give it the Value name AlwaysShowMenus and give it a Value data of “1” then click OK.


Now you can close out of Registry Editor, and open IE 9. When you first open it you won’t see the Menu Bar, so hit Alt or Alt+T again and it will come up and will always be there from now on anytime you launch IE 9.


Or like in this example we just want the Menu Bar showing and not the other ones. Keep in mind that the Menu Bar will always be displayed now, if you want to reverse it, go back into your Registry settings you created and change the AlwaysShowMenus Value to “0”.


Always Display Command, Status, and Favorites

With the new version of Internet Explorer, Microsoft is going for more of a simplistic interface. This might be welcome to some, but if you’ve been a long time IE user, you might miss the various toolbars. To display the Command, Status, and Favorites bar, simply right-click an empty area next to a tab and check which one(s) you want displayed. Then you might want to lock the toolbars as well.


Now anytime when you open IE 9 the bars you selected will show up.


This should work with IE 9 Beta 32 or 64-bit versions. Hopefully this will be fixed in the final release of IE 9.

Thanks to Vishal for figuring this out. He also has the Registry Script you can download for enabling and disabling the Registry Setting.

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+

  • Published 09/23/10

Comments (31)

  1. VG

    Thanks for putting it together. Nice and informative. I’m sure it’ll help lots of IE9 Beta users. :)

  2. thenonhacker

    The horror!

    I prefer the clean minimalist IE9.

  3. Tangmeister

    How many tabs can you open at the same time and be able to read?

  4. Bobo

    I wished that there was a registry hack to move the tabs. Maybe later perhaps…

  5. Bobo

    Everyone should know that with this enabled, you can also move a toolbar (like Google Toolbar) next to the Menu Bar just like in IE8 to save space! Thank You!!!!!!

  6. Randal

    Now if only they’d leave the tabs where they are in IE8…….. Also if you click on Favorites in the menu bar – that folder layout is exactly what I want to see when I save a Favorite by “Add to Favorites”, then click “Create in” Favorites, and then I want to see this folder layout, come up and I want to be able to open and close folders at will while saving Favorites…..why is that so hard to do. I don’t want to see all of the folders expanded. This has got to be the most irritating thing in Windows at this point.

  7. Bob1001

    Dear HTG, just the tutorial I wanted. I have difficulty with IE 9 because it has no toolbar, but now I can get it. Thank you so much for the How-to! . regards Bob

  8. raw6464

    Why didn’t MS leave well enough alone? I tried IE9 and after an hour I removed it. If they wanted to make a change at least make it an option. Going backward is NOT progress!

  9. devky

    I agree with raw6464. I WANTED to remove IE9, but when I tried to reinstall IE8, I got the error message that I couldn’t do that becuase I had a newer version of IE. Based on previous Microsoft experiences, I figured if I uninstalled IE9 first, I would lose Favorites and who knows what else. So I guess I have to live with IE9 now, even though I don’t want it. More simplistic? IE8 is plenty simplistic – I can hide the Command Bar, the Menu Bar, the Status Bar, etc. IF I WANT TO. It’s ridiculous for Microsoft to require me to edit my registry to do something that should be as simple as a mouse-click – making the Menu Bar always visible. “Simplistic” and “edit the registry” do not go together. Microsoft strikes again in its lame effort to outdo other browsers.

  10. Bill Watt

    Thank you so much. That fixed my problem of STICKING the Menu Tool Bar in IE 9. I have created a Favorite to you web site. Good Job.

  11. flamekeeper

    worked great, thx!

  12. Mr Wizard

    The fix diddn’t work for me. I am using W7. I also tried to remove IE9B but couldn’t install IE8 because the only download options for for Vista X64 and W7 said it wasn’t compatible. Microsoft should let sleeping dogs lie.

  13. Zack Z Tentmaker

    WOW….. It absolutely worked perfect as directed!!!!!

    Thank you for your accurate discriptive method. Microsoft should have sleeping dogs lie.


  14. Candy

    The toolbars ARE there – they are under ALT then click on view and they are under the VIEW heading – not where they used to be – but now I have mine on there all the time, with no need to hack anything! Remember – press ALT, then click on the drop down VIEW, then you will be happy again like me!

  15. Sandra Pohlman

    What a relief! Roboform 6.? doesn’t work in Firefox 4. They want us to “upgrade” to their #7. Trying to fast my browser and still have it setup in a way I’m familiar with is mportant to me. You ease Granny Geeks mind here!

  16. BIG ROB

    Thank you very much for your simple and detailed advice regarding adding the Favorites ToolBar in IE9 like it was in IE8. I sent Microsoft a complaint email. Your site has been added to my Favorites. Once again, many thanks from a Vietnam Veteran.

  17. Phil Andrews

    Nothing is guaranteed to get me more annoyed more quickly than “improvements” that change settings etc without my authorisation. Perhaps one day, software co.s might take note of the fact that many of us feel the same. In the meantime however, thank you very much for this easy-to-follow advice.

  18. Keith

    Try pressing F11 key. It will bring back the missing toolbar and menu bar.

  19. IDA LANG

    Just det behöver jag Google Översätt utan undantag för att jag får e-mail då kunna jag läsa från engelska till svenska,jag begära och microsoft benäga acceptera mig som jag användbara olika internet,och jag är berättigad!!!!!!!!!!Var god ge mig möjligheterna viktig för mig,tack för hjälpet och acceptera.

  20. The Rivermouse

    I followed instructions (to get back the toolbar) up until my computer offered me the option to create a DWORD Value (32-bit) or a QWORD Value (64 -bit). Since I am running the 64-bit version I chose the QWORD. Didn’t work.

    So I went back, deleted the QWORD Value and created a DWORD Value and….ta daaaaaa!!!!! Even though I am running 64-bit, it worked. Just FYI, all you 64-bitters out there.


  21. geno

    Forget all that. Right-Click in a blank area at the top near the toolbar area, check the toolbars you want and the click lock the toolbars.

    No need to screw with the registry at all.

    Re-start IE9 and everything is right there. :)


  22. WidowsSon

    Geno is right. Simply right-click the blank area near the top of your browser, selct Menu bar and if you’d like the menu bar to always appear also selct the Lock toolbars option.

  23. Ken

    Thanks for the help.. by hitting alt, I can now at least get my Fav bar back for a moment..
    I wish I could get my smilies and font size and that part back when I type on some of the sites
    I belong to.. maybe I just have to read more and learn more about ie9 … I am a little slow lol, cause I am 70 .. old fart hahaha..but I will challenge any of you on DFX or Battlefield bad company2.. hahah
    Added howtogeek to my fav .. thanks again.

  24. Ken

    found it on ie9 setting is “Compatability View” and it then shows your fonts and smilies on the send message side… example this window has no smilies etc..

  25. Mary

    I am trying to always keep the menu bar open in IE 9 and changed the registry according to your instructions, but the menu bar keeps disappearing.

  26. Todd

    Wow, doesn’t anyone read first? Press the alt key or go into a registry hack? I wonder what one is easier and quicker. Thanks for noting that. I put them there and they are there after closing and opening it back up.

  27. Tim Pullen

    Massive thanks to Candy (message dated March 10 2011). I have just downloaded IE9 and immediately noticed the toolbar differences to IE8. The ALT then View option suggested worked perfectly!! An entirely risk free solution to what was, at first, a very annoying problem! I too am now very happy!

  28. John

    Thanks. Why is microsoft making it harder to use their software? I cannot believe that with this version of internet explorer I couldn’t do many things that I wanted to do, I had no control of what I wanted to do. This used to be easy in previous versions. How stupid! I’m about to stop using microsoft products the next time this happens,

  29. douglas


    I just installed ie9 and was kinda lost without the toolbars. I moved cursor to top of screen, right clicked, got a window listing toolbars and selected those that I wanted

  30. douglas

    Just in case, I also had a problem accessing my favourites (from menu bar) – I use two levels i.e. favourites contains sport which contains football and racing – I could see the first level (sport) but when I moused over it the second level though not visible was there.Though I could not see football or racing, when I clicked on where they should be I linked to them ok. The problem turned out to be the shortcut I was using – I had a shortcut on the taskbar for 32 bit IE which I needed for some sites and got into the habit of using it. As soon as I accessed IE via ‘all priograms’ i.e. 64 bit, all was hunky-dory.

  31. granie

    thank you so much. i m so completely computer illiterate its pathic. I can stand changes. Im so glad to get back to what i know an like. Your wonderfull

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