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Internet Explorer 9 optimized its screen real estate a bit; part of the optimization is hiding the menus. They're easy to get back as needed or permanently.

I installed Internet Explorer 9 and I lost my taskbar that contained the EDIT, VIEW, and FILE commands. I don't know how to reinstall or even find them; can you help me? I like to use the Cut and Paste feature and can't because I can't find the Edit anywhere.

The lack of the default menus in IE9 has many people confused.

I'll show you how to find them quickly and how to put them back as needed or permanently. I'll also include a couple of alternate approaches to getting things done.

Why the menu bar isn't displayed by default

IE9 with no menus

The majority of people don't often use the menus in their browser at all. Most of their use is simply viewing pages and clicking on links.

With that in mind, the menu taskbar is really just taking up space; in the interest of maximizing the visible area that's available to the web pages that you're visiting, IE9 hides it by default.

It's not gone, just ... hidden.

Super fast get-em-back

Press the ALT key.

IE9 after pressing the ALT key to get the menu taskbar

There it is.

This is the way that I use it; it's quickly there if you need it and out of your way when you don't.

Kinda quick alternate approach ... for some

Click the gear icon near the upper-right corner in IE:

IE9 gear icon clicked

The resulting menu has many, though not all, of the items that you'd also see on the normal menu taskbar.

Missing, of course, are the items that you asked about: Copy and Paste.

Who needs a menu?

Many operations that are available via the menus on the menu taskbar are also available via direct keystrokes.

For example:

  • Cut: CTRL+X

  • Copy: CTRL+C

  • Paste: CTRL+V

Use the keyboard and you won't need the menu at all. I find those keystrokes to be a lot faster than having to click on various and sundry menu items.

The next time that you look at a menu in IE, have a look at the right-hand side of that menu; you'll find that many keyboard shortcuts are listed right there:

IE9 Edit menu, showing keyboard shortcuts

Just give me the menu and make it stick

OK, so you don't like all of the reasons above why you might not need the menu. Fine, we can bring it back permanently.

Right-click the empty space next to the tabs:

Toolbar menu in IE9

Click Menu bar in that pop-up list and, lo and behold, the menu bar returns:

IE9 with menu bar in place

Article C4830 - May 28, 2011 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

Mike S
May 31, 2011 8:33 AM

Another super fast get-em-back is the F10 key.

May 31, 2011 8:44 AM

Could you tell me how I can get my folders with my various bookmarks back in IE9?

Right click in the empty area next to the tabs and make sure that "Favorites Bar" is checked to make it visible.

Frank D
May 31, 2011 11:26 AM

Leo, on my copies of IE9 (both 32- and 64-bit) your suggestion did not work. In fact, Microsoft's Windows Help and Support instructions to click the Tools button, point to Toolbars and then click Menu Bar didn't work either. What worked for me was to open the Menu Bar by pressing Alt, then click on _View_ > Toolbars > Menu Bar.

Why this merry-go-round with MS IE?

June 1, 2011 9:43 AM

@Michael: That's a good question. From the menu, select View, Explorer Bars, Favorites. As you can see, Ctl+Shift+I is a shortcut to toggle.

Patrice Nero
June 1, 2011 12:13 PM

Thank you for your answer to the question what where is my menu, I all downloaded IE9 and was lost without my menu. Your instructions helped and were easy to understand. Also I want to thank the perple who ask it.I had MNS as my internet setting how do I get that back? I have a Google setting, it is so ugly. Thank you

Mark J
June 1, 2011 2:20 PM

By Internet setting, do you mean your home page? If so go to the page you want to see when you open IE9. Then click on the gear icon in the upper right hand corner of Internet Explorer. If it's not already selected click on th General tab. Then click on Use Current (the web page you are viewing will now replace what was your previous Home Page). Finally click on OK.

October 4, 2011 10:37 PM

problem: if i right click on the empty space next to tabs in IE9, it does not contain options: "menu bar, favorites bar, command bar, status bar, lock the toolbars, show tabs on a separate row, restore.." any solution? thanks!

December 22, 2012 11:39 AM

Did Microsoft update IE 9 64bit about 2 weeks ago. I run Windows 7 pro 64 bit, Yahoo had me
download IE 9 64 bit, I was having no problems.
Now things are different, I get garbled up screen
script when I try to send an email, I keep a close
eye on my text, Some of the items are displayed
differently- Why

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