The Menu Bar Disappears from Windows Explorer

In my previous article about “Folder Options Missing in Windows XP“, Sergio asked a question. I’m reproducing the whole comment here:

Hi, i have read your posts on how to fix the menu bar missing and tried the gpedit but it did not work, i have restarted the machine and still nothing. The problem i have is this:
Windows Explorer – working fine
Taskbar – working fine
Quicklaunch – working fine
Folders – nightmare!
In the folders (all of them), there is no menu bar at the top (incase ive not called it by its right name, i mean the bit with FILE, EDIT, VIEW, etc in in), its there if i use windows explorer to view my machine but not if say i click on my computer, or a shortcut to any folder.
Any thoughts ?

Sometimes the registry values get

corrupted and the layout of the Windows Explorer toolbar gets disturbed. Or if you have installed any software recently which modified the Windows Explorer toolbar, then it is possible that the specific registry value has gotten corrupted.
So What You Need To Do?
Please follow the below steps to generate the default layout of the toolbar again.

  1. Go to Start –> Run –> regedit.
  2. Go to the following key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar\Explorer
    Make sure this key is selected.
  3. Go to File –> Export
    Give the name of the file.
    Make sure the export range is selected branch:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar\Explorer
    Click Save. This will backup the registry key we have to modify. So if ever we do something wrong with the registry, the backup is always there to our rescue. Just double click the saved reg file and the key values will automatically be restored.
  4. Now in the right hand pane, delete ITBarLayout.
  5. Restart your Windows Explorer. Windows should automatically create a default layout of your Windows Explorer Toolbar. And most probably, the above mentioned problem will be solved.
  6. If the problem is not solved, go to the following key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar\ShellBrowser
  7. Backup the key as mentioned earlier (Steps 3 and 4)
  8. In the right hand pane, delete ITBarLayout.
  9. Restart your Windows Explorer.

Please tell me if this solves your issue. It’s always good to share your experiences :-). If you have any other questions, please reach me at sanix AT

20 thoughts on “The Menu Bar Disappears from Windows Explorer”

  1. thnx for the tip. last time this happened was 2 years ago, and i reformatted when it got too annoying. keep up the good work.

  2. Unfortunately, this did not work for me. Windows did not generate a new ITBarLayout. The key just remains deleted, period.

  3. I have the exact same problem, and these fixes didn’t work for me either. The ITBarLayout remains deleted.
    I really, really miss my menus!
    Any other suggestions?

  4. I’m just a bit your step 3, where it says:
    Go to File –> Export
    Give the name of the file.
    what file name am i supposed to place in it?

  5. I noticed that it doesn’t generate a new ITBarlayout in the reg for my x64 XP, but the menu bar is now back to normal. Thank you for the tip.

  6. There is one simple way that work just fine.In the “maximized” view of any windows folder press F11 key (full screen) and then you should have the menu..from there just activate all you need.

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