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PowerPoint Toolbar Not Working? Here’s How to Fix It!

PowerPoint is one of the most commonly used presentation programs. Those who are familiar with it also know that a lot of things can go wrong while using it. PowerPoint Toolbar not working is one such problem. Since you looked it up, I’m assuming you are struggling with it too.

Toolbar-related problems occur either because of a system issue or because of your unintentional misplacement. Sometimes other people who have access to your pc can also be the cause. Fortunately, you can easily solve these through software updates.

In this article, I will talk about how to fix these toolbar-related issues; and how you can customize them.

So, without further ado, let’s get right to it.

Why Does the Toolbar Disappear in PowerPoint?

While working on a project you might find that the little toolbar at the top isn’t showing up. The issue is particularly common in older versions of PowerPoint. It is immensely frustrating because this problem keeps happening on every .pptx file you try to open. It also persists after multiple reboots.

Honestly speaking, it is one of the most infuriating issues on PowerPoint. Most people end up having to reinstall the software to fix it. You can just imagine how inconvenient that is while someone is pressed for time. But why does this problem occur in the first place? There are four primary reasons for the disappearing toolbar problem:

1. Outdated version

You are most likely to face a disappearing toolbar if you are using an outdated PowerPoint version. These problems become increasingly frequent if you fail to maintain a consistent update level. The simplest way to fix the issue is by updating your PowerPoint.

2. Corrupt .pptx file

Corrupt .pptx file can cause you a lot of embarrassment in certain situations. A corrupt .pptx file can also cause a plethora of problems too, which include the disappearing toolbar issue.

Fixing a corrupt file is relatively easy. You can resolve it by following a few simple steps. Here are the things you can do to fix a corrupt .pptx file.

  • Relocate the file to a new location and try opening it from there.
  • Copy the content from one .pptx file to a new one. Open a new file and click on “New Slides”, then click “Reuse Slide”. After that, browse and choose the original corrupt file.
  • There is software called PPTX Repair EXE, its sole purpose is fixing corrupt .pptx files.

You can use this if the first two methods fail.

  • Type powerpnt /safe in the Windows search box to open PowerPoint in safe mode. Try opening the file in this mode and see if it fixes the Toolbar Problem.  You will see (safe) written beside the title bar while in this mode.

3. PowerPoint running for too long

You might face a disappearing toolbar if kept PowerPoint running for too long. It’s usually common in offices where people leave their files open all day. A reboot should fix the problem.

4. Outsider interference

If someone else fiddled with the toolbar too much, you need to undo all their customization to get all your quick access toolbar menus back.

How to Show or Hide Toolbar in PowerPoint?

The quick access toolbar at the top should disappear when you are doing a full-screen presentation. There is, however, a non-intrusive toolbar at the bottom. It lets you control some parts of the slide more thoroughly. It is helpful in certain cases, but most people would rather hide it during a presentation.

You only need to follow a handful of steps to hide the toolbar:

Step 1: Look to top-left and click on the “File” tab

Step 2: Navigate to “Options” from the drop-down menu.

Step 3: Find the “Advanced” tab on the left, go down to Slide Show and uncheck the “Show popup toolbar” from the relevant menu.

How to Pin Ribbon or Toolbar in PowerPoint?

The ribbon is the area below the quick access toolbar that contains all the tabs. You can customize the ribbon section just like the toolbar. You can customize the ribbon through the Ribbon Display Options icon.

Click on the ribbon display icon. It should be at the top right beside the minimize icon.

You will find three display options for Ribbon after clicking that icon. The options are Auto-hide Ribbon, Show Tabs, Show tabs and Commands.

Pro Tip!
You can also show or hide the ribbon in PowerPoint using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+F1 [or Cmd+Opt+R on Mac]

If you choose “Auto-hide Ribbons” it will unpin the ribbon from your PowerPoint once you let it idle for a while. You can access the ribbon again by clicking on the title bar.

“Show Tabs” will unpin the command bar from the ribbon and only show the tabs. “Show Tabs and Commands” will undo the previous two changes and pin the ribbon permanently.

The Toolbar is Greyed Out? Here’s How to Fix

Are your Toolbar or Ribbon tabs greyed out? You would come across a greyed-out menu frequently if you are in the habit of sharing your slides with friends and coworkers. Rest assured, the greyed-out menu is not a malfunction, rather it’s a security feature.

You will only see a greyed-out menu if you do not have sufficient access to the file. It’s a feature of the Information Rights Management system applied by Microsoft. The owner can limit the amount of accessibility of the files under the management rights.

You can’t access the toolbar or ribbon tabs if the original owner disabled them for you. The owner might even have set the file in a Reduced Functionality Mode. The file could also be under Protected View.

Unfortunately, you can’t do anything to solve this issue. Your best bet is to contact the original owner of the file and ask them to grant you editing rights.

How to Add a Quick Access Toolbar in PowerPoint?

There should always be a quick access toolbar at the top-left corner of PowerPoint. You do not need to add it or remove it. However, you can disable or enable the pop-up toolbar during your presentation. What you can do is edit how many tools there are on the toolbar.

The toolbar is heavily customizable, and there are several commands you can put in it. These commands on the toolbar are not linked to the ribbon tabs. You can take something from the ribbon tab and add it to the Quick Access Toolbar. I’ll show you to add them in the following section:

  • Click on the tab and select the command you want to add to the toolbar, right-click it and select “Add to Quick Access Toolbar”
  • You can also add commands that are not among the ribbon tabs. You need to click on the “Customize Quick Access Toolbar” icon. It should be on the right side of the toolbar. Then you need to select “More Commands” from the drop-down menu and add them.

Final Thoughts

PowerPoint toolbar and ribbon tabs are crucial for making any presentation. The more familiar with all the commands, the more efficient your presentation will be. As such, it is always a good idea to customize them to suit your taste rather than sticking to the default version.

Doing so will boost your efficiency and prevent minor problems such as PowerPoint Toolbar Not Working from hindering your momentum. However, there are certain issues that you can’t take preemptive measures against, such as corrupted .pptx files, so it is always good to know a few ways of dealing with them.