AutoCAD 2013 & AutoCAD LT 2013 Bible

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AutoCAD 2012 Bible

Display lost toolbars in AutoCAD

Sometimes people have trouble displaying a toolbar that isn’t visible, or a toolbar seems to disappear for no apparent reason. Here are some tips for displaying toolbars.

1st method

The easiest way to display a toolbar is to right-click any visible toolbar. This displays the list of all your toolbars, as you see here on the right. Just pick the one you want to make it visible.

However, certain custom toolbars, and the Express Toolbars aren’t listed. To find them, right-click any blank (gray) area next to a toolbar. Click ACAD to find the same toolbars you’d get by right-clicking a displayed toolbar.

2nd method

If you know the name of the toolbar, another option is to use the command line form of the TOOLBAR command, by typing -toolbar. At the resulting prompt, enter the name of the toolbar. Then, at the Enter an option: prompt, press Enter to show the default option, which is Show. Here’s what it looks like:

Command: -toolbar
Enter toolbar name or [ALL]: dimension
Enter an option [Show/Hide/Left/Right/Top/Bottom/Float] <Show>:

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3rd method

An alternative is to choose View> Toolbars. Starting with AutoCAD 2006, this opens the Customize User Interface (CUI) dialog box.

As you can see, the On By Default value is Hide. Click to reveal a drop-down arrow, and choose Show to display that toolbar by default.

4th method

An excellent way to control the display of toolbars is with workspaces. You can create a workspace that displays any set of menus, toolbars, and palettes (called dockable windows in the CUI dialog box). You can do this in 2 ways.

Display the toolbars that you want. In the Workspaces toolbar, choose Save Current As from the drop-down list. Enter a name and choose Save. Now, you can choose that workspace any time you want it from the Workspace toolbar (assuming you can find the Workspace toolbar!).

You can also create a workspace in the CUI dialog box. Right-click the Workspaces node and choose New> Workspace. Then type the name of the workspace. Click the Customize Workspace button. What this does is add a checkbox next to all the items on the left. Then you check what you want and uncheck what you don’t want. For each item, you can specify its properties, such as Docked or Floating. Finally, click Done.

Finding lost toolbars

Toolbars can sometimes get “lost” due to a change in screen resolution. If you recently changed the resolution of your screen, try a higher resolution, which will show more items at the edge.

You can protect toolbars from moving by locking their position. Right-click any toolbar and choose Lock Location. Then choose Floating Toolbars to lock those that aren’t docked, Docked Toolbars, or All.

85 comments to Display lost toolbars in AutoCAD

  • layer toolbar

    my layer toolbar is lost how can i do it back

  • Ellen

    Have you tried the technique described in the tip?

  • Denny

    i have lost all of my toolbars. i mean all of them. i don’t even have the file dropdown list. i used the right click to go to options, but when i right click now, there is nothing. there are no toolbars or dropdown list at all. i went to look at cui and the default dropdown lists are there but it has no properites to it. i don’t know what i did if i did anything.

  • Ellen

    Try the MENULOAD command to reload the menu. Also, try changing the workspace to see if it’s just a problem with the workspace. Just some suggestions….

  • Jake

    thanks a lot….MENULOAD solved my issue.

  • STAN G

    When Save command is used the Command Line sometimes produces 3 lines in quick succession:

    Line 1 = Save
    Line 2 = Nil
    Line 3 = Nil.

    Then when I go to ‘File’and drop down menu to ‘Close’ the drawing it asks whether I wish to save the drawing file.

    Is there a patch to rectify this problem on Lt 2010?


  • Sagar ahmmed

    I can’t show Auto CAD 2011 menu bar. How I show it .please inform me.

  • Ellen

    Two ways, that I can think of. Choose Classic as the workspace. Or, to keep both the menus and the ribbon, set the menubar system variable to 1.
    Type menubar on the command line and press Enter. Then type 1 and press Enter.

  • vaibhav

    Hi Ellen,

    My autocad2009 does’t have any tool bar appeard with workspace.Is there any way to get the tool bars in 2009? or I have to run any add-ons..Please let me know your reply.


  • Ellen

    I don’t remember that far back. Try choosing the Classic workspace. What do you see? Or from the menu, try View>Toolbars and choose one.

  • Luke

    Hi Ellen,

    Great post thanks. Is there a way to lock the menubar in Autocad 2012? I use it often but have to reload it everytime I open Autocad which is a pain!


  • jahanzeb

    screen is looking white gride how it is solved

  • Fadly

    Try resetting your profile by using tool menu. then go to options. there is a reset button in the profile tab.

  • Shay

    i am using the 2012 autocad, architecture version. All of my menus have disapeared. i tried all the thing you listed above but nothin will turn them back on. Pleeeeeease help :(
    i have a hge assignment due tomorrow and i have wasted two hours so far trying to figure it out and nothing works.

  • Ellen

    Have you tried MENULOAD, reloading the acad menu?

  • binalamria

    my autocad 2007 do not have menu bar, only ‘express’ at left top site. how to gt menu bar and all tool bar. thanks

  • Lihle



  • We use some ancient software called Mechanical Desktop 2004, note the sarcasm, lol! Anyway, our one employee boots up AutoCAD this morning the Express menu is gone, so we type in “EXPRESSTOOLS” at the command prompt and it brings it back, but once he leaves AutoCAD and boots up again, it’s gone every time. It’s not an option when you type in “MENULOAD”, but is there after typing “EXPRESSTOOLS” at the command prompt. When you go to search for a file in menuload, it’s looking for and “mnc” file which I cannot find. Any clues?


    PS – We have ACAD 2013 on order :)

  • Ellen

    Hard to know what might have happened and as you obviously realize, 2004 is old. I don’t remember much about it. See if you can find an .mnu file, which is the source code for the .mnc file.

  • Hi,

    Thanks for this post. I hope you can help me.

    In my dynamic block editor, my drop down menu for visibility states is missing (the buttons you push to show all visibility states at once, etc.). I have tried everything to get it to come back up.

    Do you have any advice?


  • Geoff

    I’ve just come across a problem with some of the control type menus which have disappeared (Acad 2010). These menus only appear when you’re in a command for instance “Leader”. The command starts

    Specify leader start point – selected
    Specify next point – Next point & return

    ordinarily a small menu appears at this point giving you a series of options “Mtext, none etc” however this menu has now disappeared.

    Any ideas on how to get it back?

  • Ellen

    It sounds as if the command was redefined. There are other leader-related commands, such as QLEADER and MLEADER. Try those.


    MAM , i wanted to learn more about auto cad .
    you send me more lesson of auto cad .
    God bless you so much .
    From Shafiq

  • Geoff

    Same thing with those commands, another instance is for the “UCS, face” command, once the face is selected the menu used to prompt you for “Accept, X-flip, Y-flip..etc” but this now only appear at the command prompt.

  • Geoff

    “Dynmode” was set to , how that happened I do not know but at least I’ve resolved it now.

  • using Autocad 2010 architecture. User wants setup as autocad classic workspace. option is not available is workspace settings. user wants classic control the buttons gave him, but only tabs command structure available. how can we change to classic workspace?

  • Ellen

    You can get both. Try setting the menubar system variable to 1 to display the menus. I don’t have AutoCAD Architecture, so I don’t know if it’s different from plain Vanilla. Also, you can create a custom workspace. This tip explains how:

  • Ellen

    All I have is in this blog. Good luck!

  • siddhu

    I using autocad 2009. And I have loosing my tool bar like tool bar does’t appeared on the screen. Please give me your suggest to me as possible as.

  • Ellen

    I don’t have any ideas except for the 4 that are in the blog post. Have you tried them all?

  • karishma

    dear ellen,
    recently i have installed autocad 2011.and some classic toolbars are missing (like draw,line,multyline,polyline,rectangle, layer etc) classic autocad options…how can i find dat. plz help me

  • Ellen

    By default, toolbars don’t show, just the ribbon shows. Have you tried the 4 methods in the tip?

  • Marie Haines

    A coworker who is using LT 2008 today has lost all toolbars and most of the menus. We have tried reloading the acadlt.cui file but this had no effect. When I opened the CUI there were no toolbars or menus to select, when you click on the +menus or toolbars there is no list that opens up. It’s as they have been deleted from the program I found this post and got as far as “On by Default value is Hide.” where exactly is this option? I can’t see it in your photo.

  • Charles Vermillion

    Can you please explain method #3 because I have the exact same window in front of me, as it’s shown here, and there is no “hide” option, no drop-down which has a “show” option. I’ve clicked everything, the only options are “new”, “find” and “replace”, or the help file.
    My toolbars all disappeared over the weekend mysteriously, despite having them locked and saved as custom workspace which is set to not save changes. Like a double safety. But somehow it changed by itself AND saved the changes.

  • Charles Vermillion

    Sorry ignore last, I’ve found it. They certainly make you work for it!

  • Charles Vermillion

    Method 3 didn’t work for me, after applying changes from “hide” to “show”, none of the toolbars re-appeared. I now think they might be there, but dragged somewhere far off screen. I haven’t changed resolution.

  • Ellen

    Perhaps reload the menu? Try the MENULOAD command.
    Are you using a release that has a ribbon? Can you get that to show?

  • Hi Ellen,

    I have recently been upgraded to LT 2013, and I created a new workspace with heavily modified ribbons, panels and toolbars etc. The only problem is… my PC has since been upgraded and AutoCAD re-installed but i cannot find the file for my saved workspace? I would prefer to transfer it instead of spending lots of time re-modifying my ribbons! Any ideas what the filename or extension would be and where it would be saved?

    Your help would be much appreciated!

  • Tommy

    My toolbars are visible in acad7, but the icons are not? I can select them and they do work.

    Just can’t see them. Can you advise?

  • shireen.

    I LOVE YOU! MENULOAD saved my life :D thank you so much

  • Ellen

    I’m happy to save a life or two!

  • leegmoser

    Hi all of you,
    Can any one help me please????
    My issue is that UCS Face does not work in ACA 2013 as it did in ACA 2010/11/12. Can any one describe me…….

  • Pavani Devi

    Need to know that when ever i work in autocad sometimes when i need to open a file from open command option suddenly my command bar ask me that enter the file name? What is solution for it?

  • Ellen

    Perhaps change the FILEDIA system variable’s value to ON if it’s off.

  • Hamed

    Hi Ellen,
    plz help me,how i can preview of my map like powerpoint( with press f5) with no toolbar,sidebar,… all.just see show it on video projector

  • Hi Ellen,

    I have previously had my screen set up with the Ribbon at the top and my old classic view tools down the side in strips so I have the use and feel of my old classic view while I get used to the Ribbon, However I cannot remember how I set it up like this as it was in my previous job so i know it is possible but how do I do it? Any ideas. Its Autocad 2012

    Thank You and apprecate any suggestions

  • Ellen

    Probably a custom workspace plus manually undocking toolbars and changing their shape and location. Once you have what you want, this might help:

  • meena

    how can i reload the commads for a drawing that z already saved?

  • Ellen

    Try menuload.

  • Abz

    Hi Ellen,

    How do I find the Standard and Properties Toolbars in Autocad 2013,


  • Ellen

    The easiest way is to choose AutoCAD Classic from the Workspace drop-down list at the upper-left corner of the screen.
    You might find this helpful, on creating a custom workspace:

  • Johnny S

    Beste Ellen,

    Na heel wat projecten heb ik van een goeie ex-collega Johan tijdens het tekenen van lucht-kanalen destijds met nordined tijdens lastige hoeken van de bouwkundige onderlegger een handige commando waarbij je die intypt en op de desbetreffende Bouwkundige Lijn je assenkruis stelsel de hoek overneemt en zo handig je kanalen of leidingen kan neerzetten.Se vraag is dan, komt het jou bekend voor,weet je toevallig hoe je die commando binnen de autocad-2011/2013 kan activeren.

    Vriendelijk bedankt,

    Groeten uit Arnhem

    From Google Translate: After a lot of projects I have a good ex-colleague Johan while drawing air channels then with Nordined during awkward corners of the building pad handy command that you who typed and the corresponding Building Line your axes system the angle takes over and so convenient your channels or ducts may neerzetten.Se question is, is it known to you, you happen to know how you can activate commands within the autocad-2011/2013.

  • Aurora

    Hi, all the above didn’t work for me until I found it 2 simple steps to recover the toolbars that just disappeared for no reason.
    1. Type ‘menu’
    2. Select ‘acad’ from the list

    Sure works! :)

  • hesham

    Thanks Aurora :D
    Typing ‘menu’ and choosing ‘acad’ is the only thing that worked for me too.

  • Michael G.

    I don’t have ANY common toolbars in ACAD CLASSIC in AutoCAD LT 2012, just a SEARCH AUTDESK SEEK. Right-Click lacks AutoCAD. Happening on 3 computers out of a school lab. Not showing up in DRAFTING & ANNOTATION, either. Any thoughts?

  • Michael G.

    And am seeing AUTOCADWS. No DRAW, MOD, DIMEN, OBJ SNAP. Need for kids. Not ready for Ribbon.

  • Try MENULOAD and see if loading the ACAD menu helps.

  • kelvin ng

    MENULAOD is great , now. i can see my toolbar…..

  • Neil P

    I have accidentally dragged a toolbar partly off the screen. I now can’t drag it back. I’ve tried turning it off and on again but it goes back to the same position. How can I see beyond the screen to drag it back?

  • Mike P.

    For a toolbar that has slipped off the screen, you can manually adjust the toolbar location by doing the following (this should work for all ACAD versions utilizing the CUI):

    1.) At the AutoCAD command line type “CUI”. This opens the “Custom User Interface” dialog.

    2.) Select your current workspace on the tree in “Customization in All Files” window, located in the upper left corner of the customize tab.

    3.) In the “Workspace Contents” Window (upper right), expand the “Toolbars” branch.

    4.) Find the lost toolbar name on the list, select it and edit the “Default X Location” and/or “Default Y Location” in “Properites” window (lower right). You may need to set the “Orientation” value for the toolbar to “Floating” before you can edit the coordinate fields.

    5.) Select the “Apply” button at the bottom of the dialog to invoke the new toolbar location. Continue adjusting the coordinates and applying until the toolbar is back on screen. Once the toolbar shows on screen, close the CUI dialog and move the toolbar back to it’s happy home.

    I hope this helps.

  • Brian

    In AutoCAD 2014 I am no longer able to see the names of my toolbars when they are set to floating. In AutoCAD 2008 all of my toolbars were able to show their names when set to floating. I am in classic mode in AutoCAD2014. Is there any way to display the names in floating toolbars again?

  • Jerry Patterson

    It worked! Thanks!

  • alan

    Thanks.3rd method works for me.

  • Tejal


  • Dave Bera

    Thanks Filedia seems to turn off if a drawing closes unexpectedly. frustrating.

  • Tapan jena

    when i have done some extra zoom in a object, i am facing a problem like , the cursor is not moving properly, pls solve my problem.


  • Frank Lowe

    I found my answer to the 2008LT no toolbars problem!! Go to Menuload –browse AcadLT–Under Support folder, look for autocadsampleworkspaces. Load it.
    Everything popped up suddenly.

    Thanks Miss Ellen and Everyone.

  • Jacqui

    There is no reference to the normal AutoCAD toolbars. I have used all four of your methods above and nothing is found.
    My workspace is Civil 3D. Very frustrating. Thanks.

  • mohammed gouse

    i having problem with commands tool is not working

  • Mohammed, can you be more specific? Not sure what problem you’re having.

  • anand

    every time i shut down and restart my system autocad 2013 tool bar i bring from tool bar menu how to save the tool bar and avoid without go tool bar menu every time start

  • Karan Singh

    Every time I logoff or turn off my computer, the next time I open AutoCAD LT 2015, the RIBBON and ALL the panel are lost – cannot get it to display. I go to the quick access toolbar and click on “more commands”, I got the AutoCAD LT Message that reads: “Unable to open customization file: C:\Users…\appdata\roaming\autodesk\autocad lt 2015\r21\enu\support\acadlt.cuix;
    This file has been moved, renamed, or deleted. To find and reload this file, type CUILOAD at the Command prompt.”

    I type CUILOAD at the command prompt, the “Load/Unload Customizations” dialog box shows up and I go to the file location shown above – the file “acadlt.cuix” is still there…. what’s going on?
    I keep reinstalling the file, but every I turn off the computer, the same thing happens.

    Kindly Suggest the soultion

  • Mauricio

    Ellen are you still helping?
    My view command box is located outside the screen Autocad 2006
    and I can not bring with the cursor inside my screen

  • Augustine Oga

    thanks for the help I have obtained from your explanation, they r realy heplful

  • jasbir singh

    then enter write all
    show…its easy

  • Craig

    I have tried all 4 of the above methods but i still have no toolbars.

    If i go to the customize user interface and click tools nothing happens, no expaning of folder, no new lidt of tool bars, NOTHING.

    The only tool bars i have on display are the adobe ones of which there are three.
    im a novice but any help would be appriciated.

  • fatimah

    hye miss ellen..
    i have a problem now with my autocadd toolbar…
    i have lost everything..when i click view + toolbar..(no respond…empty item)

    one more problem..
    i want to remove drawing to another autocadd,then i select drawing i right click but does’t show anything..

    *should i install autocadd again or have another solution.

    sorry my English not very well..

  • jeric

    how can i bring back my toolbar on my work space. i don’t know if i hit some keys that remove my toolbar. i used 2007autocad, then if i open an old file: image is there, but there is no toolbar like it displayed before. and if i try to print my work, using “ctrl. P” it doesn’t work.
    hope u can help me.. I do try “menulaod” & “cui” but nothings happen.

  • Jan Lammers

    The erase and copy icons for some reason don’t appear on the modify toolbar in autocad 2010?…………..How can I get them to appear on the toolbar?????????????????? JL

  • Jan Lammers

    The erase and copy icons for some reason don’t appear on the modify toolbar in autocad 2010?…………..How can I get them to appear on the toolbar?????????????????? JL

  • julia

    can you please explain how to resize a toolbar.

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