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How to Get the Toolbar Back in Photoshop

Published: 29/08/2023

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There are instances when clicking on the wrong button can mess up your editing, like making your toolbar disappear.  If you accidentally delete it, below is an in-depth guide on how to get the toolbar back in Photoshop.

How to Get Toolbar Back in Photoshop Using Several Methods

You can restore the toolbar by going to the Window menu and selecting the Show Tools option. Other troubleshooting methods include resetting the Essentials Workspace, creating a new workspace, or resetting the software. You may also restore a specific tool in the Toolbar through the Customize Toolbar dialog box.

The toolbar compiles the essential tools that help you with the editing and design processes. Below, I will walk you through various methods you can use if you accidentally lose your tool on screen.

Restore the Toolbar Through the Window Menu Bar

This is among the easiest ways to bring back the Toolbar. The Window drop-down lists every panel you can toggle on and off.

  1. Go to the menu bar, and scroll down to the Tools option.
  2. Click on it to turn on the checkmark and see the Toolbar again.
Restoring the toobar through the Window Menu

Restore the Toolbar Using a Keyboard Shortcut

The Tab key is a keyboard shortcut that hides the panels. Simply press the Tab key again to reveal the panels and your tools. You can press Shift + Tab to toggle the panels on and off.

Restore the Toolbar by Resetting the Essentials Workspace

Workspace determines which features are visible on the interface as you edit while hiding unnecessary and distracting elements. It also helps you resolve issues like missing panels or tools.

When the toolbar is missing, you can restore it by resetting the Essentials Workspace.

  1. Go to Window on the menu bar on top.
  2. Hover over the Workspace option.
  3. From the Workspace submenu, select Essentials (Default). This action will put a checkmark beside it.
  4. Click the Reset Essentials option. This will restore the default workspace with your toolbar present.
Restoring the toolbar by resetting the Essentials Workspace

Restore the Toolbar by Creating a New Workspace

This editing program has a vast number of features, tools, and panels. A custom screen only shows the element or tool you frequently use, hiding the rest for a decluttered interface.

For instance, if you are a real estate photographer, most of your work involves editing images using manipulation tools like the Blur tool or Spot Healing tool to enhance their appeal. Alternatively, you may create marketing material using features like the Crop tool, the Selection tool, or the Quick Selection tool.

In this way, you'll waste less time digging through the menu bar options to find the right tool. If the Essentials function isn't working, another method to restore the toolbar is to create a new workspace.

  1. Go to Workspace, and select New Workspace from the submenu.
  2. Check the menus, toolbar, and keyboard shortcuts.
  3. Save your new workspace.
  4. Relaunch the program.

Restore the Toolbar By Resetting Photoshop

You only need to resort to this method if all the other methods are not working. I recommend resetting the software only if you are fine with resetting the tools and other preferences on the screen.

  1. Exit the program.
  2. Press and hold down the key combination Shift + CTRL + Alt (Windows) or Shift + CMD + Opt (Mac) while opening Photoshop again.
  3. You will see the initial settings restored in your toolbar on the left side of the PS interface.

Another way to reset the program is to go to the Preferences dialog. 

  1. Click Edit (Windows) or Photoshop (Mac).
  2. Go to Preferences, and select General.
  3. Select Reset Preferences on the Quit option and click OK.
  4. A confirmation popup will appear. PS will close and relaunch with all the default settings if you confirm it.
Restoring the toolbar by resetting Photoshop

Restore Specific Tools in the Toolbar

If you are facing an issue with missing tools in the toolbar, you can tackle it by customizing your toolbar. A customized toolbar will be the most practical solution to Photoshop's clear and highly optimized workflow. 

Follow these steps to design your toolbar according to your preferences.

  1. Go to the Edit (Windows) or Photoshop menu (Mac).
  2. Select Toolbar from the drop-down menu.
  3. When the Customize Toolbar dialog box opens, choose the missing tool from the list in the Extra Tools section.

Drag the tool in the Toolbar section and click on Done.

Customizing the toolbar

Toolbox Basics

The toolbox is the most frequently used element. This long rectangular bar houses the tool icons for selecting functions, commands, and colors. It also offers pointers for using the Tools bar efficiently.

Toolbox Contents

There is a tool icon for every function. If you don't see the tool tip, go to the Edit menu bar, click on Preferences, and select the General tab. 

Make sure to check the Show Tool Tips checkbox. Some icons represent a tool intuitively, like a magnifying glass for the Zoom tool or a big letter T for the Type tool.

Hidden Tools

Some tool icons have hidden tool variations. Click on the small arrow in a tool's bottom-right corner to expand the options for selecting tools. 

For example, if you click on the Rectangular Marquee tool icon, you'll see a range of hidden tools, including the Elliptical Marquee tool, Single Row Marquee marquee tool, and the Single Column Marquee tool.


If your toolbar goes missing on the screen, you can use any of these ways to restore the tools. In addition to simply fixing the toolbar, you can create a customized toolbar. Doing this will speed up your work rate and eliminate irrelevant features you rarely use.


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