Internet Explorer has several toolbars, including the Menu bar, the Favorites bar, and the Command bar. There is also the Address bar, where you can type a web address, and the status bar, which displays messages such as a webpage's download progress. All of these toolbars can be customized in one way or another.

Show or hide the Internet Explorer toolbars

You can show or hide the Menu bar, Favorites bar, Command bar, and status bar. Here's how:

  1. Open Internet Explorer by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type Internet Explorer, and then, in the list of results, click Internet Explorer.

  2. Click the Tools button, point to Toolbars, and then click the toolbar you want to show or hide.

Customize the Command bar

The Command bar is located at the upper-right side of the Internet Explorer window and offers easy access to almost any setting or feature in Internet Explorer. You can customize the Command bar buttons to suit your preferences.

Picture of the command bar
Internet Explorer Command bar
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To change the buttons on the Command bar

  1. Open Internet Explorer by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type Internet Explorer, and then, in the list of results, click Internet Explorer.

  2. Right-click the Command bar, point to Customize, and then click Add or Remove Commands.

  3. Make one or more of the following changes:

    • To add a button, click the button you want to add in the Available toolbar buttons list, and then click Add.

    • To remove a button, click the button you want to remove in the Current toolbar buttons list, and then click Remove.

    • To change the order in which buttons are displayed, click a button in the Current toolbar buttons list, and then click either Move Up or Move Down.

    • To restore the Command bar buttons to their default settings, click Reset.

  4. When you're done, click Close.

    You should see your changes immediately. If you've added a lot of buttons, you might need to resize the Command bar to see them all. See below for more information on resizing the Command bar.

To show or hide text on Command bar buttons

  1. Open Internet Explorer by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type Internet Explorer, and then, in the list of results, click Internet Explorer.

  2. Right-click the Command bar, point to Customize, and then do one of the following:

    • To display a label on every button, click Show All Text Labels.

    • To display a label on some of the buttons, click Show Selective Text.

    • To turn off all text, click Show Only Icons.

To make Command bar icons larger

By default, the Command bar icons are small to allow more room for content in Internet Explorer. If you're using a high-resolution screen, or need a little extra help to see the icons, you can change them to a larger size. Here's how:

  1. Open Internet Explorer by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type Internet Explorer, and then, in the list of results, click Internet Explorer.

  2. Right-click the Command bar, point to Customize, and then click Use Large Icons.

    To make the icons small, follow these steps and click Use Large Icons again.

To resize the Command bar

  1. Open Internet Explorer by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type Internet Explorer, and then, in the list of results, click Internet Explorer.

  2. Right-click the Command bar, and then click Lock the Toolbars to clear the check mark from the command (if no check mark appears next to the command, skip this step).

  3. Drag the Command bar separator Picture of the Command bar separator left or right.
  4. When you're done, right-click the Command bar, and then click Lock the Toolbars.

To move the Command bar

You can move the Command bar from its default position on the tab row to either the Favorites bar or its own row. Moving the Command bar to the Favorites bar can give you room to see more tabs. Moving the Command bar on its own row can make it easier to locate and click Command bar buttons.

  1. Open Internet Explorer by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type Internet Explorer, and then, in the list of results, click Internet Explorer.

  2. Right-click the Command bar, and then click Lock the Toolbars to clear the check mark from the command (if no check mark appears next to the command, skip this step).

  3. Move the Command bar by clicking the Command bar separator Picture of the Command bar separator and dragging it from the tab row to the Favorites bar or its own row.
  4. When you're done, right-click the Command bar, and then click Lock the Toolbars.

Customize the Favorites bar

The Favorites bar replaces the Links toolbar that appeared in previous versions of Internet Explorer. It provides one-click access to your favorite websites, as well as feeds and Web Slices. For more information on how to add links, feeds, and Web Slices to the Favorites bar, see Customize your Favorites bar.

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To arrange links on the Favorites bar

  • To arrange links on the Favorites bar, drag them to a new location.

To remove a link from the Favorites bar

  • To remove a link from the Favorites bar, right-click the link, and then click Delete.

To move the Favorites button to the tab row

  1. Open Internet Explorer by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type Internet Explorer, and then, in the list of results, click Internet Explorer.

  2. Right-click the Command bar, and then click Lock the Toolbars to clear the check mark from the command (if no check mark appears next to the command, skip this step).

  3. Move the Favorites button by clicking the Favorites button separator Picture of the Favorites button separator and dragging it from the Favorites bar to the tab row.
  4. When you're done, right-click the Command bar, and then click Lock the Toolbars.

To change the Go/Stop/Refresh button positions

The Refresh and Go commands share a single button at the end of the Address bar that changes depending on whether the current webpage has loaded or not. If you prefer to have Go and Refresh as separate buttons, follow these steps:

  1. Open Internet Explorer by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type Internet Explorer, and then, in the list of results, click Internet Explorer.

  2. Right-click the Command bar, point to Customize, and then click Show Stop and Refresh Buttons before Address Bar to switch between showing separate Stop and Refresh buttons on the left of the Address bar or showing the combined buttons on the right of the Address bar.