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How to Get the Toolbar Back in Photoshop

Published: 08/06/2021

The toolbar is a very precious tool for an efficient and fast workflow in Photoshop. Besides all the selection tools, it has a variety of other tools to equip you with design functionalities. If you accidentally delete it, below is an in-depth guide on how to get the toolbar back in Photoshop.

How to Get the Toolbar Back in Photoshop Using Several Methods

While working in Photoshop, there are instances when clicking on the wrong button can mess up our workspace. When such things happen, it is normal to panic, especially if you aren’t completely familiar with how the Photoshop interface works. One of such issues is finding that your toolbar is missing.

The toolbar is usually present on the left side of your workspace. It compiles the most essential tools that help you with the editing and design process of graphics, images, and other forms of visuals. Among the most notable ones are the various selection, cropping, and painting tools, without which you can’t do much in Photoshop.

Getting back your toolbar if it goes missing is a problem that can be solved with straightforward troubleshooting. Below, we will walk you through various methods that you can use if you accidentally lose your toolbar. We will also shed light on customizing your toolbar and the benefits of having an optimized Photoshop workspace. 

Restore the Toolbar Through the Window Menu

One of the most common methods employed to bring back missing panels and features is by accessing it through the Window menu. The Window drop down lists all the panels, which you can toggle on and off by making sure the checkmark is present beside the panel’s name.

Restoring the toobar through the Window Menu

As you are looking to get back the toolbar on your interface, go to the Window menu, and scroll down to the Tools option. Click on it to turn on the checkmark, and you will be able to see your toolbar once again.

Restore the Toolbar Through the Keyboard Shortcut

One of the most common events to instantly send a new Photoshop user into panic mode is accidentally pressing the Tab key. Now the user isn’t aware of what he has done, but the Tab key is actually the keyboard shortcut to hide all the panels to clear up your workspace in Photoshop. 

If you see all your panels and toolbar suddenly vanish, the chances are that you might have hit the Tab key accidentally. Just press the Tab key again to show all the panels, including your toolbar. 

Tip: Press the key combination of SHIFT + TAB to toggle on and off all your panels in Photoshop. 

Restore the Toolbar by Resetting the Essentials Workspace

Workspace is a very useful feature in Photoshop that not only allows you to have a streamlined workflow suiting your particular needs, but it also helps when we run into issues like a missing panel or toolbar. 

The workspace determines the features that will be visible to you on the interface while you work, hiding all the other unnecessary elements that take up valuable space and may cause distraction.

The default workspace in Photoshop is known as Essentials. If you are not using any other workspace, then you must be using the Essentials workspace from the beginning. When you see that your toolbar is missing, restore it by resetting the Essentials Workspace from the Window menu.

  1. Go to the Window menu, and hover the Workspace option.
  2. From the Workspace submenu, select Essentials (Default). This action will put a checkmark beside it.
Restoring the toolbar by resetting the Essentials Workspace
  1. Go to the Window menu again, and click on the Reset Essentials option.
  2. This will restore the default workspace with your toolbar present.

Restore the Toolbar by Creating a New Workspace

Another method to restore the toolbar is to create a new workspace according to your needs. If the Essentials workspace is not suiting your exact needs, you can always create a new one with the toolbar and the panels that you use frequently. 

Take your missing toolbar as an opportunity to design a revamped Photoshop workspace. To make a new workspace, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Window menu on top.
  2. Go to Workspace, and select New Workspace from the submenu.
  3. Give a name to your Workspace.
  4. Check the menus, toolbar, and keyboard shortcuts. 
  5. Save your new workspace.
  6. Relaunch Photoshop to reset the workspace.

Lock Workspace to Avoid Accidentally Losing Toolbar or Any Other Panel

A clever way to make sure that your panels and toolbar will remain intact on your workspace is to lock them. The lock workspace feature is only available in Photoshop versions 2019 and up, so you won’t be able to access it unless you upgrade to any of the latest versions. 

To lock the workspace, reset your current workspace or create a new one. Go to the Window menu, select Workspace, and click on Lock Workspace.

Benefits of Optimizing Workspace

Adobe Photoshop has a vast number of features, tools, and panels. So much so that they simply cannot coexist on the Photoshop interface at one time. Here is where having a custom preset Workspace comes in handy. It will only show the elements that you frequently use, hiding the rest of them for a decluttered interface.

For instance, if you are a real estate photographer, most of your work in Photoshop involves editing images using manipulation tools like the blur tool or spot healing tool to enhance their appeal. Or, you will be creating marketing material for ads and social media for which you need features like the crop tool, selection tool, and the layers panel. 

You can optimize the Workspace accordingly to streamline your workflow and waste less time digging through the menu options to find the right tools. 

Restore the Toolbar By Resetting Photoshop

You only need to resort to this method if all the other ways are not working. We recommend resetting Photoshop only if you are ok with resetting all the other preferences as well.

  1. Exit Adobe Photoshop CC.
  2. Press and hold down the key combination SHIFT + CTRL + ALT (on Windows) or SHIFT + COMMAND + OPTION (on Mac) while opening Photoshop again.
  3. This action will reset Photoshop, and you will see the initial settings restored with your toolbar present on the left side of the Photoshop interface.

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

  1. Click on the Edit menu on Windows or Photoshop menu on Mac. 
  2. Go to Preferences, and select General.
  3. Select Reset Preferences on the Quit option and click on OK.
Restoring the toolbar by resetting Photoshop
  1. A confirmation popup will appear. If you confirm it, Photoshop will close and relaunch with all the default settings. This will bring back your toolbar too on the workspace.

Restore Specific Tools in the Toolbar

If you are facing an issue of missed tools in the toolbar, you can tackle it by customizing your toolbar. Having a customized toolbar will be the most practical solution to a clear and highly optimized workflow in Photoshop. You can follow these steps to design your toolbar according to your choice.

  1. Go to the Edit menu on Windows or Photoshop menu on Mac.
  2. Select Toolbar from the drop down menu.
  3. When the customize Toolbar dialog box opens, choose the missing tools from the list in the Extra tools section.
Customizing the toolbar
  1. Drag the tools in the Toolbar section and click on Done.


If your toolbar goes missing, you can use any of these ways to restore it. Besides simply showing the toolbar back, do spend some time creating a new Photoshop Workspace and a customized toolbar. Doing so will speed up your work and eliminate irrelevant features that take up space and are hardly ever used.