How to fix minimized, missing, hidden or collapsed Outlook Ribbon

Outlook has several different ways to control how the Ribbon tabs and commands are shown. And in recent releases, it changed to not showing all tabs and commands by default. That is why the Ribbon may appear collapsed, hidden, minimized or missing. So, some of the commands you use most frequently are not visible. We have had quite a few customer questions related to this change.

Does your Ribbon look like this?

Outlook Ribbon - simplified view

Or like this?

Outlook Ribbon - tabs only no commands

Sometimes, you might also see individual Ribbon sections collapsed like this:

Outlook Ribbon section collapsed to a single button

Would you like it to look like this?

Outlook Ribbon - tabs and commands

The solution

Outlook has two different buttons which control Ribbon layout:

Buttons to expand Outlook Ribbon

  1. Ribbon Display Options
  2. Switch Ribbons

To see all buttons:

  • Step 1: Select "Show Tabs and Commands" Ribbon Display Option.
    1. Click "Ribbon Display Options" button
    2. Click "Show Tabs and Commands"

    Buttons to show all Outlook Ribbon tabs and commands

  • Step 2: If the "Switch Ribbon" button points down, click it so it starts pointing up.

    Buttons to expand Outlook Ribbon

Fixing a collapsed Ribbon sections

Outlook Ribbon section collapsed to a single button

Please follow these instructions to fix the case when a Ribbon section is collapsed into a single button.

Resetting Outlook Ribbon

If you still do not see the buttons you expect to see after that, try to reset the Outlook ribbon.

  • Right-click anywhere on the ribbon and select "Customize the Ribbon".
  • In the lower-right corner, under Customization, click Reset - Reset all customizations.