6 Methods- Microsoft Access Not Showing Tabs/Missing Tabs Issue!

MS Access uses the tabs to organize or manage different parts of an application, like Tables, Queries, Reports, Forms, and many more. However, encountering issues with the interface, such as Microsoft Access not showing tabs, it can impact the ability to navigate & use the software efficiently. Therefore, in this troubleshooting guide, we delve into common causes of this issue and how to show tabs in Access to work in the software smoothly again.

Continue reading further…

Rated Excellent on Trustpilot
Free MS Access Database Repair Tool
Repair corrupt MDB and ACCDB database files and recover deleted database tables, queries, indexes and records easily. Try Now!
By clicking the button above and installing Stellar Repair for Access (14.8 MB), I acknowledge that I have read and agree to the End User License Agreement and Privacy Policy of this site.

Quick Navigation:

Part 1- What Causes MS-Access Tabs Not Showing Up Issue?

Part 2- Methods to Resolve Microsoft Access Not Showing Tabs Issue

Part 3- How to Resolve Access 2016/2013/2010 Ribbon Missing Issue?

What Causes MS-Access Tabs Not Showing Up Issue?

Access NOT Showing Tabs

There could be a wide variety of reasons behind of tabs missing problem. Below I have listed the most common ones:

  1. Customization– Someone may have modified or customized the Access ribbon & unintentionally hidden the tabs.
  2. Permissions– If you are working in the shared Access database, your user account may not have the essential permissions to access certain features or tabs.
  3. Corruption– The corruption in the Access database can lead to various problems, including missing tabs.
  4. Outdated Version– Using an outdated Access software version can also trigger this issue.
  5. Add-Ins or Extensions– Some of the extensions or add-ins in MS Access can modify the appearance & functionality of your ribbon and can lead to missing tabs problems.

Methods to Resolve Microsoft Access Not Showing Tabs Issue

Follow the below step-by-step methods to get rid of the issue.

Method 1- Restart MS Access & PC

Sometimes, a simple restart of the program can solve minor bugs. Therefore, it is suggested to close the Microsoft Access application & open it again. Besides, you can also reboot your PC to see if the tabs reappear.

Method 2- Check the Ribbon Display Options

Many Access users are unaware of the feature “Ribbon Display Options” in the Access database. This feature helps to hide or display the ribbon including the tabs. In simple words, if the ribbon is invisible, the tabs will also not be visible.

However, to customize the ribbon in Access, follow the below steps:

  • Press the Ctrl + F1 keys to hide/display the ribbon.

Check the Ribbon Display Options

  • Then, right-tap on the ribbon part & check the “Ribbon Display Options.”
  • Also, make sure that “Auto-hide Ribbon” option isn’t selected.

Also Read: Fix Access Object Dependencies Not Working Or Missing Issue

Method 3- How To Show Tabs In Access?

Follow these steps to resolve the Microsoft Access NOT showing Tabs issue. Following this procedure hides the Close button that normally appears at the corner of the open object window.  If you select this option, provide other ways to close the window.

  1. Hit the Microsoft Office Button, and then click to the Access Options. This will open the Access Option.
  2. Tap to the Current Database.
  3. From the Application Options section, just clear up the Display Document Tabs check box.

Switch From Tabs To Overlapping Windows

  1. Tap the Microsoft Office Button, and then tap to the click Access Options.
  2. The Access Options dialog box appears.
  3. Click Current Database.
  4. In the Application Options section, under Document Window Options, click Overlapping Windows.

Fix Microsoft Access Not Showing Tabs


Once you select this option, access will clear the Display Document Tabs check box automatically.

Things To Care:

  • Must open the database in order to hide document tabs or enable overlapping windows.
  • If you have already set the database to display overlapping windows by default, then you can’t enable the document tabs.
  • When the Database created in the previous version of access gets opened, document tabs are automatically closed off.

To turn it on, reverse the step in Switch from tabs to overlapping Windows above, and then close and reopen the database.

If you hide the document tabs and want to open and switch between multiple objects, you can do this using the Navigation Pane.


Or else from the Home tab, in the window group, click Switch Windows. You can also tap on the arrow at the bottom of the Switch Windows button. After that select the display option, such as Tile Vertically or Cascade.

Method 4- Check for Necessary Permissions

It might be possible that due to insufficient permissions, you are facing Microsoft Access not showing tabs issue and even unable to see certain objects in the shared database. Therefore, make sure that you have the required permissions to access & edit the database.

Method 5- Check for Access Software Updates and add-ins

As mentioned in the causes section, running an outdated version of the Access application can lead to MS Access tabs missing issue. Therefore, ensure to get the most recent updates for Microsoft Access.

Apart from that, some third-party add-ins can also hinder the Access users. So, consider disabling any add-ins that you have installed on your device and see if the tabs reappear.

Method 6- Repair Your Corrupt Access Database

You can even encounter MS Access ribbon or tabs missing issues due to corruption in the Access database. In such a case, you can use Access’s built-in tool- Compact & Repair to fix the minor corruption in the database. For severe corruption, you can opt for powerful Access Repair & Recovery Software. It can repair severely damaged Access DB .ACCDB or .MDB files.

Also, it has enough capability to extract records, modules, queries, tables, and other components from a corrupted database file.

* By clicking the Download button above and installing Stellar Repair for Access (14.8 MB), I acknowledge that I have read and agree to the End User License Agreement and Privacy Policy of this site.

How to Resolve Access 2016/2013/2010 Ribbon Missing Issue?

If you are observing that all of a sudden your message bars from the ribbon go missing then what’s your initiative at this stage? Well not to worry, here is the fixes to resolve this.

By default, a message bar appears when there are security alerts, workflow tasks, document information, and policy messages. But you have the option to show or hide that message bar from the Access Ribbon.

Method 1: Get Message Bar in Access 2007/2010/2013/2016 easily if you have Classic Menu for Office

Classic Menu for office targets to bring back the classic interface of Microsoft Office 2003/XP (2002)/2000, and helps in working efficiently in the MS Office ribbon.

  • Tap to the View drop down menu in main menus;
  • After then you will find out the Message Bar item.

Method 2: Look for Message Bar in Ribbon if you do not have Classic Menu for Office

In Access 2007:

In the beginning, it’s hard to find out message bar in a ribbon of Access 2007. But actually, it’s quite simple.

  • Hit the Database Tools tab;

Access not showing tabs

  • After that go to the Show/Hide group;
  • Then view the Message Bar button.

In Access 2010/2013/2016:

  • Hit the File tab after opening Access 2010/2013;
  • Tap to the Options button at a left bar;
  • Now enter into the Access Options window, click the Trust Center button;
  • After that, click the Trust Center Setting button;
  • Now you will enter the Trust Center window, click the Message bar, and modify the settings.

Access not showing tabs

Frequently Asked Questions:

Where Is the Toolbar and Menu Bar?

A menu bar in Access appears above a toolbar at the top of the user interface window when opening the database.

How to Show Toolbar in MS Access?

To show the Navigation Pane in an Access, go to the Home tab, in a Show group, simply click on the Navigation Pane toggle button.

Is The Ribbon Located in The Quick Access Toolbar?

Yes, the Quick Access toolbar in MS Access is a customizable toolbar that holds commonly used commands & by default, is located below the ribbon tab.

How Do I Reset My Ribbon in MS Access?

To reset the ribbon in MS Access, you have to follow the below steps:

  1. In the Customize the Ribbon window >> click Reset.
  2. Then, click Reset all customizations.


Facing MS-Access tabs not showing issues can be frustrating. However, by following the bunch of methods outlined in this blog, you’ll be back to accessing your Access ribbon and tabs effortlessly. Remember, persistence & patience are key when solving technical issues, and don’t hesitate to seek further support if needed.

Moreover, don’t forget to follow our Facebook page for the latest posts.

tip Still having issues? Fix them with this Access repair tool:

This software repairs & restores all ACCDB/MDB objects including tables, reports, queries, records, forms, and indexes along with modules, macros, and other stuffs effectively.

  1. Download Stellar Repair for Access rated Great on Cnet (download starts on this page).
  2. Click Browse and Search option to locate corrupt Access database.
  3. Click Repair button to repair & preview the database objects.

Pearson Willey is a website content writer and long-form content planner. Besides this, he is also an avid reader. Thus he knows very well how to write an engaging content for readers. Writing is like a growing edge for him. He loves exploring his knowledge on MS Access & sharing tech blogs.