I unchecked "Show Menubar" in GIMP 2.10, and now I want to get it back. How do I do this? The official documentation states that I can do this through "View → Show Menubar", but how do I do this without a menubar?

I've already hit alt and a bunch of other keys hoping to find a shortcut but I have yet to find any. F11 turns on fullscreen mode where the menubar is visible, but I then unchecked the menubar again to see if it would stick, only to regretfully discover that it has now disappeared both in full screen mode and regular mode.

enter image description here

  • Actually it is normal way for GIMP to be - don't waste screen space with things you almost never need (you may be using SOME menu items often, but not ALL of them). You were lucky to hide this clutter of menu bar actually, try to keep this onward. Next thing to notice would be that any, every submenu can be "detached" and made freely floating. So if there is some - any - submenu that you would be using heavily for next 5 minutes - just undock it from the main and move it to anywhere you would find handy. Don't waste screen & time traversing wide multi-layer mainmenu, just take submenu with you May 20, 2021 at 17:23
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    @Arioch'The that might be a good workflow for those who are experienced with GIMP, but not for first-time users like me!
    – MMM
    May 21, 2021 at 10:52
  • it is efficient vs easy, and the eternal problem, when you get used to one you can not re-learn, re-learning is harder then learning hard from scratch... That being said, when Google came up with their site "nothing at all by search box" - it looked awfully bad in the "all lights blinking and dozen user-customizable news sections" internet portals era. And the Google Chrome design shows almost no controls compared to good old MS IE 6 with dozen extra tool bars installed. I see GIMP along the same line: UI is clutter. Give all screen space to the document you read or edit. Strive at least May 21, 2021 at 12:56
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    @Arioch'The Chrome vs IE + dozen toolbars? That's like comparing a tidy house with a hoarder house, while arguing for living in a tent.
    – Andreas
    May 21, 2021 at 17:27
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    What a terrible UI design. I remember working with Lotus notes where someone needed a tool bar back. It took ages to figure out where the option was buried.
    – northerner
    May 22, 2021 at 9:12

2 Answers 2




If the menubar is not displayed, you can right-click on the image to access the menubar entries.

  • 2
    This was actually the default for the first... 10 or 15 years? Quite nice if you're used to it, but not very "discoverable" as they say.
    – hobbs
    May 20, 2021 at 14:26
  • @hobbs , definitely not for the first 15 years: already in GIMP 2.4.7 that has Copyright © 1995-2007 in its About dialog, the menubar is on by default.
    – Ruslan
    May 20, 2021 at 16:35

I can relate - without a menu bar, it's sometimes difficult.

But you can restore your window by right-clicking on an open image to bring up the context menu.

Choose View > Show Menubar and activate the option (not activated in the image below).

enter image description here

  • difficult? does anyone actually uses 100%... okay at least 75% of menu bar round the clock? Depending on a task i happen to be heavily using 1 or maybe 2 specific submenues. But that is way to go then - detach exactly those specific submenus into top-level floating docks, and let the rest of this wide and deeply nested menu no more be wasting your screen and your time. May 20, 2021 at 17:26
  • Also, i do not have GIMP instaleld here, but... what is that small "play" icon in top left corner of the image window, between the rulers ? May 20, 2021 at 17:29
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    @Arioch'The I tried it and its tooltip says "Access the image menu" and it seems to be another way of opening the main menu.
    – Neil
    May 20, 2021 at 19:09
  • @Neil probably for Macintosh computers famous for only having a single mouse button :-) But seems my muscle memory was right :-D May 21, 2021 at 8:22
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    @Arioch'The Macs haven't had a single button mouse for at least a decade.
    – Logarr
    May 21, 2021 at 14:14

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