Troubleshooting Missing Toolbars

Reference Number: KB-00467
Last Modified: July 16, 2015

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors
Home Designer Professional


The toolbars in Chief Architect have disappeared. How do I make the toolbars visible again?


There are a number of reasons why your toolbars might not be displaying:

  • The display of toolbars is toggled off.
  • The toolbars have been undocked and then closed.
  • The program cannot find the file saving your currently active toolbar configuration.

If Chief Architect cannot find the current toolbar configuration file, you may encounter one or more warning messages when you launch the program, exit out of it, or reset your toolbars, including:

"Cannot open custom toolbar configuration file."

"Cannot open backup toolbar configuration file."

"The toolbar file could not be saved. It might be read only."

"No backup file exists. Toolbar will not be reset."

If you encounter any of these Warnings, proceed to the instructions for re-populating the program's toolbar folder.


Since  there are a number of possible causes, there are several different troubleshooting steps to try, including:

To turn on the display of toolbars

  1. From the menu, select View and verified that the Toolbars  has a check mark next to it.

    In X5 and earlier versions, instead navigate to
     Tools> Toolbars & Hotkeys.

  2. If there is a check mark next to Hide Toolbars, this option is selected and should be turned off.  To turn it off, simply click on it in the sub-menu.

  3. If there is no check mark next to Hide Toolbars, proceed to the next troubleshooting step.

To reset the toolbars

  1. Select Tools> Toolbars & Hotkeys> Customize Toolbars from the menu.

  2. Click on the title bar of the Toolbar Customization dialog and drag it to move the dialog box to the center of the drawing area, away from the edges where the toolbars are normally docked.

  3. On the Toolbar panel, click the Reset Toolbars button.

    • In X5 and prior, A Warning message will state: "Are you sure you want to restore the default toolbars?  Your custom toolbars you have created will be lost.  Click Cancel to keep current toolbars." 

    • Click OK.

  4. Without closing the the Toolbar Customization dialog, you should be able to see whether your toolbars have been restored. 

    • If you see the missing toolbars, click the Close button to close the dialog.

    • If you still do not see them, continue following the steps in this article.

To restore missing toolbar configurations

  1. Go to the Configurations panel of the Toolbar Customization dialog.

  2. Click the Import button to open the Toolbar Configuration File dialog. 

    • This is a typical Open File dialog and should open to your Toolbars folder automatically. 

    • If it does not open to the Toolbars folder, browse to Documents/Chief Architect Data/Toolbars.

  3. The Toolbars folder should have a number of toolbar configuration files with the file extension .toolbar.  Select Default Configuration.toolbar and click the Open button.

  4. The Default Configuration is the most commonly used configuration, but you may also want to import the other configurations as well.

If the Toolbars folder is empty, you can direct the program to create a new one for you.

To repopulate the Toolbars folder

  1. Save your work and select File> Exit to close out of the program.

  2. Navigate to your Documents folder.

  3. In your Documents directory, locate and open the Chief Architect Data folder.

  4. Right-click on the Toolbars folder and choose Rename from the menu.

  5. Add the word " Old" to the end of the folder name so it says "Toolbars Old".

  6. Launch Chief Architect again.

    You may briefly see a progress indicator as the program copies files to create a new Toolbars folder.

  7. If you do not see your toolbars at this point, follow the steps above to restore missing toolbar configurations.