Troubleshooting Missing Toolbars

Reference Number: KB-00467
Last Modified: February 13, 2019

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite or Home Designer Interiors or Home Designer Essentials


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*

*Applies to Chief Architect Premier, Chief Architect Interiors, and Home Designer Professional.

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

  2. If there is not a check next to Toolbars, this option is not selected and should be turned on. To turn it on, simply click on it.

  3. If there is a check next to Toolbars, proceed to the next troubleshooting step.

To reset the toolbars to the original configuration*

*Applies to Chief Architect Premier, Chief Architect Interiors, and Home Designer Professional.

  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 where the toolbars are normally docked.

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

    • You may receive a warning dialog that states: "If you restore the default toolbars, any custom toolbars that you created will be lost. If you would like to keep the current toolbars, choose Cancel."

    • Click OK.

  4. Without closing the Toolbar Customization dialog, you should be able to see whether or not your toolbars have been restored.

    If you now see the missing toolbars, click the Close button to close the dialog and continue working.

In the event that the above options do not restore your toolbars, they may need to be completely rebuilt from the factory default configuration.

By completely resetting the toolbars to their factory default configuration, you will lose any customizations that have been made to the toolbars. This should only be done as a last resort.

To reset the toolbars to the factory defaults

  1. Select Edit> Preferences if you're on Windows PC or Chief Architect/Home Designer> Preferences if you're on a Mac to open the Preferences dialog.

  2. Select the Reset Options panel on the left and then click on the Reset Toolbars button.

    Reset options panel located in Preferences

  3. You will receive the following Warning dialog:

    Warning message that appears when resetting toolbars

  4. Click OK to close the message box and your toolbars will be restored to the default configuration.