Troubleshooting Missing Toolbars

Reference Number: KB-00467
Last Modified: June 15, 2018

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

*For Chief Architect Premier, Chief Architect Interiors, and Home Designer Professional.

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

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

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

To reset the toolbars to the original configuration

*For 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 the edges 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 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 factory defaults in Chief Architect X8 or Home Designer 2017 and newer

  1. Navigate into the Preferences dialog and click on the Reset Options panel on the left.

  2. Click on the Reset Toolbars button.

  3. You will receive the following Warning dialog:

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

To reset factory default toolbars in Chief Architect X7 or Home Designer 2016 and prior

  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 program's Data folder.

    Example: Documents\Chief Architect Premier X7 Data\

  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.