Toolbars I close keep reappearing

I have repeatedly closed a couple of toolbars in Outlook. Nonetheless, each time I open Outlook they reappear.

What am I doing wrong and how can I fix it?

There is some good news and some bad news about this;

  • The good news is that you are probably not doing anything wrong.
  • The bad news is that you probably cannot fix it yourself.

Toolbars from 3rd party products

Most likely, the toolbars you are trying to close are added by 3rd party tools and are not the default Outlook Toolbars. Outlook doesn’t control the toolbar behavior of 3rd party toolbars but is being handled by the add-in itself. If it doesn’t check properly that it has already created itself previously and that it has been turned off by you, then it will load itself again at startup.

The same is true if you have moved the toolbar to a different spot and after restarting Outlook, it places itself back again at its default spot. In that case the add-in doesn’t store its location on the toolbar.

Check for updates and toolbar corruptions

The solution is to check for updates on the add-in on the website of the vendor or ask for that feature with the developer of the add-in you are having issues with. But before you do that, just do a little test to make sure that you don’t have a toolbar corruption;

  1. Move one of the default Outlook Toolbars (like Standard) or close it (via View-> Toolbars-> Standard).
  2. Move the 3rd party Toolbar or close it.
  3. Close Outlook.
  4. Wait until Outlook is completely closed or even restart your computer and then start Outlook again.

If the 3rd party Toolbar is back in its original place and the Standard Toolbar is still closed or in the place where you moved it to, it’s an issue with the 3rd party add-in. If the add-in vendor is unable/unwilling to implement that feature, you can try the FixMyBars add-in to keep your toolbars in place.

If the Standard Toolbar is also back in its original location, then you suffer from a Toolbar corruption. Fixing it is easy; all you have to do is rename outcmd.dat to .old when Outlook is closed. Details on how to do that can be found in this previous tip.

Of course you could suffer from both issues; your Toolbar being corrupted and the 3rd party add-in not saving its settings. Therefore, after resetting your Toolbar, do the quick test again.

Note: If you are disabling the Toolbar because you don’t use the functionality of the add-in at all, then you’d be better off disabling the add-in or uninstall it completely via Control Panel in Windows.