A Word 2007 annoyance: disappearing vertical scroll bar

This is odd. A couple of times in the last week Microsoft Word has decided I no longer require a vertical scroll bar. The only way I know to turn it back on is to go into Word options, Advanced, and check the option Show vertical scroll bar.

But how is it getting unchecked? My first assumption was that I must have inadvertently pressed an obscure key combination that toggles the vertical scroll bar, but I can’t find any such shortcut. A bug?

By the way, did you know you can get a complete list of Word commands and shortcuts? Click the Developer ribbon, then Macros, then select Word commands from the Macros in drop-down list. Select the macro ListCommands, then click Run. Word will offer you a document containing either Current Keyboard Settings, or All Commands. The All Commands list is 46 pages long, and contains roughly 2000 commands, none of which hides the vertical scroll bar.

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103 comments to A Word 2007 annoyance: disappearing vertical scroll bar

  • mel

    my vertical scroll in Word 2007 (i have a mac) under Word/Preferences/ View/ check the box for vertical scroll bar.

  • Ale

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! My scrollbar disappeared months ago, and it was driving me crazy!!! Mil Gracias!!!

  • Bethany

    Oh, thank you for posting on this! My scrollbar magically disappeared this morning.

    It is amazing how I can be so in love with MS Word and loathe it all at the same time ๐Ÿ™‚

  • tim

    It is amazing how I can be so in love with MS Word and loathe it all at the same time

    Actually that is quite common ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Philip

    So my scrollbar has never dissappeared, but the scroll wheel functionality doesn’t work. Any quick fixes for that?

  • Al

    Thank you, it happened to me few weeks ago when I opened a document that was password protected and has no vertical scroll bar and since then it disappeared.

  • V

    Thanks so much – I’m using a Mac and my scrollbars suddenly disappeared. I appreciate the help!

  • cassandra

    Thank you very much–this has been a problem for a long time on a system at my work!!! Thank you, thank you!!!

  • bob

    Graet—now tell me where “Word Options” is?????!!!!!!!!!!

  • Scott W

    Click the colorful button in the top left of the MS Word 2007 screen (this is the Office button)! The Word Options button is in the bottom right next to the Exit Word button.

  • This happened at work months ago and I just learned to live with it, although it is a real pain when viewing huge multi-page docs. My Mom recently got a new Mac with MSO for Mac and after a few MS Word updates began to complain that her scroll bar was missing. Possibility of the update script toggling this functionality off. Way to go Microsoft. Thanks for the help!

  • Sarah

    THANK YOU! THANK YOU! Why would anyone NOT want a scroll bar? WORD is such an annoying program sometimes!

  • Andy

    Thanks I’ve been trying to find my missing scroll bar for sometime ;-( and thanks to this web site I’ve found it

  • Linda

    Just wanted to say thank you for the tip–I spent an hour trying to problem solve my missing scroll bar before I gave up and googled it. Grateful in Dubai.

  • Thank you! My scroll bar disappeared today. Very annoying.

    BTW, on my version of Word for Mac, I click on Preferences (not Options). Then I click on View. The scroll bar check boxes are in the lowest section called Window.

  • Avi

    Thanks! It happened to me on office 2010 beta just out of nowhere.

  • Bob

    Thanks! …but mine KEEPs disappearing again – any ideas??

  • tim


    I’m pretty sure it is related to previewing documents, for example by double-clicking a Word document in an email, or by using the preview pane in Explorer.


  • Rich

    Thank You;
    I could not find this and searched for the word Scroll not Scrollbar.
    I was actually creating poor word docs as I could not navigate and was forced to try to use the arrow keys.

  • Susan

    Thanks for the tip! My vertical scrollbar disappeared suddenly today (using Word 2008 for Mac). Now it’s back.

  • cathy

    Thanks – how frustrating to lose the scroll bar!

  • Alison

    Tim, Thank you for this post. This has been driving me crazy for Months!!!

  • Pat

    What a great example of the great value of the internet, many people all contributing something of what they are skilled in. I hope they don’t mess it up.

    Comment about what causes this disappearance: I don’t use Outlook, ever. So I dunno about that theory. I am using Vista (out of laziness) on this computer and Windows 2007.

  • Deepak

    Thanks, its working for me…:)

  • Yisrael

    Thanx, this was driving me crazy in WORD 2010, now It’s back, I’m Happy ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Janet

    Thanks! This problem still happens in Word 2010 – your solution helped me fix it.

    I *think*, but am not quite sure, that opening older Word documents in compatibility view may be what turns off the scroll bar… at least, that’s when the problem started happening for me. *shrug* As long as it’s fixed now! Thanks again.

  • Salena

    Thank you so much for the concise answer! I think this is a bug. I opened a doc and realized there was no vertical scroll. Then I closed it and opened and blank doc, same thing. In terms of a solution nothing comes up in the Help contents for “scroll bar” or in Microsoft’s support site. So annoying!

  • sarah

    thanks katherine! this has been driving me insane, and i don’t have the “options” choice either.

  • Eternally grateful . . . and “thanks” to the person asking “where is options” — found it, all fixed, off and running but lost about 2 hours today trying to find my vertical scroll. I have MS WORD 2010 and you’d think they would have corrected these random bugs by now.

  • Mousumi Dhar

    Thanks, This problem was eating my head since last 1 hour

  • Jimbo

    Thanks so much for solving that… now and i can stop tearing my hair out…

  • Suz

    Thanks – my husband thinks I’m a techno-geek (again). Ahh, the wonders of google searches – thanks for the assist!

  • Ayadaddy

    Thank you, this was useful. I don’t know why MS allows that. I think some templates overwrite this feature.

  • Carol Ann

    Many many thanks and ditto on all the previous comments regarding hair-pulling, insanity, frustration, etc. You’re a lifesaver!

  • Tiago

    Thank You. I didn’t know there was an option to do this.

  • THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU i have word mac go to Word (up the top)>preferences>veiw>and tick “show horizontal scroll bar”
    (dont know why mine was unchecked)

  • Dee

    Thank you soooo much. Mine recently disappeared. I believe that it happened when I updated Word.

  • Tom

    I am not able to check mark the boxes “show horizontal scroll bar’ and “Show vertical scroll bar”…it does not allow me to check mark these two boxes. What do I do to restore the horizontal and vertical scroll bar?



  • jay

    thanks……….a lottttttttt

  • dsmith

    I have office 2010 and the vertical scroll is missing. I verified that the box is checked in options > advanced and it is. What else is causing this?

  • laura

    My boss could not find his horizontal and vertical scroll bars and so did I not know how to do it, and going through your web page helped me to find and put it them back. Thank you very much!!!!!

  • Jay

    Thanks a million!!!

  • Barrett

    YOU are a lifesaver!!! I’ve been frustrated with this vertical scroll bar for a few months!! Thankfully it’s all worked out now!!

  • That’s so odd; it seems to me my vertical scrool bar disappeared after i used the side by side document compare feature.
    Thank you for the solution “office button>Word options>advanced…”
    Eric Paroissien

  • Jo

    Did you find an answer to your original question?

    I see there are a lot of appreciative people but I couldn’t find an answer to your original question as to why the box keeps unchecking. I too am having this problem.

  • tim

    I think it is to do with the Reading view in Word. See if this is a pattern, that you get the problem after a document opened in reading view.

  • Mike Ridgway

    I too have this problem. Would love to know what triggers it.

  • Jim Reynolds

    Yep, I get this frequently too. It seems quite random that the option gets unchecked and I haven’t spotted a pattern yet. People often send me docs in reading view (though I don’t use it myself) so I will check that. I am however a heavy user of document map.