The case of the missing menu bar

While I upgraded to Mac OS X 10.7 Lion several months ago, there are many of you who have yet to install the latest Mac OS. Once again, I have been reminded of the consequences of waiting a few months. While we are now at 10.7.3 and Apple has fixed a number of bugs, all the helpful articles that appeared at various web sites and blogs in the days following Lion’s release are now more difficult to find. Those of us who were on the “bleeding edge” have probably forgotten some of the tips and tricks we found in those early days.

That was the case today as I helped my daughter with Lion. One of the things that is really bothering her is the new full screen mode. While there are some Mac users who are enjoying the new cleaner interface, some of us just don’t like it when our menubar and toolbars disappear.

Full Screen

Because I have a 17” MacBook Pro, it is difficult to depict the full screen here. Essentially, the entire screen is filled by my web site, MacMousecalls. Even the menu bar at the top of the screen has disappeared. This can be disconcerting if you don’t know how to get in and out of this mode.

As with most Mac things, there are several ways to exit the Full Screen mode. The first, but certainly not most obvious is the Esc or escape key that is in the uppermost left corner of the keyboard. Just press it and you are back to normal!

Of course, there is another way. If you take the cursor up to the top of the screen where the menu bar is usually found, it will reappear (though it can take a few seconds).


You may notice that a blue icon appears at the very top right corner of the window. It looks like this:

Screen Shot 2012-02-07 at 9.49.20 PM

Click the icon and you will exit Full Screen mode.

Now that the window is back to normal, notice the icon in the uppermost corner:

Screen Shot 2012-02-07 at 9.38.04 PM

Click this icon and you will be in Full Screen Mode.

If you are a “menu person,” you can find a command in the View Menu. Notice that there is also a keyboard shortcut, Control - Command - F. Press the command again and you will exit the Full Screen mode.


I’ll be back soon with more tips. However, if you need more help, we offer trouble-shooting, technical support and training over at
Bob LeVitus Consulting.Tutorials cost only $60.00 per hour. We have special software that allows us to see your computer and we can work on the things you want to learn. Give us a call at 408 627-7577. Or send an email to

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