What has been updated in the Quick Access Toolbar?

Jan 6, 2022 | Microsoft 365 Hints and Tips

The Quick Access Toolbar has been part of the Office suite since 2007 and has recently had a makeover.  This will only affect Microsoft 365 users and those with a 2021 licence.  The changes are quite extensive so may take some getting used to.

So what has changed?

Undo and redo

These icons no longer sit on the Quick Access Toolbar by default instead they are positioned at the start of the Home tab.  They can be added to the Quick Access Toolbar if that is preferred by clicking in the drop down arrow at the end of the toolbar and choosing them from the list of commonly used features supplied.

Undo and redo

Save and AutoSave

These icons are now permanently on display at the top left of the screen where the Quick Access Toolbar used to sit.  Even when the toolbar is hidden these 2 icons still show.

Save and autosave

Adding Icons to the Quick Access Toolbar

This is done in a similar way to before.  There are 3 choices.

  1. Right click on the icon on the ribbon that you want to add and choose Add to Quick Access Toolbar
  2. Click on the drop down at the end of the toolbar and choose from the selection of features provided
  3. Click on the drop down at the end of the toolbar and choose More Commands.  Ensure Quick Access Toolbar is selected on the left and choose from the full list of icons to add

Show and Hide Quick Access Toolbar

Tucking away the toolbar when it is not needed leaves a less cluttered screen with more space to work on the files.

  1. Right click on the Autosave or Save icons mentioned earlier
  2. Choose Show or Hide Quick Access Toolbar
Show and hide quick access toolbar

The Autosave and save icons will remain unchanged but any other icons that have been added will be visible or hidden.

Show Below the Ribbon

If the Quick Access Toolbar is showing then it can be moved below the ribbon.  This takes up more space on the screen but allows for the full width of the screen to be dedicated to the icons that have been added which can be useful if you are using a lot of them!

  1. Right click on an icon on the Quick Access Toolbar that has been added
  2. Choose Show Quick Access Toolbar Below the Ribbon
Show quick access toolbar below ribbon

Show Above the Ribbon

To move the ribbon back above the ribbon a similar set of steps is followed but the option of Show Quick Access Toolbar Above the Ribbon is selected

Show and Hide Command Labels

A command label is a description of what the icon does.  It is normally the first line of information that appears as a tooltip when you hover over an icon.  The Command labels are only visible if the Quick Access Toolbar is below the ribbon but can be switched on and off as required.

  1. Make the sure the Quick Access Toolbar is positioned below the ribbon
  2. Right click on one of the icons on the Quick Access Toolbar
  3. Choose to Show or Hide Command Labels
Show and hide command labels

If you only have a few icons on the Quick Access Toolbar then showing the labels can help you find what you need more swiftly but hiding them gives more space to see more icons at a time.

Further Reading

If you’ve enjoyed reading about the updates to the Quick Access toolbar, there’s some other blogs below that you might find useful:

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