I'm trying to use the full screen mode in Lion, but I can't get the menubar to show up at all. I push my cursor up to the top of the screen, wait a second, and nothing. Some apps will seem like they're trying to do something (e.g., Safari will change what's visible in the toolbar), but in no case does the menubar actually appear. Needless to say, I really effectively can't use full screen mode this way. Any suggestions on how to get the menubar to show up?

  • Has the menu bar ever shown up for you? Did you just install Lion?
    – Nate Bird
    Commented Jul 29, 2011 at 15:46
  • I'm not 100% sure, but I believe so. I installed Lion a few days ago. Commented Jul 29, 2011 at 15:48
  • I've seen a possibly related bug when using two screens one above the other -- the app goes full screen on the bottom screen (my laptop display), but the menu bar actually appears at the bottom of the top screen (my external monitor). May just be a coincidence, though...
    – calum_b
    Commented Jul 29, 2011 at 16:03
  • 2
    How about a computer restart? Just for sanity sake. ;-)
    – Nate Bird
    Commented Jul 29, 2011 at 16:42
  • I'll second a restart - even a safe boot (hold shift). Also, you might fire up the Activity monitor and see if you can see any processes that are not responding or taking more CPU than make sense. Something is obviously hung up, but you might have to dig at it for a bit.
    – bmike
    Commented Jul 29, 2011 at 17:26

3 Answers 3


This was a known issue.

Please download the 10.7.2 OS X Lion update (Apple Menu > Software Update).


The OS X Lion v10.7.2 Update includes Safari 5.1.1 as well as fixes that:

Address an issue that may cause the menu bar to not appear in full screen apps.


If you need to force the Menu Bar to show up whilst in a fullscreen app, you can use the keyboard shortcut ^F2 (Ctrl+Fn+F2) to manually show/hide.


From what I've experienced, I think there is an intermittent bug that Apple needs to fix in an update. Sometimes, the menu bar just doesn't appear when you move the mouse to the top of the screen.

There are two workarounds that I'm using at the moment:

  1. I've found that taking another application into full-screen mode can get things working again, but this doesn't always work consistently.
  2. You can of course use the keyboard shortcut (Control + Command + F) to exit full-screen, but this obviously doesn't help you to access the application's menus while in full-screen mode.

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