How to Show the Full Ribbon in Word Online

When the navigation in Microsoft Word changed from a menu to a ribbon in Word 2007, there were many users that were upset with the switch. But the ribbon has persisted to this day and is the primary way to perform most tasks in the application.

If you have started using Word Online and noticed that the ribbon seems smaller, or minimized, then you might be looking for a way to expand it.

Our tutorial below will show you where to find the button that lets you turn off the simplified ribbon to show the full one that you are likely more familiar with from past versions of Word.

How to Expand the Ribbon in Word Online

The steps in this article were performed in the desktop version of the Google Chrome Web browser but will also work in other desktop Web browsers like Firefox and Microsoft Edge.

Step 1: Go to Word Online at and sign into your Microsoft Account.

Step 2: Open an existing document, or create a new one.

open a file in word online

The minimized, or simplified, ribbon looks like the image below.

simplified ribbon word online

Step 3: Click the button to the left of Simplified Ribbon at the top-right of the window. There will be a delay of a second or two while the page reloads.

how to expand the ribbon in word online

You should now see the expanded ribbon at the top of the window, which looks like the image below.

full ribbon word online

The ribbon setting should persist across your account, so the next document that you open should show the ribbon at its current setting. You can always change the Simplified Ribbon setting later if you would prefer that it take up less space on your screen.

Now that you know how to show the full ribbon in Word Online, you can make it a little easier to get to the various tools and settings that are included on that menu.

If you are also using Microsoft Excel Online, then you may have encountered a situation where you need a copy of your spreadsheet so that you can work on it in the desktop version of Excel, or so that you can send it to someone else. Find out how to download your Excel Online file to your computer so that you can interact with it in the manner to which you may be accustomed due to the desktop version of Excel.