Recover from a Lost Drupal Administration Menu

screenshot showing the Drupal administration menu

We’ve taught a LOT of people to use Drupal 7 over the last 4 years and one bug comes up more than any other.

When enabling large new modules such as CTools via the admin interface, it’s not uncommon for other modules to become unpublished.

When those modules are unpublished, people often lose access for to the administration menu. Needless to say, that’s not a helpful situation for beginners.

So, here’s a quick guide to recovering from a lost Drupal administration menu.

This is a screenshot showing the administration menu:

screenshot showing the Drupal administration menu

If you enable some modules and then the administration menus disappear, the image below shows what you’ll see.

Notice that there are still signs that you are logged in (I’ve marked those in red). This is important – if you are logged out, you won’t see the administration menu either, but that’s a different problem.

screenshot showing the unpublished administration menu

What you need to do is access the main “Modules” page. The best way to get there is by typing in the URL of the modules page.

Try adding one of these to your main domain name:

  • /admin/modules/
  • ?q=admin/modules

Drupal Modules page

Now on the Modules page, you need to re-enable two modules:

  • Shortcut
  • Toolbar

Check the boxes next to those modules and then click “Save configuration”.

Once those two modules are enabled, you’ll have your administration menu back.

Enabling the shortcut and toolbar modules


  • Steve Burge

    Steve is the founder of OSTraining. Originally from the UK, he now lives in Sarasota in the USA. Steve's work straddles the line between teaching and web development.

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8 years ago

Try that but it says that
“Access denied
You are not authorized to access this page. ”
Any other Ideas?? I am stuck. Thanks in Advance

8 years ago
Reply to  Geclosa

Hi Geclosa
That sounds like a permissions issue. Do you have another user account you can test with?

8 years ago

Steve, I get “page not found” when adding your suggestions to the address line. Ideas?

7 years ago

Neither of these worked. With /admin/modules/ I get “Page Not Found”.
With ?q=admin/modules I get “Access Denied”

7 years ago
Reply to  Cassie

Are you signed in as the main admin ? Or do you have a different admin account to test it with?


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