How do I hide or show items in the Tool Menu?

The Tool Menu can be customized by instructors or site administrators to modify the appearance of menu items in the site, including hiding or showing tools to site participants.

For more options to edit the tools in your site, see:

For more information on making content in hidden tools available to site participants, see Using content in hidden tools.

Note: In course site templates, some tools are hidden by default so instructors can reveal content to students as the semester progresses.  For more information, see:

Video Guide

Step-by-Step Instructions

Go to Site Settings.

Select Site Settings from the Tool Menu in your site.

Select the Tool Order tab.

Hide a tool from site participants.

  1. Select the cog icon to the right of a visible tool.
  2. Select Make Tool Invisible to Students.

Note: Some content in hidden tools can be made available to students or site members; see Using content in hidden tools for more information.

Example: Tool Menu with hidden tools

Hidden tools display for site administrators in italics, in light gray, with an eyeball with a slash icon, indicating they are Hidden from site members.  In the example pictured above, the instructor can access many tools, including hidden tools: Site Settings, Assignments, Forums, and Resources.  A student only has access to a Welcome page, three weekly lesson pages, e.g., Week 1: M*A*S*H and Week 2: Star Trek, My Grades, and Help.

Using content in hidden tools

To organize activities and make it easier for students or site members to access site content, you can use visible tools in your site, such as Lessons, to link to or embed items from hidden tools.

For example, if you hide the Resources tool in your site and upload an article PDF to Resources, you can create a lesson page and use the Add Content Links option to link to the article and make it available to students.  You can also embed images on pages using the Rich-Text Editor.  For more information about linking and embedding content, see:


  • The Tests & Quizzes tool must be *visible* to make feedback available to students; Tests & Quizzes feedback cannot be accessed via links in other tools.
  • The Site Settings tool must be *visible* to use joinable groups; students or site members join groups via the Site Settings page.
Student view of Tool Menu and lesson page

Pictured above is a site's Tool Menu and lesson page, where Resources is hidden.  The lesson page includes an embedded image which is stored in Resources.

Instructor view of Tool Menu and Resources

Pictured above is the instructor's view of the Tool Menu with hidden tools and the image file's location in Resources. The instructor has hidden Resources so that students will not be confused about where to find course materials - lesson pages with embedded and linked content guide students to specific tasks.

Show a currently hidden tool to site participants.

  1. Select the cog icon to the right of a hidden tool.
  2. Select Make Tool Visible to Students.

Lock access to a tool.

Tools can be locked so students or site members cannot access ANY content in the tool.  Locked tools display on the Tool Order page with an eyeball with a slash icon (Tool is hidden from normal users) AND a lock icon (Tool is disabled for normal users).

  1. Select the cog icon to the right of a tool.
  2. Select Lock Access to this Tool.

Select Save.