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Header and footer disappeared in Word

You have inserted a header and footer in your Word document. Somehow, Word is not showing the header and footer in your document anymore. Not only has the header and footer disappeared in Word, but also the top and bottom margins of the document. Don’t worry if the header and footer disappear in Word 2013 and newer versions. This problem is easily solved. A few clicks here and there will make your header and footer appear in your document.

Many Word users have experienced this exact problem. The header and footer disappeared in Word, even though you have created them. In addition, the pages look different and start from the top instead of seeing some white space (margin) at the top and end of each page. It is because you have double-clicked somewhere that made Word changed its appearance.

You can read our previous article about how to insert a header and footer if you don’t know the steps.

Double-click between the pages

The easiest way to get the white space back between the pages is to follow the steps below.

Before you begin, make sure that your document is in print layout. To do that, click on View > then click on Print Layout in the ribbon.

Print Layout Word. View Print Layout
  1. Hold the mouse cursor on the top of the first page.
    • Or the end of your last page.
    • Or between two pages, where you can see the dotted line.
  2. The mouse cursor will change into an icon with two arrows pointing the opposite way of each other.
  3. Now you can double-click between the pages.

For further explanation, check the picture below to see all the steps.

Header and footer missing double-click between pages

The dotted line has disappeared in the picture below. You can see a clear separation between the two pages and some white space on the top and bottom of the page. Your header and footer were not deleted, because it’s still in your document. It was just playing some hide and seek with you, and now you know how to make it appear again.

White space between pages. Header and footer not missing

Show white space between pages

You can change the settings in your Word document. For example, if you want your pages to show top and bottom margins, you should check if you have turned this on in your settings.

Go to the File tab > Then click on Options. If you cannot open it, read this article to see several ways to access Word Options.

The Word Options box will open up on your document

  1. In the left pane > click on Display
  2. Tick on the first line under category Page display options >
    • Show white space between pages in Print Layout view
  3. Click on OK
Word Options - show white space between pages

Now you have changed the settings of your Word document. It means that you will see the white space between the pages whenever you open a new Word document.

However, if you have multiple Word documents open simultaneously, your settings will not automatically change in all the documents. Instead, it will only change the settings of the document you were using.

  • Remember that you can always show and hide the white space (including header and footer). Do this by double-clicking between two pages, top of the first page, or bottom of the last page.

Check margins

If you could not fix the problem by double-clicking between two pages, you should check your margins settings. The standard settings in each Word document will show white margins around the sides of each page. You can change the size of each margin in the Page Setup settings.

  1. Click on the Layout tab
  2. Go to the Page Setup group in the ribbon > Now click on Margins
  3. Go below and click on Customize Margins
Customize margins

The Page Setup box opens in your document. Here you change the settings of each margin. Make sure to make it equal and once you finish, click on the OK button.

change margins in page setup

If you don’t know what size each margin should be, you can also click on the Set as Default button on the left. Then you will get a pop-up, where you should click on Yes. It will automatically change the margins into the normal standard settings.

Set as default margins in Page Setup


You have been able to hide and show the white space between two pages. By double-clicking between two pages, you can easily make your header and footer appear and disappear in your Word document. If this cannot fix your problem, you should check your margins. Change the size of your margins in the Page Setups settings.

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