Getting used to the orientation of the primary sidebar

Hello! I downloaded Cursor today and I’m putting it through its paces. I like what I’m seeing so far. Building on top of VSCode was a great decision; I pulled in all my extensions and was up to speed almost instantly.

You made one design decision I’m curious about. Why change the row of icons on the primary sidebar from vertical to horizontal? It certainly gives Cursor its own feel, but it adds friction when showing & hiding the primary sidebar, which I do often. You must have done that for a reason, and I’m curious what it might be.


Original intention behind pivoting the sidebar was to free up horizontal space for the chat.

Have heard that there are folks who are very tied to the old orientation. To address this, we plan to give people the option to change back the orientation quite soon!


Wonderful! Thanks for working on this project—I’ve been wanting something like Cursor for a while now. Looking forward to seeing where this goes!

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An update is coming out soon that will let you edit the orientation of the sidebar:

  1. Type Command / Ctrl + Shift + P, then type “Open settings”
  2. Put workbench.activityBar.orientation in the search bar
  3. Switch the setting to vertical
  4. Restart the editor

Does it now work for 0.8.2? Still not working for me.

Nope not yet, but should be coming in a new version today soon.


I have 0.8.3, but I don’t see this setting

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Thank you for adding this option. I look forward to it being available.

Available in the latest release! (0.9.0)


thank you very much for adding that back in! it really slowed me down getting used to the horizontal (for me worse) design. But nonetheless, thank you very much for this great product! And also for the hotly ongoing development with its many new features ^^

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This is absolutely something I missed when migrating from VSCode! Thanks so much for adding in the option to put it back, having to move the mouse all the way up to the top of the screen and precisely click a much smaller button was jarring and definitely slowing me down.


Adding my voice that the orientation should be vertical/unchanged by default


I’m glad I found the forum. I found cursor unusable due to the sidebar changes. The almost-the-same-ness drove me insane.

For me, the Update notification for 12.1 disappeared when moving the sidebar to vertical.

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I am also not seeing update notifications.

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For those who come across this page now, don’t forget to set the “Activity Bar: location” parameter to “side” as well. So

  • “Activity Bar: Orientation” = “vertical”
  • “Activity Bar: location” = “side”