This paper addresses an adaptive fault-tolerant tracking control for robot manipulators. By fully considering the effects of uncertainties and actuator effectiveness faults (UAEFs), a robust fault-tolerant tracking control combining with an auxiliary function and an integral sliding manifold is first developed for uncertain robot manipulators. Then, an adaptive law for unknown parameters of the upper bounded uncertainties is constructed to obtain a robust fault-tolerant approach with the elimination of the reaching phase of sliding mode control (SMC). The stability of the proposed approaches is accomplished by Lyapunov stable theory. The key contributions of the proposed approach are as follows: i) the reaching phase of SMC is removed in the control design and then the sliding mode starts at very beginning; (ii) the nominal control term is eliminated in the design of integral sliding surface and then the algebraic loop problem is also avoided in the proposed approach for robot manipulators; (iii) the simple control structure with an adaptive law is obtained for improving chattering-restraining ability of the proposed approach and then the effects of time delay and computational burden are also restrained from the proposed approach. Simulation and experimental comparisons have been accomplished for verifying the effectiveness of the proposed approach.