Enable or Disable Right-Click Context Menus in Windows Explorer

Have you ever had the context menus in Windows Explorer just completely disappear? There’s a simple registry hack that can turn the context menus off, which means you could also reverse that hack to re-enable the context menus.

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This hack probably isn’t very useful for most people, but we like to explain all the hidden features, including the boring ones.

Manual Registry Hack

Open up regedit.exe through the start menu search or run box, and then browse down to the following key (create the key if it does not exist)

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

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Create a new 32-bit DWORD value on the right-hand side named NoViewContextMenu with one of these values:

  • Enable Context Menus: 0
  • Disable Context Menus: 1

The change should be instant, whether enabling or disabling the context menus.

Note that this setting could also be set under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE as well, so you should check both places if this doesn’t work.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.