If you mess around in the registry, or install some different software packages that add things to the right-click menu, you can end up with a problem where the default action on a folder is always “Search…”, even though you set it to something else.

There’s a quick and easy fix for this problem. Open up regedit.exe by using Start\Run and then browse down to this registry key:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell

Double-click on the default value and set it to “none” without the quotes, as seen here:

 

This will restore the normal behavior.

Update

If you are also experiencing this problem when you try to click on a drive, you can run this command from the run box or command prompt:

regsvr32 /i shell32.dll

This should restore the normal behavior.

If you are getting a message that says “Windows cannot find ‘PET32.exe'”, then at some point you had a virus, or still have a virus. First, make sure that you run a virus scanner to get rid of the virus. Then run the regsvr32 command above, which should fix the problem.

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Lowell is the founder and CEO of How-To Geek. He’s been running the show since creating the site back in 2006. Over the last decade, Lowell has personally written more than 1000 articles which have been viewed by over 250 million people. Prior to starting How-To Geek, Lowell spent 15 years working in IT doing consulting, cybersecurity, database management, and programming work.
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