Top 9 Ways to Fix Windows 10 Context Menu Not Working Error

Top 9 Ways to Fix Windows 10 Context Menu Not Working Error

One of the first things I learned while using a computer was the right click context menu option where the Refresh button is. The context menu contains several useful functions, and it changes slightly depending on the window / application you have open. Some users have reported that the Windows 10 context menu is not working for them.

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They cannot create new files or folders directly on the desktop or access the display settings shortcut. Either the context menu doesn’t show, or they show a circular load icon or an empty box. Still others report that their office is crashing. Here are some steps you can take to remedy the situation.

Let’s start.

1. Change tablet mode

Tablet mode is known to cause context menu issues. It basically changes the way you interact with your computer. Press Windows Key + A to launch Action Center and turn off tablet mode.

It is not necessary to restart. Just check if you can open the context menu again.

2. Restart Windows File Explorer

Step 1: Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.

2nd step: Find Windows Explorer under the Processes tab, right click it and click Restart.

Note that all open windows and applications will close, so be sure to save all work before continuing.

3. Keyboard shortcut

Hurry? Troubleshooting errors can take time. You can open the context menu on any screen by pressing a keyboard shortcut.

The wrench has a book icon and also looks like a rectangle with three vertical lines inside. It is usually placed to the right of the space bar key. Its position may differ depending on the make and model of your keyboard / laptop.

Note: Just about anything you can do with the right click context menu in Windows 10 can be done in the long run. You can access display settings through the Settings app, create new folders or files from File Explorer, etc. It’s just that these steps take longer, while the context menu makes it quick and easy.

4. Update the keyboard / mouse drivers

The mouse or keyboard triggers the context menu. Updating their drivers can help.

Step 1: Find and open Device Manager from the Start menu.

2nd step: First click on Keyboards and find the name of your keyboard. Right click on it to select Update Driver.

Step 3: Repeat the same process for the mouse under the Mice and other pointing devices heading.

Reinstalling the driver also helps. Again, check out the link above for more information.

5. Check the mouse

How old is your mouse? Maybe it’s time to buy a new one? Connect the mouse to another laptop or computer to check if it is working properly. Can you open the context menu on another Windows 10 computer?
This will help reduce potential problems. You can also check your
mouse and keyboard by plugging them into another USB port on the
same PC to rule out the possibility that there is a problem with

6. Power management settings

There is a strong possibility that a power management setting is causing problems with USB devices.

Step 1:
Open Device Manager again and double click Universal Serial Bus Controller to find the USB root hub. Right click on it to select

2nd step: Under the Power Management tab, uncheck the option “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power” and save the settings.

Do you see more USB Root Hub entries? Repeat the same steps for everyone.

6. Group Policy Editor

Sometimes some malicious malware can disable the Group Policy context menu. Here’s how to fix it.

Step 1: Find and open the Group Policy Editor on your computer. It is only available for Windows Pro users.

2nd step: Navigate to the folder structure below.

User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer

Step 3: Double-click the “Delete File Explorer Default Context Menu” file to launch it, select Disabled here, and save it.

7. Run the DISM command

These commands will find and repair corrupted system files that might have broken the right click context menu on your computer.

Step 1: Open Command Prompt or PowerShell from the Start menu with administrator rights.

2nd step: Give the commands below one by one.

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
sfc /scannow

Step 3: Restart your Windows 10 computer again and check if the context menu is launching now or not.

8. HP Users

HP computer users should see the following discussion thread where a user was able to correct the pop-up menu operation error. His screen would go black every time he right-clicked on the desktop.

Navigate to the folder structure below.

C:Program FilesPortrait DisplaysHP Display Control

Rename it PdiShellExt.dll drop to PdiShellExt.old And save. Do not delete the file. Restart the computer.

9. Scan for viruses and malware

Malware or a virus can damage critical features of your computer, including the right-click menu. Perform a full scan using your favorite antivirus or Windows Defender and also run Malwarebytes. There is a difference between viruses and malware, and not all anti-virus applications are able to catch them.

The right-click context menu is a small feature, but you only realize its importance when it disappears. Now you can no longer perform daily functions or access your favorite shortcuts that you have relied on so much. Of course, as stated before, there are other ways to do the same things you did with the context menu. It’s just that they take a lot longer and can quickly become a chore. That is why you should check our solutions and resolve this error. If another method worked for you, please share it in the comments below.


The right click context menu on Windows 10 appears fine but it’s slow as hell. We have also found ways to fix this problem. Click on the link below to find out how to make the context menu responsive.

Last updated August 13, 2020

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