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How to Disable or Enable Right-Clicking on the Desktop?

written by: theinkandpen (Robert Mullon)•edited by: M.S. Smith•updated: 6/12/2009

A simple article describing how to disable right-clicking or enable it again should it not be automatically working. This article involves changing or adding registry entries, so make sure you create a backup of your registry.

  • slide 1 of 3

    Why Disable Right Click?

    Disabling the right-click option is particularly useful if you have a shared computer and want to stop other users from changing the appearance or any existing desktop-settings which you have. This includes bringing up your display settings, changing the appearance of folders/icons together with changing your desktop themes.

    It is simple to enable/disable right-clicking on your desktop, and it is almost always enabled by default unless a system admin has made the necessary changes. To change the setting to disabled, and then back again you will need to create or delete entries from your registry; as such, it is recommended that you create a back-up copy, as altering the wrong entry can cause damage to your system.

    We will look at how to disable and re-enable right-clicking next, but not before knowing how to create a registry back-up.

  • slide 2 of 3

    Back-up your Registry

    Go to ‘Start’ and select ‘Run…’ Type in ‘regedit’ and press enter. This will open up your registry editor and you should see all the relevant entries on the left (for your programs, windows’ settings etc.)

    To create a back-up click on ‘File’ on the toolbar at the top and select ‘Export’. Then you can select the destination for your ‘.reg‘ file. You can choose ‘Import’ later, from the same editor, should you wish to restore your previous registry entries in case something went wrong.

  • slide 3 of 3

    Disabling/Enabling Right-click

    Bring up the registry editor again, following the steps above. In order to disable right-clicking look for the following (on the left of the editor):

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

    The folders expand (the + icon) so you will need to gradually move down. Once you’ve found the following entries, and clicked on the ‘Explorer’ folder under ‘Policies’, you should see entries and values displayed in the window on the right. Make sure it is the right folder by checking the path above, and seeing that it is open on the left.

    Right-click in a blank space in the window on the right, hover the mouse pointer on ‘New’ and select ‘DWORD value’. Type the following as you see it (or copy/paste):

    NoViewContextMenu

    Press enter. Now double click on the entry you’ve just created and a small window will open up. Type ‘1’ in the ‘Value Data:’ box.

    In the case of right-clicking being disabled, there is usually an entry of this type in the registry. All you need to do is delete it altogether in order for it to work. It is that simple!