Kim Barloso

How to fix the right mouse button (context menu) in Windows 10


When working with a PC it is important to achieve certain results with a minimum of intermediate actions. So the right mouse button serves to instantly open the context menu - a list of commands required to work with a specific object (text file, video, image, etc.).

Windows 10 users may often hear the same complaint: right mouse button does not open the context menu, which makes working with /files of different formats inconvenient or even impossible. However this defect is not the reason to go to the PC repair service: in most cases, you can fix it yourself.

  1. Exit tablet mode
  2. Enter the context menu in the registry
  3. Shell Extension Manager
  4. Control Panel Properties
  5. Reboot the PC
  6. Update the mouse drivers<4 Mouse drivers
  7. Virus Check
  8. Reboot Windows

Disable tablet mode

The operating system (OS) Windows 10 is dedicated to PC and tablet users. For those who prefer to use a tablet, the OS provides "Tablet Mode" which distinguishes itself by showing the "Start" menu instead of the usual desktop at startup. The OS turns it on automatically when it recognizes the device as a tablet. But sometimes it crashes mistaking it as a PC, laptop, netbook.

To correct this situation, consequently:

  1. Go to the Windows 10 Preferences (Win + X) menu.

  2. System > Tablet Mode;

  3. Go to "Use Desktop Mode" when logging in.

The right button after performing this action usually starts working. If this has not happened please use the other methods.

Checking the disabling of the right click in the registry

Right click can be reactivated through the registry. The problem however is that when working with Windows Explorer we would need the same right button, and it is just not active in our situation. We may however reach our result without it.

  1. Exit the registry editor by typing Win+R.

  2. In the "Open" window which appears, type regedit and click OK.
  3. In the Registry Editor, navigate to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies.
  4. In the Registry Editor, check the Explorer folder under "Policies". Select it by clicking once with the left mouse button.
  5. Here in the right side of the editor window find NoViewContextMenu and set its value to 0 by double clicking on it.

  6. My right mouse button should work after rebooting. Alternatively you can restart Explorer through the Task Manager - the context menu should appear.

If you are unable to use the contents of items 3 and 4 when opening the editor because you have missing folders and values, this means the right mouse button is not active.

Use Shell Extension Manager for Windows

To resolve your right mouse button context menu problem you can use the ShellExView extension manager. Many shell extensions are automatically installed by the OS itself while others are installed by applications. ShellExView helps you control shell extensions by enabling and disabling them when needed. The utility works with any version of Windows as of 98.

  1. Download the ShellExView utility (scroll down the page and click on "Download ShellExView in Zip file").
  2. ShellExView does not require any special installation: just download and unzip the Zip file.
  3. Run the shellview.exe file. The program will load all the shell elements.
  4. In order to shorten the list of extensions, access the Options menu.
  5. Check the box "Hide all Microsoft extensions". The list of extensions will be reduced to the size you would like.

  6. Left click on all extensions while you hold down the CTRL key and choose "Disable selected items".

  7. Call the Restart Explorer via Options.

  8. Check the activity of the right mouse button: most likely it works. To do this enable the extensions with the green button and start manually disable them one by one and try rebooting the computer.
  9. Find out which extension caused the crash and disable it or remove the program. If this happens, start the Task Manager by hitting CTRL+ALT+Delete at the same time. Launch a new task by typing explorer.exe. The desktop will come back to its place.

    Customizing the mouse through the Control Panel

    We shouldn't forget that it is the mouse, not the OS, which may be responsible for the inactivity of the right mouse button. The causes may be different: A bad device, spilled tea, dust on the mouse, a loose contact. To determine whether this is due to a bug or to a Windows extension you should reconfigure your mouse using the Control Panel.

    1. Call the "Start" button to access the Control Panel.

    2. In the right pane window, near "View" select "Small Icons".

    3. In the list opened find "Mouse" and click on this tab.

    4. Go to button configuration, check the option "Swap button assignment" and confirm with the OK or Apply button.

    Now the left button acts as right button and the right button as left. Primarily this option is meant for the left-handed people, but nothing prevents to use it for checking the device status. Try to open the context menu with the left mouse button. If it worked, the problem is with the mouse, not the OS. After that, you have only to clean the mouse, resolder the right button, or replace the old mouse with a new one, depending on the extent of its damage and your technical skills for repairing it. In this case you may need to refer to other methods to understand the problem and fix it.

    Rebooting your PC

    Sometimes the right mouse button issue may be resolved by a simple reboot to help update the open tasks in the Windows kernel. The context menu may be elementary freezes if you have many programs loaded at the same time on your PC.

    Updating a mouse driver

    The cause of a mouse crash may also be caused by outdated drivers. To fix this problem:

    1. Go to the Device Manager;

    2. Mouse and other pointing devices;
    3. Look for a red circle or yellow triangle near the mouse symbol. This might indicate a problem;
    4. left click "Other Pointing Devices" twice and select the mouse;
    5. Click "Update Driver" in the context menu.

    If the operating system informs you that a new driver has been installed, please visit the website of the mouse manufacturer and download the latest driver version suitable for your mouse and compatible with Windows 10.

    Check for viruses

    Often the cause of mouse malfunction may lie in viruses. PC users often complain that a mouse has stopped working for no apparent reason or that its buttons and wheel have exchanged functions. If this happens, try:

    1. do an in depth virus check;
    2. update your antivirus program;
    3. reinstall the antivirus replacing the current one with a more powerful one;
    4. ask a question at a specialized site that provides the user with an "emergency help" in such cases.

    Reinstalling the operating system

    Reinstalling the operating system is a measure of last resort appropriate when the previous installation of the system in general has been unsuccessful and has resulted in various problems with the PC and its related devices.

    Reinstallation may also be useful if the computer becomes heavily infected and it is easier to reinstall the operating system than to eliminate all the glitches caused by a virus, including those related to invoking the context menu.

    By following these guidelines you may understand the cause of right-click problems and easily fix them.

“Hello. My name is Kim. I discovered that technology, when used with a purpose, can be pretty amazing. To share the wonder of tech, I’ve written for blogs like and With over three years of freelance writing experience in the technology and entertainment niche, I can write a storm about a software app, a cool browser extension, a new mobile device and other geek-centric stuf... “

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Kim Barloso