How to Fix Cannot Right-click on Desktop in Windows 10

Recently, out of the blue, I couldn’t right-click on the desktop on my Windows 10 system. Sure, I can use the keyboard shortcut Shift + F10 to access the desktop context menu. However, compared to the habitual mouse-click, the keyboard shortcut is a bit awkward. Thankfully, it is quite easy to fix the issue. If you ever face this situation, here’s how to fix cannot right-click on the desktop problem in Windows 10.

There are a variety of things that can cause right-click problems on the Windows 10 desktop. As such, there are multiple ways to fix can’t right-click on the desktop in Windows 10. I will show four different ways you can fix the issue. Follow the methods one after the other until the problem is fixed. Alternatively, you can use the jump links below to quickly navigate to the method you want.

Jump to:

1. Turn Off Tablet Mode to Fix Right-Click Not Working on Desktop

Windows 10 has a built-in tablet mode that is quite useful for touchscreen and tablet-like or hybrid devices like Surface Pro. When the tablet mode is turned on, the desktop is hidden to show the full-screen start menu. As a result, you cannot right-click on desktop.

Windows 10 cannot right click on desktop 01

The Tablet mode is turned off by default. However, Windows might turn on the tablet mode automatically under certain circumstances. On the other hand, considering how the tablet mode option is placed in the action center, it is quite possible that you’ve turned on the tablet mode. If that’s the case, you can turn off tablet mode entirely to get your desktop back and right-click working.

  1. Open the Settings app by press Win + I.
  2. Go to “System -> Tablet Mode” page.
  3. On the right panel, select “Use desktop mode” from the drop-down menu under “When I sign in“.
    Windows 10 cannot right click on desktop 02

That is all. You should now have the desktop mode back and be able to right-click on it.

2. Run DISM Tool to Fix Can’t Right-Click On Desktop

Running the built-in DISM tool fixes a lot of issues on Windows. Nonfunctioning right-click on desktop is nothing special.

  1. Open the start menu.
  2. Search for “cmd“.
  3. Right-click on it and select “Run as administrator“.
    Windows 10 cannot right click on desktop 03
  4. In the command prompt window, execute the below command.
    DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Scanhealth

    Windows 10 cannot right click on desktop 04

  5. Next, execute the below command.
    DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

    Windows 10 cannot right click on desktop 05

  6. Reboot Windows.

That is all. The above commands will scan your system and restore any corrupted files. This should fix the desktop nonfunctional right-click issue.

3. Enable Right-Click on Desktop by Modifying Registry

Sometimes, a registry value called NoViewContextMenu may be the cause for you not being able to right-click on Windows 10 desktop. So, modifying the said value should enable right-click on the desktop.

  1. Open the start menu.
  2. Search for regedit and open it.
    Windows 10 cannot right click on desktop 06
  3. Go to the following location.
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
  4. On the right panel, find and double-click on the “NoViewContextMenu” value.
    Windows 10 cannot right click on desktop 07
  5. Type “0” in the value data field.
  6. Click on the “Ok” button.
    Windows 10 cannot right click on desktop 08
  7. Close registry editor.
  8. Reboot Windows.

After rebooting, the can’t right-click on the desktop in Windows 10 should be fixed.

4. Delete Useless ContextMenuHandler Registry Keys to Fix Can’t Right-Click on Desktop

Sometimes, keys and values created by other apps can be conflicting with the desktop right-click functionality. To fix this, you can delete all the keys other than the one that comes with Windows 10.

Warning: Before, it is very important that you backup registry. If your system misbehaves after deleting the keys, you can restore the backup and get your system up and running.

  1. Open the start menu.
  2. Search for regedit and open it.
    Windows 10 cannot right click on desktop 06
  3. Go to the following location.
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers
  4. Expand “ContextMenuHandlers” key.
  5. Excluding the below-listed keys, delete all the other keys under the “ContextMenuHandlers” key.
    • FileSyncEx
    • New
    • Sharing
    • WorkFolders

    Windows 10 cannot right click on desktop 09

  6. Once the keys are deleted, this is how it should look like in the Registry Editor.
    Windows 10 cannot right click on desktop 10
  7. Close registry editor.
  8. Reboot Windows.

That is all. After rebooting, the cannot right-click on the desktop in Windows 10 should be fixed.

16 thoughts on “How to Fix Cannot Right-click on Desktop in Windows 10”

  1. Thank you so much, last option worked as i used only last option. But, i would like to know why this problem arise.

  2. Awesome thank you!! The last option worked for me.
    I think it was a conflict with dropbox (which adds additional right-click options and had a key in there) conflicting with maybe onedrive and/or creative cloud…shrugs

  3. It was the last option that worked for me. Seems like that’s a common issue. I only had to delete the nvcpldesktopcontent to fix my issue. It caused the desktop to flash a blue background then nothing. Would you know what that content relates to?

    Thanks for all your help!

  4. After searching other sources for a solution to this problem, I found your article. The first option worked for me, my PC was in tablet mode. I did this accidentally by moving the cursor across the screen + some unwanted clicks. I realized I did something, but I didn’t know what it was and how to reverse it. Thank you very much, John.

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