Folder Options missing from Tools menu in Windows Explorer

NoFolderOptions Policy hides Folder Options from Control Panel, and the Folder Options… command under Tools menu in Windows Explorer. The Folder and Search Options command in the Organize menu (in Windows Vista) is grayed out as well.

If your system is not part of any network and this restriction was enabled without your knowledge, it could be caused by Virus or Malware. There are plenty of viruses which enable the NoFolderOptions Policy in the registry, and in addition, hides file extensions for known file types. To get the option back, use one of these methods:

Using Registry Editor

Launch Regedit.exe and navigate to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies \ Explorer


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

Delete the NoFolderOptions value (if found) from the above locations

Exit the Registry Editor.

Using Group Policy Editor

Group Policy Editor is not available in Windows XP Home Edition and Windows Vista Home Editions. For all editions of Windows XP and Windows Vista, you may use the .reg file (under paragraph "Registry fix") to remove the Policy setting.

Note that this only resets the NoFolderOptions per-user Policy, whereas NoFolderOptions can be a per-machine setting as well.

1. Launch GPEDIT.MSC

2. Navigate to the following branch:

User Configuration | Administrative Templates | Windows Components | Windows Explorer

3. Double-click Removes the Folder Options menu item from the Tools menu

4. Set it to Not configured

Registry Fix

Download, unzip and run the file folderopt.reg.

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.

1 thought on “Folder Options missing from Tools menu in Windows Explorer

  1. Greetings,

    Removing the NoFolderOptions value from the registry did not work for me. What did work was using the WinBubbles tweak utility. Under the Security tab I checked the 2nd box from the top which was already unchecked, next to “Remove “Folder Options” in Windows Explorer Tools Menu”, clicked on apply, unchecked the same box, clicked on apply, and to my pleasant surprise the problem was instantly fixed without the need to log off or restart.

    Thanks anyways…

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