Cannot Access “Folder Options” in Windows

The NoFolderOptions registry setting hides Folder Options applet from the Control Panel, and the Folder Options command under the Tools menu in Explorer. In Windows 10, this policy disables all the Folder Options entry points — e.g., “Change folder and search options” will be grayed out in the File menu in Explorer.

In earlier versions of Windwos, if you enable this policy setting, users will receive an error message if they tap or click the Options button or choose the Change folder and search options command, and they will not be able to open Folder Options.

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 that 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:


Launch regedit.exe and navigate to:




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

Exit the Registry Editor.

In Windows 8 and Windows 10, the above registry edit corresponds to the following Group Policy setting “Do not allow Folder Options to be opened” in the following branch:

User Configuration → Administrative Templates → Windows Components → File Explorer

In Windows 7, this policy is named “Removes the Folder Options menu item from the Tools menu”, and is located under:

User Configuration → Administrative Templates → Windows Components → Windows Explorer.

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded in 2005.

1 thought on “Cannot Access “Folder Options” in Windows”

  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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