Restore Missing New “Folder” to the Desktop Right-Click menu

When you right-click an empty area on the desktop, the “New” menu that appears may not contain the “Folder” entry. Also, when attempting to create a folder by clicking the “New Folder” toolbar button in a folder or by pressing the Ctrl + Shift + N keys, nothing may happen.

This post explains how to fix the problem in all versions of Windows, including Windows 10/11.

Cause

If you’re unable to create a new folder via the “New” context menu, Explorer ribbon, or using the Ctrl + Shift + N keys, it can be due to one of the following reasons:

  1. The “Folder” registry entries are missing (the most common reason.)
  2. (or)

  3. C-Media Audio Control Panel has hijacked the Ctrl + Shift + N shortcut hotkey.

The C-Media Audio Control Panel (Store link) takes over the Ctrl + Shift + N hotkey, which prevents creating a New folder or opening a new browser (Chrome/Edge) window using keyboard shortcut. Terminating the C-Media Control Panel resolves the issue. Asus support has stated that the next C-Media Control Panel driver update (1.0.0.34) will fix this issue.

If you don’t have the C-Media software but facing the original issue, then follow the method(s) mentioned below.

tips bulb iconYou can simply download the registry file to automate all the settings mentioned in this article. Visit the section “Automate all of the above using a Registry File” on by clicking here.

Restore New “Folder” option to the right-click menu

You can restore the “Folder” entry in the “New” menu using one of the following methods:

Method 1: Using Command Prompt

  1. Open an elevated or admin Command Prompt window.
  2. Type the following command and press Enter:
    assoc folder=Folder
    
    folder shellnew fix assoc command
  3. Close the Command Prompt window.

If the above doesn’t help, follow Method 2.


Method 2: Using the Registry Editor

  1. Start the Registry Editor (regedit.exe)
  2. Navigate to the following location:
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder
  3. In the right-pane, double-click (default) and set its data to Folder
    new folder missing right-click
  4. Exit the Registry Editor.
  5. Log off and log back in.

You should now be able to create new folders via the right-click menu, Ctrl + Shift + N keystroke, or via the File Explorer ribbon.

Note: If the “New Folder” command in the File Explorer ribbon still does not work, see the section Restore Missing New Menu in this article.

"new folder" command in explorer toolbar not working

Other Right-click New menu Problems

Create “New Folder” creates a shortcut instead?

Some users faced a situation where creating a new folder from the desktop New menu or by pressing Ctrl + Shift + N launched the new shortcut dialog instead of creating a folder. In addition, it would create a 0-byte file named “New folder” that shows up with a blank or generic icon.



new folder creates new shortcut

The above-mentioned problems happen due to two erroneous entries in the Folder registry key. Follow these steps to resolve the issue:

  1. Start the Registry Editor (regedit.exe)
  2. Go to the following branch:
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\ShellNew
  3. Delete the two values namely: Handler and NullFile
    new folder creates new shortcut
  4. Under the “ShellNew” key, make sure that a subkey named “Config” exists. If it’s missing, create one manually.
  5. Select the “Config” key and create the following String values (REG_SZ) in the right pane:
    AllDrives
    
    IsFolder
    
    NoExtension

    folder shellnew config registry key

  6. Exit the Registry Editor.

What could have caused this?

Some registry fix you may have employed from the web in the past has inadvertently added the Handler and NullFile values in the Folder registry key. The two values are meant to be present in HKCR\.lnk\ShellNew key only. The Handler value on your system may be pointing to the GUID {ceefea1b-3e29-4ef1-b34c-fec79c4f70af} (as seen in the above screenshot) which is responsible for launching the “New Shortcut Wizard”.


Restore Missing “New” to the Desktop Right-Click Menu

If the “New” menu itself is missing, then you’ll need to fix another registry key.

  1. In the Registry Editor, go to the following key:
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers
  2. Create a subkey named New if it doesn’t already exist.
  3. With the New key selected, double-click (default) in the right pane.
  4. Select the (default) value data as follows:
    {D969A300-E7FF-11d0-A93B-00A0C90F2719}
  5. Exit the Registry Editor.

The above registry fix also resolves a problem where the “New Folder” button in the File Explorer (and Open/Save As/Browse dialog box) ribbon command does nothing when clicked.

"new folder" command in explorer toolbar not working

Automate all of the above using a Registry File

To automate all of the above methods in this article using a .REG file, follow these steps:

  1. Download folder_shellnew_fix.zip
  2. Unzip and extract folder_shellnew_fix.reg to Desktop
  3. Double-click folder_shellnew_fix.reg to run it.
  4. Click Yes when asked for confirmation.

Contents of the Registry Fix

This restores the missing New menu and the Folder option in the New menu in Windows.


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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 Winhelponline.com in 2005.

42 thoughts on “Restore Missing New “Folder” to the Desktop Right-Click menu”

  1. W10 has disabled this option in a recent update! Just enter Ctrl *shift N (*the
    up arrow key above Ctrl) to create a new folder! Simples. Shame they
    didn’t tell us about this earlier but that’s Microsoft for you. Always
    at the forefront of customer services! Personally I’d leave regedit
    etc. to the people who __d it all up in the first place.

    Reply
    • I tried everything to get the New Folder option back in the right click menu. The only thing that worked was the RegEdit – HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder and double clicking the default and changing the data to folder. I contacted MS and got no help what so ever.

  2. Thank YOU!!!

    I happened to my Windows 10 PC after an upgrade. Most of the links were pointing to
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\New]

    but this key was already existing so was not helping.

    I tried the second option in your page, via

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder

    and it did the trick!!

    THANKS MUCH!!!

    Reply
  3. Really much useful. Worked as intended. Most of the search results shown “[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\New]” registry fix which is already in registry.
    Thanks a lot.

    Reply
  4. Thanks for a well written, easy to understand article. Unfortueately, these 3 registry edits did not work on my Windows 10 Pro (latest version)…

    The first and third edits were unneeded, as the keys were already correctly set to “Folder” and “{D969A300-E7FF-11d0-A93B-00A0C90F2719},” respectively.

    The second edit, deleting Handler and Nullfile, did nothing.

    My File Explorer problem remains as you described it: Missing New “Folder” to the Desktop Right-Click menu. In its place is a second “Shortcut,” which also creates a new shortcut. Nor does New Folder in the File Explorer Ribbon do anything.

    Any other ideas? Thanks.

    Reply
  5. Clarification to my previous comment:
    My File Explorer problem is slightly changed, apparently due to deleting Handler and Nullfile from HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\ShellNew…

    Still missing New “Folder” to the Desktop and File Explorer’s right pane Right-Click menu. The second “Shortcut” there is now gone.

    In the left pane of File Explorer, the Right Click “New” menu is “(empty)” for all folders.

    New Folder in the File Explorer Ribbon still does nothing.

    Any ideas? Thanks.

    Reply
  6. Thanks Ramesh! Your keen-eyed suggestions fixed my New->Folder issue in the right pane of File Explorer.

    In the left pane, right clicking any folder to New shows “(empty).” Shouldn’t that normally be New to “Folder”? I.e. creating a subfolder? No big deal, as I’m just happy to have back the correct right pane behavior.

    Also, on the File Explorer Ribbon, the New Folder icon now does create one, but it’s name is “New folderFolder”. No big deal, as I would be renaming it anyway, but thought I’d mention it. Any obvious easy fix?

    Thanks again for your expertise…I’m getting a little less nuts from this.

    Reply
  7. thank you so much finally something that works, I’ve tried a lot of tutorials and none of them worked.

    this worked thank you so much

    Reply
  8. 1)Start the Registry Editor (regedit.exe)
    2)Navigate to the following location:
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder
    3)In the right-pane, double-click (default) and set its data to Folder

    Finally solved my problem, tqvm.

    Reply
    • Thank you, your solution fixed my new folder problem after I tried all the above methods and then some. the default was set for data swf_auto_play

  9. Thank you Ramesh! I think a windows update caused this option to disappear in the first place. a few months ago. All other posts were pointing to creating a new key in [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\New] which did not work. As I use Explorer a lot this was causing me a lot of pain.

    Reply
  10. Option 1 worked. I tried several times by referring to some other articles and posts which mentioned some other processes. Told my friend to help me solve, and he did in 3 minutes by referring to this article and told me I was dumb.

    Reply
  11. Worked immediately for me as well, and like others commenting here, I had tried a variety of other “solutions” including those on the Microsoft site 😉 FFS.
    By the way, I had an .skb file indicated where it ought to have instead said “folder” so it appears that SketchUp may have changed it. Any SketchUp users out there having this problem, be forewarned!

    Reply
  12. Hello, I had the exact same issues as Terence and following your instructions lead to the same solution. However, I am still left with the problem Terence had at the end: “Also, on the File Explorer Ribbon, the New Folder icon now does create one, but it’s name is “New folderFolder”. No big deal, as I would be renaming it anyway, but thought I’d mention it. Any obvious easy fix?”
    Also, the option does not have an icon of a folder, but of a shortcut.
    Thank you!

    Reply
    • @Adam: Please follow the updated instructions in this article (regarding “config” key). Alternately, run the folder_shellnew_fix.reg registry file to get this fixed automatically.

      If that doesn’t do the trick, upload/send the registry export of this key so that I can take a look at it:

      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder
  13. Wanted to check if a few occurrences of AutoCAD’s ‘Drawing1.dwl’ autosaves had any data in them. Set the openwith to CAD and it seems that switched my Computer\HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\folder\(Default) to “acad(something)”. Thanks kindly for the simple fix!

    Reply
  14. Yes! Method 2 worked.
    AND I didn’t even have to log ou/in – it worked immediately.
    (I did use RegAlyzer though, not plain regedit.)

    Reply

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