Save As Dialog Appear Empty or Grayed Out in Various Applications

When you attempt to open or save a file from various applications that use Windows File Open or Save As dialog, the dialog boxes may appear blank or with grey background, without the folder view or navigation pane. Here is how it might look like.

This happens if the Open or Save As dialog placement or MRU settings are corrupt, and here is how to fix the problem.

If following instructions in Step 1 doesn’t help, move on to next step.

  1. Clear Open / Save As Dialog Settings
  2. Reset Folder Views
  3. Run the System File Checker

Clear Open/Save As Dialog Settings

Start Regedit.exe and go to the following branch:


Rename ComDlg32 to ComDlg32.OLD

Repeat the same for these two keys.


Exit the Registry Editor.

Reset Folder View Settings

If the above step doesn’t help, reset your folder views. Download and run the Script file in article How to Reset the Folder View Settings in Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10. This clears the folder view settings for Explorer and Common Dialog boxes.

Run the System File Checker

Comdlg32.dll is responsible for Open / Save As dialog boxes. It could be possible that the file or some of the related files are corrupt. Running the System File Checker should fix this.

Open Command Prompt as Administrator. Type the following command and press ENTER:


This scans the integrity of your system files, and replaces the corrupt files with the good copies from the source.

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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.

4 thoughts on “Save As Dialog Appear Empty or Grayed Out in Various Applications”

  1. This issue seems like a much bigger issue than it is. The footer ‘file name’ and ‘save as type’ entry field section is expandable/shrinkable on cursor click&drag.


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