Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Windows 8.1: Right-Click Menu for Explorer Disappeared

  1. #1


    Posts : 31
    Windows 7 Home Premium

    Windows 8.1: Right-Click Menu for Explorer Disappeared


    I've been dabbling with Windows 8.1 a little bit, and noticed something missing from it--at least, it's missing on my computer. I'd like to know if I am the only person experiencing this.

    The problem is quite simple: The right-click menu for the Explorer taskbar icon has disappeared, and it doesn't let me close my open Explorer windows.

    Click image for larger version

    I have desktop shortcut icons for the C drive, and two external drives. Also, I have a shortcut icon for my USB flash drive, which I usually keep plugged in for backup.

    I can have several Explorer windows open by clicking these icons. They appear stacked in the taskbar. (See diagram below.) If I have only one Explorer window open, the menu will have a Close Window option. If two or more windows are open, it will say Close All Windows.

    Click image for larger version

    This menu, and these options, seem to have disappeared with Windows 8.1 Preview. Is this a known issue? Or am I the only person experiencing it?

    Thank you! Jd

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Lynnwood, WA
    Posts : 173
    Windows 8, Windows 7


    This is what I see on my system (things I don't know if I can show are removed):

    Click image for larger version

    I am running the publicly available build of 8.1 Preview.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 19,613
    64-bit Windows 10


    Hello Danniel,

    I'm running Windows 8.1 Preview, and I still have the same jump list options available when I right click on the pinned File Explorer icon on the taskbar.

    You might see if resetting and clearing jump lists may help.

    Jump Lists - Reset and Clear in Windows 8
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  4. #4


    Posts : 31
    Windows 7 Home Premium


    I am still having this right-click context menu problem.

    Resetting the jump lists did not work.

    I even took the drastic approach of formatting my hard drive and reinstalling Windows 8 from scratch, then updating it to Windows 8.1.

    Still no context menu.

    Am I really the only person experiencing this problem?

    It's a minor problem, but it annoys the heck out of me that it doesn't work. Is there a way for me to contact Microsoft and explain the situation to them directly?

    Jd
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 1,093
    Windows 8 Pro Windows 8.1 Preview


    Here are my Windows 8.1 views with a stacked explorer arrangement:

    Click image for larger version

    Click image for larger version

    Is there anything else I can do to help you?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 31
    Windows 7 Home Premium


    What works for one person may not be another person's cup of tea. I prefer to have separate windows for each drive. Now, the solution to that would be a tabbed explorer. A freeware utility called Better Explorer has that.

    The issue is not how I arrange the windows.

    The issue is why the context menu has vanished. I'm wondering if it was caused by the installation of a program that is for some reason incompatible with Windows 8.1 in some way. For example, I prefer to use Avast Anti-Virus. That is currently not compatible with Windows 8.1.

    Neither is AVG Anti-Virus. Last night, I read an article somewhere that says a build update will address AVG and will permit it to be used. As of this morning, it was virtually eradicated from my computer when I updated to Windows 8.1 again.

    The only free a/v program I know of that works with Windows 8.1 is Avira, which I am currently using. But I am wondering if it affects Windows 8.1 in some way I don't understand.

    Another possibility: I used a Registry editing technique to remove the shortcut arrows from all of my icons on the desktop. I'm also wondering if this technique may have affected the right-click context menu for the My Computer icon.

    What I find even more odd is that all of the other taskbar icons' context menus are still there. Why JUST the Computer icon?

    I'd like to know if anyone has tried removing their desktop shortcut arrows and then looked to see if the context menu for the Computer icon has vanished. If so, then that goes a very long way to tracing the source of this problem.

    The technique I used for removing the shortcut arrows is here:

    How to Remove Shortcut Arrow on Icons in Windows (Include Desktop Items) « My Digital Life

    Jd
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 1,093
    Windows 8 Pro Windows 8.1 Preview


    With all you have said, I still don't understand where the context menu has vanished from. You spoke about stacked windows and I showed you a stacked image. You spoke about a context menu that disappeared, I showed you what my context menu looks like (relative to the stack). Another poster also showed you the same view.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 31
    Windows 7 Home Premium


    Let me try again at describing the problem. I am not convinced I have been doing all that great a job.

    Here is a screen shot of my taskbar.

    Click image for larger version

    The icon to focus on is the one to the right of the Microsoft Internet Explorer icon. It's the icon that opens up Windows Explorer.

    Here is an image of part of my desktop.

    Click image for larger version

    Notice I have three icons on my desktop, for drives. The C drive, and my two external hard drives.

    Now, look carefully. When I click on these three drive icons, notice what happens to the Windows Explorer icon in the taskbar. It looks like it is stacked like a deck of cards, with the cards slightly spread out. I do not know a better way to describe it, which is why I have these images.

    Let's take a closer look.

    Click image for larger version


    The red arrow is pointing right at what I am referring to as a "stack." Maybe I'm not using the best nomenclature for this, but this is the best I can do to describe it right now.

    If you put shortcut icons on your desktop for your drives (it will work for USB flash drives, as well), and then open up windows for your drives, you'll see something similar.

    Now…with Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8, I could right-click on this so-called stack, and a menu similar to this one will appear:

    Click image for larger version



    If I click Close All Windows, then the windows for all of my drives close. The so-called "stack" disappears, and the icon in the taskbar reverts back to its original state:


    Click image for larger version


    The problem is: With Windows 8.1, this menu is gone. I am unable to use Close Window or Close All Windows to close the drive windows and get the taskbar icon stack to revert back to this.

    I can't do a better job of explaining it than this. Hopefully, these images, along with a more detailed explanation of what I refer to as a "stack" will help.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 1,093
    Windows 8 Pro Windows 8.1 Preview


    Much better now. I will test on my 8.1 machine and be right back.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 31
    Windows 7 Home Premium


    Whew. Good thing I know how to make all these screen shots. A picture is worth a thousand words. Thank you for trying to help.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Windows 8.1: Right-Click Menu for Explorer Disappeared

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