Mustangoneva from Virginia writes: I can’t make a new folder in Windows XP. When right-clicking and selecting “New” I can’t get “Folder” but “Shortcut” appears instead. How do I fix this?

The options that appear when you right-click an area and choose “New” are handled directly by your operating system and can be changed through the use a program called the registry editor. When the option to create a new folder stops appearing in the list, it means a registry entry was changed at some point, likely by a virus or some other program that made changes without your permission.

To get the option back for creating new folders, you need to manually change a specific registry entry back to its original setting. Open the Start menu and click the “Run” icon located next to the “All Programs” folder.

The Run Button

Launch the registry editor by typing the word “regedit” in the text box and then click the “OK” button (for readers with Windows Vista or 7, instead type “regedit” in the Start menu’s search box and click the blue icon that appears in the search results).

Opening the Registry Editor

On the left side of the registry editor is a list of folders very similar in appearance to Windows Explorer. Locate the folder at the very top of the list labeled “HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT.” If the folder isn’t already expanded so that its sub-folders are visible, click the “+” symbol to the left of the folder name.

Registry Folders

Scroll down through the alphabetical list of sub-folders until you see the “Directory” folder. Again click the “+” symbol next to the folder’s name to open up a further list of additional sub-folders. To reach the specific registry entry you are looking for, continue expanding the folders named “Background,” “Shellex,” and “ContextMenuHandlers.” Finally, simply click the folder named “New” (there shouldn’t be a “+” option for this folder).

The New Folder

Locate the registry entry on the right side of the window labeled “(Default).” Right-click the entry and select the “Modify” option.

The Default Value

Delete whatever is currently in the text box and replace it with the correct value of “{D969A300-E7FF-11d0-A93B-00A0C90F2719}” (without the quotation marks) and click “OK.” Rather than typing that long string of characters into the box by hand, simply highlight and copy all the text inside the quotation marks and then paste it into the “Modify” text box to ensure there aren’t any errors. Restart your computer for the changes to take effect and you should now be able to create new folders.

In the event the “(Default)” entry isn’t listed, you will need to manually create it first. Right-click anywhere in the open white space on the right side of the registry editor window and choose “New.” Select “String Value” and then type “(Default)” without the quotes and hit “Enter.” Right-click the newly created entry and choose “Modify,” and then paste in the previously listed string of characters.

Changing the Registry Value

If you still can’t make new folders after changing the registry entry, it may be possible to fix the problem by reverting your operating system’s settings to an earlier date before the problem began. Open the Start menu and navigate through “All Programs,” “Accessories,” “System Tools,” and then “System Restore.”

System Restore

Click the radio button labeled “Restore My Computer To An Earlier Time” and click the “Next” button.

Restoring the OS

Click a date on the calendar when you could still create new folders and then click “Next” twice to restore Windows to the state it was in on that date (any personal files created after that date, such as text documents or MP3s, will not be lost).

~ Ty Arthur