Right clicking the desktop takes too long


When you right click the desktop it takes a long time for Windows to bring up the context menu. The time you need to wait for the context will vary but the longest time I have seen it take for the context menu to appear could be a few minutes.


The problem occurring here are caused by a bad context menu handler. A context menu handler is a shell extension that adds commands to existing context menus (right click menus). When you install new software they can add their own context menu handlers which, if poorly coded, can cause issues pertaining to this problem. You must pinpoint which shell extension is causing the problem and eliminate either that program or the associated registry key that loads the shell extension into your context menu.

Because this specific problem only occurred when right clicking on the desktop it narrows down the list of culprits to any application that exists in the following registry area:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \ Directory \ Background \ shellex \ ContextMenuHandlers \

From this list of registry entries you can identify the programs that are loading in your context menu and narrow down the list of problem applications.

  1. First make a backup of the registry key entry you which to delete by right clicking the folder in the registry and choosing Export.
  2. Next, right click the registry entry and choose Delete.
  3. Attempt to right click on the desktop to see if the problem has been fixed.
  4. If it hasn't been fixed re-import the registry entry you deleted by locating where you exported the entry to and double clicking it.
  5. Try to remove other registry entries by exporting a backup first until the problem is solved.

If this doesn't fix the problem there are dozens of other SAFER solutions that you might try. This is simply the method that worked for me because I am not afraid to mess around in my registry.

For a good look into your Context menu without editing Registry Settings check out ShellExView


My issue was specifically caused by the NVIDIA control panel was taking 5 to 10 minutes to load. There was a shortcut to get to the NVIDIA control panel located in the right click desktop context menu and this was causing the minutes of delay I was experiencing when I would right click the desktop. Deleting the following key fixed the problem for me: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \ Directory \ Background \ shellex \ ContextMenuHandlers \ NvCplDesktopContext.
Additionally another way to solve this problem could be to perform a clean re-install/update of the video card drivers as this would re-install the NVIDIA control panel that was having problems.