How to Disable Folder Options in Windows 10

File Explorer Folder Libraries Icon 18298

You can enable or disable Folder Options in Windows 10 for users if you want to prevent them from changing File Explorer settings. Folder Options is a special dialog that allows changing settings and preferences for the built-in file manager of Windows 10. The dialog includes three tabs General, View, and Search. The changes you made here can be applied to all folders.

File Explorer is the default file management app which is bundled with Windows starting with Windows 95. Besides file management operations, Explorer.exe also implements the shell - the Desktop, taskbar, desktop icons and also the Start menu are parts of the Explorer app. Note: In Windows 10, the Start menu is a special UWP app, which is integrated into the shell. Starting with Windows 8, File Explorer got the Ribbon user interface and the quick access toolbar.

To customize the appearance and behavior of File Explorer, you can use the Folder Options dialog. However, if your intention is opposite and you want prevent users from changing the look and behavior of File Explorer, here are a number of methods you can use to disable Folder Options. When it is disabled, you will see the following message.


This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your system administrator.

The first method works in all editions of the operating system, as it just a simple Registry tweak.

Disable Folder Options in Windows 10

  1. Open the Registry editor.
  2. Navigate to the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer. Create it if it is missing on your computer.
  3. Create here a new 32-bit DWORD NoFolderOptions and set its value data to 1. Even if you are running a 64-bit Windows 10, you should still create a 32-bit DWORD value.
  4. Now, restart Windows 10.

You have successfully disabled access to Folder Options in Windows 10 for all user accounts. To undo the change, you need to remove the NoFolderOptions value you created.

To save your time, you can download the following Registry files.

Download Registry Files

The ZIP archive includes two REG files.

  • Disable Folder Options.reg - this one will restrict access to folder options.
  • Enable Folder Options.reg - you can use this file to restore defaults and eliminate the restriction.

If you are running Pro, Enterprise, and Education edition of Windows 10, you can use the Local Group Policy Editor instead.

Enable or Disable Folder Options using Local Group Policy Editor

  1. Open the Local Group Policy editor app, or launch it for all users except Administrator, or for a specif user.
  2. Navigate to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer on the left.
  3. On the right, find the policy setting Do not allow Folder Options to be opened from the Options button on the View tab of the ribbon.
  4. Double-click on it and set the policy to Enabled.
  5. Click on apply and OK.

You are done. The Folder Options are now disabled.

To enable them later, set the Do not allow Folder Options to be opened from the Options button on the View tab of the ribbon policy to either Enabled or Not configured.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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