Nothing Happens When You Right-Click the Desktop and Then Click Properties

This article was previously published under Q260703

If this article does not describe your hardware-related issue, please see the following Microsoft Web site to view more articles about hardware:

IMPORTANT: This article contains information about modifying the registry. Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For information about how to back up, restore, and edit the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: 256986 Description of the Microsoft Windows Registry


When you right-click the desktop and then click Properties, the pointer may change to an hourglass for 2 to 3 seconds, and then nothing else may happen. The same behavior may occur when you attempt to start the Display tool in Control Panel.


An entry that is placed in the registry by the software for your video adapter may prevent Display properties from being displayed.


WARNING: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

To resolve this issue:

1.                  Start Registry Editor (Regedit.exe).

2.                  Locate and click the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Controls Folder\Display\shellex\PropertySheetHandlers

There may be several keys under the PropertySheetHandlers key. The two standard keys are DeskHtmlExt and PlusPack CPL Extension. There may be a third or fourth entry with the name of the video adapter.

3.                  For each key other than the two standard keys, follow these steps:

a.      Click the registry key, and then click Export Registry File on the Registry menu.

b.      Type a name that will help you remember the name of the key, and then click Save.

c.       Delete the key by pressing DELETE.

d.      Repeat steps A through C for each key other than the two standard keys.

1.                  Quit Registry Editor.

2.                  Reboot your computer.

The information in this article applies to:

*           Microsoft Windows 98

*           Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition